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Travel increases as people are fully immunized. Here’s what to watch out for

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Travel bookings are increasing as more people are fully vaccinated and hope to travel for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Here are several indicators confirming that travel is on the increase and what we can expect in the coming months.

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People are looking for flights

People can easily see which are the most popular Google searches on Google Trends. For the week of April 4-10, 2021, the search keyword “Google Flights” has a popularity score of 100 out of 100. As of January 2021, the same term received a score of 56 and n ‘has since stopped increasing.

It is one of the most popular search terms indicating that people are receptive to the plane for pleasure travel. One of the last times people seriously searched for “Google Flights” was June 7-13, 2020, with a peak score of 80. People might be more willing to fly this summer than last summer.

TSA Daily Security Checkpoints Over 1 Million

In addition to more people looking for thefts, more people are flying than they were in 2020. The daily number of trips to TSA checkpoints exceeds 1 million daily checks on most days travel since February 11, 2021. From late March to early April, the daily flows are between 1.1 million and 1.5 million each day.

As a perspective, about 2.0 million to 2.5 million people passed through TSA checkpoints on the same days in 2019. Current screenings represent about half of pre-pandemic levels. March 2020 and April 2020 was the peak stop period for the pandemic in 2020. Daily projections were as low as 97130 on April 6, 2020.

More international travel destinations open

The list of international destinations where Americans can fly is slowly growing. Mexico, several Caribbean islands and the Maldives have been open to American travelers since summer 2020.

Other places have reopened more recently to travelers:

  • Iceland
  • Seychelles
  • Belize

Entry requirements vary by country. Iceland only allows fully vaccinated travelers, for example. All returning Americans must have a negative return test to return to the United States and avoid mandatory quarantine.

The Schengen zone Europe, Canada and most of Asia and Oceania remain closed to leisure travel.

Australia and New Zealand recently announced a travel bubble between the two countries. Oceania has been difficult to access since the start of the pandemic. This step may be a sign of hope for the resumption of leisure travel in this region sooner rather than later.

Shortage of rental cars

There is also a shortage of rental cars which makes it difficult for travelers to find rental cars at their vacation destination. Rental prices in popular destinations like Florida and Hawaii are therefore above average.

Several factors are contributing to the nationwide inventory crisis:

  • A rapid increase in the volume of leisure travel
  • Reduction in the size of the rental company fleet
  • Vehicle assembly lines idling due to semiconductor shortage

A year ago, very few people were willing to rent or needed to rent a vehicle. People stopped traveling and started telecommuting overnight. As a result, car rental companies sold more cars than usual to pay for operating expenses and stay in business. Additionally, some companies like Hertz can still be hired, even though the company filed for bankruptcy in May 2020 due to the unexpected slowdown in travel.

Rental companies are struggling to expand their fleet size, but automakers are slowing production due to a semiconductor shortage.

Temporary factory closures due to the pandemic are also affecting many industries trying to return to the “status quo” while retaining the safety protocols necessary to prevent a resurgence in worker infection rates.

Increase in vacation rentals and hotel bookings

Reports indicate that short-term vacation rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO are seeing people booking their summer accommodation earlier than usual. Spring break bookings were also healthy.

It remains to be seen whether the summer getaways will have the same crowd size as the last pre-pandemic summer of 2019. But there will undoubtedly be more people on vacation during the summer months of 2021 than in 2020 if the trend continues. .

Coastal getaways where social distancing is relatively easy are popular. Reservation sites also signal an interest in cities.

Rising travel jobs

The US Travel Association reports that the travel industry gained 280,000 jobs in March 2021. While the industry’s unemployment rate is around 13.0% compared to the national unemployment rate of 6%, more and more people are returning to work as people re-engage in leisure travel.

Theme parks reopen

Florida theme parks, including Walt Disney World and other theme parks in several states, reopened in 2020 with reduced park capacity and social distancing.

Most of the theme parks that remained closed in 2020 will reopen for the summer of 2021. Some examples include theme parks like Disneyland and Legoland California, although at extremely limited capacity. In addition, these parks are only open to residents of the surrounding area at this time. New York’s iconic Coney Island will also reopen in April 2021.

Motorhome camping may remain popular

The 2021 camping season is about to be in full swing now that the warmer weather is here. While there is no sharp increase in motorhome travel, frequent campers expect campground occupancy to remain strong even as demand for short-term vacation rentals and hotels is higher. higher than in 2020.

Camping always gives people the flexibility of social distancing compared to a hotel stay. People can also explore remote areas that they usually cannot travel to if they are staying in a hotel.

CDC adjusts travel guidelines for fully vaccinated people

CDC relaxes travel guidelines for fully vaccinated travelers. For example, people who travel at least 14 days after receiving their last dose of vaccine are not asked to be tested before travel, be tested after travel, or quarantined for up to 10 days.

The CDC recommends that the unvaccinated be tested before and after travel. It is also recommended that you quarantine yourself for at least five days before taking the first post-travel test.

National and local travel guidelines can replace CDC guidelines for fully immunized people. For example, a state may require all inbound customers to get a pre-travel test to waive the mandatory quarantine even if they are vaccinated.

Those who are fully vaccinated should still self-observe for potential symptoms and practice social distancing.

summary

Travel levels have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, but more people are leaving home for national getaways than in 2020. Popular tourist destinations like beaches and outdoor events are popular. But people are also traveling to see a distant family for the first time in over a year.

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