Vacations and travel are possible in 2021, but plan ahead — Neuse News

In 2020, the average travel agency business income was down over 80 percent as compared to 2019. Whether travel is done by air, sea, or over the road, different destinations have pandemic policies specific to their location.

“While we’re seeing a definite uptick in travelers who are ready to get out of their homes and safely explore, many in our industry believe that the sun will definitely be shining brighter as the year goes on and we continue into 2022,” said Mallory Dumond.

Dumond was voted the number one travel agent for the 2020 Goldsboro News Argus Readers’ Choice Awards and is a certified member of Travel Leaders Network, and the American Society of Travel Advisors.

“Right now the cruise industry is still at a complete stand still here in the United States,” said Dumond. “Most cruise vendors are being extremely generous and flexible with clients in terms of canceling sailings and re-booking their cruises. Disney Cruise Line just announced today that they will be booking 2022 cruises which is big news as they have not even been offering bookings.”

Mexico is a popular destination because a COVID-19 test isn’t required to enter the country.

“Another popular area is the Caribbean. Most resorts do offer complimentary COVID-19 tests when returning home to the United States,” said Dumond. “South America is pretty open for travelers and destinations like Greece and Europe will be opening in the coming few months.”

At this time, airlines are not requiring vaccines or COVID-19 tests to fly unless flying to the United States from another country. Masks are recommended for airline and train travel. The CDC and Federal Government are being petitioned and lobbied to create a digital “vaccine passport” to be able to easily identify travelers who have been vaccinated against the virus.

With different restrictions based on country or method of travel, it may benefit travelers to reach out to travel agents before planning their trips to ensure the plans are compliant with pandemic policies and procedures.

“If I wasn’t a travel agent, I would be using one myself to travel as restrictions and health precautions seem like they’re changing daily and as new destinations are opening up- an agent stays up to date on the latest news and does all the research,” said Dumond.

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