Vaccines and nice weather spark confidence in travel for some, but not all

Slowly, Connecticut is coming back to life, but not back to normal. It’s a new normal.

HARTFORD, Conn — The weather is getting nicer, and the COVID-19 vaccine supply is getting more plentiful. That’s giving some people more confidence to travel. But others say they’ll sit on the sidelines.

Slowly, Connecticut is coming back to life, but not back to normal. It’s a new normal.

Veronica Kastukevich, the owner of Custom Travel in Wallingford, said the travel industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We thought 9/11 was bad. Its blip compared to the pandemic,” she said.

But now shots are going into arms and travel bans are changing to travel advisories.

“The flood gates opened very positively about three weeks ago,” said Kastukevich.

AAA of Connecticut told FOX61 News their vacation bookings for the first week of March outpaced the entire month of February.

“A lot of it has to do with the availability of vaccines,” said Dianne Bourgoin, a AAA travel expert.

Research from the Connecticut Office of Tourism shows 41% of people are planning a trip in the next three months. That number is up to 54% for the next six months.

“I had planned on traveling and then everything started spiking back up in the Florida area. So, to be honest, I’m actually horrified to think of what’s going on,” said Aaron Ragland of Springfield, MA.

Alex Mendoza of Windsor added, “You are itching at the bit, but you also don’t want to take a chance and make a mistake just because you’ve been trapped for so long.”

This is why many people are planning staycations. They are contributing to the local Connecticut economy and supporting small businesses. There’s plenty to do.

“The Hartford Yard Goats now are going to be able to open up and have a season,” Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, said. “They start May 11th. Lake Compounce in Bristol, the Connecticut Science Center has a great new exhibit. Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport and of course the beaches are going to be great this summer.”

If you’re planning a getaway — knowledge is power. Ask about government COVID-19 protocols surrounding masks, cleaning and social distancing, and safety measures at hotels and car rentals. Travel insurance is recommended more now than ever.

“Most plans don’t cover travel outside the United States so if you were to do something as simple as fall and sprain your hand you are not covered. That’s out of pocket and would automatically go right on your credit card,” explained Kastukevich.

For domestic travel it’s recommended you get a COVID test before you go and when you come back. Testing is available right at Bradley Airport. And remember if you are traveling internationally, you will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test before flying back to the United States.


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