Is it safe to travel this summer? Optimistic travelers are booking now

Is it safe to travel this summer? Optimistic travelers are booking now

Driven by Covid vaccines, flexible cancellation policies, and people craving freedom from home, the summer travel season is already thriving in some parts of the travel industry.

A survey by research firm Toluna indicates that Americans are gaining confidence to travel with each passing month, with 27% travel comfort in April and 42% by July.

But the sudden rise in reservations shows that many people are booking reservations and prices before it is too late.

Hike in summer excursions

Data from the mobile reservation application Hopper It also shows a strong rise in summer travel planning, with searches for midsummer travel increasing 100% in early February. The company expects domestic air fares to start rising in March, and international air fares to begin by mid-May.

We expect this to be our biggest summer we’ve ever had in the company’s history.

Andrew Collins

Sentient Jet CEO

As the flights fill up, so will stations, including private ones like PS at LAX, which cater to Los Angeles’ celebrities and the wealthy.

The private station, which costs $ 4,500 a year for membership plus usage fees, has reached capacity multiple times this month and often has a waiting list.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this summer will be a journey of revenge,” said co-CEO Josh Gusman. “Travelers will spend more on upgrades, luxury services and unique experiences.”

“We expect total travel volumes to remain lower than in 2019, but spending per trip will increase,” said PS at LAX’s Gausman.

Courtesy of PS at LAX

Many charter airlines expect a summer.

“The pandemic has exposed so many people to private aviation that they might not have thought about it or tried it under normal circumstances,” Flexjet CEO Megan Wolf said. “This allowed the private jet travel industry to weather the storm better.”

Sentient Jet, which sells ‘jet tickets’ for 25 flying hours, expects it will fly 30% -50% more than it did in the summer before the pandemic, due to the new customers acquired during the pandemic. CEO Andrew Collins said that between April and September of 2020, two card purchases out of three new customers came, a percentage that was reversed before the pandemic.

“We expect this to be the biggest summer we’ve ever had in company history,” Collins told CNBC Global Traveler.

Not vacant: hotels that fill up quickly

Located in the Catskill Mountains in New York, Roxbury at Stratton Falls It opened in February of 2020, before the pandemic hit the United States

“Last year our reservations were bleak for the summer at this time,” said co-owner Greg Henderson. “This year we are facing the opposite problem … the demand is so high that by mid-April there will be no availability on the weekend until October.”

His advice to weekend travelers: “Now is the time” to book.

Roxbury at Stratton Falls has themed mansion rooms and tower cottages.

Courtesy of The Roxbury at Stratton Falls

Another hotel in New York, Aurora hotelsAlex Schlop, the hotel’s creative director, said it’s fully booked on select weekends in July and August. He said the hotel, which has five boutique lodges in the Finger Lakes region, usually doesn’t have many summer reservations.

“In the past, we have typically seen a spike in summer bookings … as the end of April or early May approaches,” said Chalop.

Club Wyndham, a member-based vacation company, said three of its resorts in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were almost fully booked in July. seaside Wyndham Sea Watch Club The company said it was 99% full in June and 95% in July.

93% of the Club Wyndham Ocean Boulevard resort was booked in July, according to the company.

Courtesy of The Wyndham Club

Increased bookings keep travel companies busy, too.

Intel Travel “We saw several record-breaking days last week as we booked more transactions in one day than at any time in our 30-year history,” said James Ferrara, president of the company. In Mexico, we’re seeing an emerging preference for “outdoor swimming” suites at some all-inclusive resorts, so travelers have less contact while on vacation. “

Last December, Sandal opened this style of wings in its place South Coast resort In Jamaica. “These suites have been completely sold out for the next 12 months,” said Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International.

The Rondoval Swimming Suites in Sandals South Coast, which come with access to a riverfront pool and butler service, are sold out for next year.

Courtesy of Sandals Resorts

The Three Sandals Resorts in Jamaica are fully booked for various dates in June and July, and all three of the brand’s resorts Beach resorts with a family character – Two in Jamaica and one in Turks and Caicos – sold mid to late June.

The surge in reservations caused some hotels to raise rates for the remaining rooms.

After a big spike in summer bookings, The Foundry Hotel In Asheville, North Carolina, it decided to raise rates, said Julie Bevings, the hotel’s revenue manager.

“We feel confident in our price structure to pricing both weekdays and weekends at levels higher than normal due to this increase in demand,” she said.

Where the home rents are the hottest

Airbnb is Reports Travelers are looking to rent homes near smaller beach towns and state and national parks this summer. Vacationers are looking for patios, backyards and barbecue areas (for 4th of July gatherings) at higher rates than before.

Inteletravel’s Ferrara, who cited Florida, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and Hawaii as local hotspots, said vacation home and villa rents are on the rise due to social distancing concerns and the growing demand for “travel through the bubble.”

Although it is highly expected that travelers will travel domestically this year, Americans are looking for summer house rentals in Aruba; The US Gulf Coast; Tulum, Mexico; Reunion, Florida, according to HomeToGo “Summer Travel Outlook 2021”.

Massive availability issues … will play … as the weather heats up.

Jonathan Weinberg

CEO, AutoSlash

Travel search engine The name of the object Orlando Florida; Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and New York City as the most cost-effective “searched” locations. With an average overnight rental price of $ 234, the inclusion of New York City on the budget shows how few travelers to urban areas have been thriving in the United States.

This year, only 12% of summer travel searches are for urban destinations, according to HomeToGo.

Reservations at a luxury travel agency Virtuso It’s gaining momentum every month, said Misty Bills, the company’s managing director of global public relations. Villas of Distinction, one of Virtuoso’s partners, is adding rents for villas in She said the Florida Panhandle, North, South Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Arizona and Hawaii.

“Villas with villas also do well, especially those with a strong focus on markets like Southern California,” she said.

Almost one location was mentioned by everyone who spoke to CNBC for this report – Florida.

Fourteen of the 24 sites are experiencing the greatest growth in booking interests (known as searches and clicks) on Vacation rent The company said in Florida. The home rental site, which collects home rentals from VRBO, Booking.com, and other sites, has shone the spotlight on Key West and Orlando, where booking interest has nearly tripled from last year.

Lack of trains and car rental

Train tour operator Vacations by rail Alaska, Colorado, and the US national parks expect to be the most popular destinations for train travelers.

“This is not strange to us, but the demand is tremendous,” said Heather Leisman, chief operator, adding that the company “is working hard to add capacity to meet the tremendous demand.”

Additional departure dates are being added to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and on the company.Large parks in the southwestThe tour includes the Grand Canyon.

Guided tour company Trafalgar reported a 56% increase in travel to Alaska this summer.

Dagney Willis | Moment | Getty Images

The shortage of rental cars could be a bigger problem.

“The massive availability issues … will play out … as the weather warms,” ​​said Jonathan Weinberg, chief executive of car rental website. Slash. He said that there has been a “transient cancellation” by car rental companies (selling cars or postponing or canceling plans to buy new cars) last year and the difficulty and cost of buying new cars this year due to car production and semiconductor shortages.

Car rental shortages are already occurring in the Phoenix metro area, Las Vegas, Denver, Hawaii (especially Maui and Big Island) and “the whole state of Florida,” says AutoSlash’s Weinberg.

Ross Rohde | Culture Getty Images

Last weekend, 18 of Florida’s 20 commercial airports had no availability, and sites outside the airport “have come under similar criticism,” said Weinberg, who said that those who can rent cars pay in excess of $ 500 a day.

He said: “It is almost certain that things will get worse before they get better, and it will likely be the back half from summer to fall before things really return to normal.”

Weinberg’s advice: “Book early – much earlier than you think. You can make a reservation with payment later as you don’t even have to give your credit card.”

Camping and outdoor travel

Part of the fun of camping is running out of crowds and out of stock scenarios. However, this may change now because outdoor travel is one of the hottest travel trends in 2021.

Tent reservations – or round tents – at Snow Mountain Farm In Granby, Colorado it opened its doors in January and is now almost fully booked, the company says.

“Tents are very popular with guests as a glamorous option, and this year the demand for going outdoors and getting out of town is even higher,” said Truman Hofmeister, the farm’s general manager.

At $ 104 a night, Hoffmeister of Snow Mountain Ranch, said the 24 tents at Snow Mountain Ranch are dog-friendly and are popular for those who prefer “light” camping.

Courtesy of YMCA of the Rockies

Campgrounds are more available, however, and those near the top national parks are full, according to the reservation website American Campgrounds. The company said the West Glacier KOA Resort, near Glacier National Park, is mostly full for the summer, and is already making reservations for the 2022 travel season.

Another reservation site Kampspot He said campgrounds in the United States’ Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states are the fastest to book, with bookings for cabins, RV sites, and tents all up from last year.

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