Summer Travel: Expert Says Book Early, Be Flexible
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Memorial Day weekend upon us, it's time for the busy summer travel season and it is looking pretty good that this will actually be a busy year for travel after the pandemic halted most Americans' travel plans last summer.
Kyle Potter is the Executive Editor of the Minneapolis-based ThriftyTraveler.com. He says travel is coming back much faster than most experts predicted.
He says flights are going to be more expensive than they were last year, so you need to shop around.
The biggest thing that we tell people is to follow what we call the flight-first rule, so book your flight first, it's exactly what it sounds like because if you search first for your flight you can maybe find a better deal just by shifting your planned travel dates by even a day or two it can save you sometimes hundreds, if not more.
Potter says out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, for example, you should see more frequent flights to popular destinations as well as more destinations to choose from.
Some of the most popular locations are expected to be places like Denver, Alaska, and the National Forest locations. He says he's already seeing some trends for popular destinations this summer.
More options to fly up to Alaska, which is going to be incredibly popular all summer, as well as places like Myrtle Beach, Maine, and service straight into Glacier National Park in Montana.
Potter reminds you that TSA is still requiring masks to be worn inside all airports and on the airplanes at least into mid-September. However, airlines blocking the middle seat is no longer a thing, and most in-flight service is back.
The second thing you need to do is book your rental car if you need one, which is also in high demand right now after many rental car companies sold off much of their fleet last year.
Fast forward to March when travel started really bouncing back in a big way, all of a sudden these companies don't have enough cars to meet the demand. So, that means in some cases skyrocketing prices, and in other cases you can't even find a car at all.
Potter says he's expecting to see over two million travelers screen by TSA agents this Friday for the first time since March of last year.