(Family Features) After a long year stuck at home, many people are dreaming about when they can travel once again. While counting down the days may feel like torture, planning and booking a vacation for later this year can give you something to look forward to.
Now may be the perfect time to start thinking about your next adventure. Consider these tips for planning a future trip – even if you’re not certain exactly when you’ll take it.
Research Travel Restrictions
For any kind of travel, it’s important to make sure you’re up to date on any restrictions your potential destinations may have in place. Though the vaccine may help lessen restrictions in some places, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain updated guidance and travel warnings based on the risk level of certain areas, which can help you make decisions. Once you’ve booked travel plans, it is prudent to check in frequently as your trip approaches and prepare a backup plan.
Account for High Demand
Many hotels, vacation rentals and resorts may already be booked for summer in popular locations due to optimism around the vaccine, increased demand for domestic travel and families planning multiple trips this year. In fact, travelers are locking in private Vrbo vacation homes at top summer destinations earlier in 2021. Less than half of vacation homes in some locations are still available for July, which is a more than 25% increase in demand year-over-year. To better your odds of securing your desired travel dates, accommodations and activities, booking earlier can help off-set the increased demand.
“In years past, we’ve recommended families book their summer vacations by late April to stay ahead of the curve, but this year there are several reasons why families are eager and ready to book,” Vrbo President Jeff Hurst said. “These signs are telling us families should start looking for the perfect vacation home now before options become more limited.”
Take Advantage of Deals with Longer Stays
Many sectors of the travel industry offer special deals for reserving trips in advance, and some of the best deals can be found by bundling airfare and lodging or booking extended week- or month-long stays. These longer vacations can lead to fewer available dates to choose from, but some travel companies offer search filters that help travelers find discounts for staying longer periods of time.
Opt for Flexible Booking
If you’re eager to plan a vacation right away, be sure to review and understand cancellation policies for your preferred accommodations, airline and activities. Many have changed their policies due to the pandemic, so be sure to know how long you have to cancel or change dates without incurring additional fees or penalties. For example, when booking a vacation rental through Vrbo, where hosts set their cancellation terms, you can use the “free cancellation” filter to search for properties with flexible policies, some of which allow cancellations up to 14 days before check-in for a full refund.
Start Saving Now
While it may not be practical for everyone to save money amid uncertain times, setting even a small amount aside for your vacation can be worthwhile. Consider setting up a dedicated travel savings account or directing the change from each transaction made with your debit card to a separate account. Being able to periodically check the balance of the account can also help increase excitement for your upcoming adventure.
Find more tips and start planning your next getaway at Vrbo.com.
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