SAN ANTONIO – With hope on the horizon, Sammy Munoz and his wife already have a summer vacation on the calendar.
“We’re going to Michigan,” he said.
Call it pent-up wanderlust. Travel experts say they already are seeing a boost in bookings for later this year and into next.
“I think 2021, and especially this summer and onward, could be one of the biggest travel times we’ve seen in years,” said Scott Keyes, who runs Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Even though there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Keyes says if you’re thinking about flying this year, book it.
“Rather than waiting ‘til May or June, we are recommending to folks to look about booking those flights now,” he said.
Adding to consumer confidence, airlines continue to offer unprecedented flexibility if you change your mind or travel dates. For basic economy flights, however, Keyes says that flexibility may end at the close of March unless the airlines extend it.
But with airlines facing financial turbulence, will they be offering attractive fares?
“Oh, absolutely,” Keyes said, adding he’s already seeing cheap flights.
“We’ve seen fares from San Antonio to Belize for $286 round trip and from San Antonio to Hawaii, $316 round trip,” he said.
As demand takes off, Keyes expects airlines to add more flights and compete for leisure dollars.
Expect air travel to look different, though. Mask mandates are expected to continue at least through this year. And, some foreign destinations, when open to travelers, may require proof of Covid-19 vaccination.