‘The travel landscape has changed’: What you need to know before you book a trip


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ It’s been about a year since the coronavirus pandemic shut down Rhode Island and the rest of the world, limiting the ability to travel.

But Matt Balsamo, a consultant with Donovan Travel, said that as more people get vaccinated, there’s been an uptick in travel interest.

“It has picked up a bit, we’re seeing an increased volume in calls,” Balsamo said. “We have people who are looking at everything from going to Costa Rica to maybe they just feel comfortable enough to drive to Maine.”

Road trips continue to be the top choice when heading to a destination, according to AAA Northeast.

But no matter how you’re traveling, AAA said you should keep the following in mind:

  • Be aware of local guidelines regarding masks, COVID-19 tests and quarantine
  • Call hotels ahead of time to confirm that they’re open
  • If you’re flying, be aware of food and beverage limitations on the plane
  • Those who venture out of the country need a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 upon re-entry
  • Masks are required on public transportation and in many public places

“The travel landscape has changed, and now you have to know before you go,” AAA Travel Director Chuck Nardozza said. 

Nardozza said COVID-19 postponed a lot of pre-planned vacations last year, creating a limited inventory this year.

That’s why he suggests booking your vacation now instead of later.

“We’ve had the last year to dream, now it’s time to stop dreaming and start planning so that you can make those memories,” Nardozza said.

Both Nardozza and Balsamo urged people to work with a travel advisor and to purchase travel insurance.

“They’re looking for our expertise and they want to feel more comfortable with this decision,” Balsamo said. “We’re seeing more flexibility in our industry than we ever have before.”

When speaking with a travel advisory, AAA Northeast suggests asking the following questions: 

  • Where can I travel?
  • Will I need to get tested or self-quarantine?
  • What are my options for last-minute changes?
  • Will travel insurance cover my trip?

Balsamo said Donovan Travel has been open throughout the entire pandemic and continues to provide guidance when it comes to travel.

“Every destination is different, state-to-state is different,” Balsamo said.

Learn More: AAA Travel Updates »

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