Coronavirus Outbreak

Travel Agents Urge Conn. Residents to Be Smart When Booking Trips

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Many people around the world are hoping that with COVID-19 cases decreasing, they may finally be able to book a vacation. 

Connecticut travel agents said travelers need to be prepared for variables and changes before they take off.

“At least every day I get a call from a client 'I got my vaccine! I’m ready to book! I’m ready to go!'” said Melissa Albright, co-owner of Wethersfield Travel who said she’s seen people get more comfortable with traveling in the last few months. 

Albright said perspective travelers should be prepared for issues they may face, especially when traveling internationally.

“You’ve got to know where to look when you book and right before you go for the policies that are in place for the destination where you’re going and when you come back," Albright said.

Travelers should prepare to get COVID-19 tests before departure and return and possibly quarantine at their destinations. When booking, know that restrictions at your destination could change before your departure date, so make sure you’ve got the option to postpone or cancel, something many travel companies are offering because of continued uncertainty.

Valeri French owns French’s Travel in Newington and said right now, travelers should look for destinations that are accepting Americans and have proven safety-protocols. Currently, she said Mexico and the Caribbean are among the destinations with a good handle on safety measures in the pandemic. 

“They’ve got the protocols in place. The cleanliness, the social distancing” said French.

Stateside attractions and destinations within the U.S. may offer easier getaways without as many limitations.

French said while international travel remains touch and go, don’t book anything without travel insurance, particularly a “cancel for any reason” policy.

“It does allow you to cancel at the very last minute for any reason. If you’re just not comfortable with the way things are going, you’re able to recover most of your investment” said French.

Finally, be prepared for travel to look different for the foreseeable future.

“Traveling at this time is not the same as it was pre-COVID. You just have to be flexible and be happy that you’re able to get away, be away getting a change of scenery,” said French.

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