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AAA: ‘Revenge Travel’ increasingly popular as bookings surge

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After more than a year of lockdowns, restrictions and COVID concerns, many Virginians are ready to travel again, and in a big way.

AAA Mid-Atlantic is experiencing a surge in travel requests for longer and more extravagant trips. So-called “Revenge Travel” is a new trend where eager travelers are ready to hit the roads, rails, seas and skies and make up for lost time from last year.

“AAA travel advisors are seeing a trend towards extended, more lavish vacations with family and friends who they may not have been able to see for a year or more,” reported Martha Mitchell Meade, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Travelers are upgrading their accommodations, merging two vacations into one, and overall taking things up a notch after having missed one or even two previously planned trips.”

Survey data supports the trend that AAA travel advisors are seeing. In a survey conducted in mid-April by Destination Analysts, “nearly two-thirds of respondents have a high level of excitement about a trip they have not previously considered.”

Vaccinations are adding to the increased excitement over confirming vacation plans within the next 4-6 weeks and for future extended trips. Over 80 percent of travelers surveyed said they are more comfortable traveling once they are fully vaccinated.

“There is a definite correlation between vaccines and vacation bookings,” said Beth Faison, a travel advisor for AAA. “We are literally getting to share the excitement with our clients who are often getting their final vaccine and contacting us to confirm a vacation on the same day.”

New Centers for Disease Control guidelines are also adding to the increased comfort and seem to be a game changer for many. Those who are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, are “are less likely to get and spread SARS-CoV-2 and can now travel at low risk to themselves within the United States.”

Extended travel bookings

Overall confidence about the safety of traveling in the future is further fueling the excitement about longer and more elaborate vacations. “Travelers are ready to embrace traveling again and feeling safe about doing so. The positive energy from travelers is palpable and a welcome change after a rough year for all of us,” added Faison.

Tips for travelers

  • Plan ahead/Be flexible: Pent up demand and limited capacity in some cases is resulting in the need for flexibility when confirming travel dates, times and destinations.
  • Be ready to pay more: The laws of supply and demand are in full play in the travel industry.
  • Be informed and prepared for COVID protocols: Being educated about COVID requirements is critical and they are changing regularly. Don’t rely on the research you did a month ago, check and double check regularly to ensure that you are prepared. AAA advises travelers to keep in mind that some local and state travel restrictions may still remain in place. Travelers can refer to AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and for the latest information to plan their trip.

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