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Here's What Spring Break Travel Could Look Like In 2021
Spring Break is usually a welcome respite from the rigors of academic life for students, and parents, all across the country. But this year, amidst the ongoing pandemic and with vaccines being prioritized to frontline workers, older citizens, and those with high-risk medical issues— the travel landscape looks a lot different.
However, spring breakers are still seeking out opportunities for more subdued celebrations. Recent data from travel and lifestyle service provider Rovia shows that over 80 percent of Americans have tentative plans for travel in the upcoming months. Five destinations have emerged as the top choices for spring break: New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.
Jeff Gwynn, Rovia Director of Communications, explained that these particular destinations usually see an increase in interest around this time regardless of the pandemic situation. Cultural background is a major factor.
“Orlando and Disney World being family-oriented, that usually takes the cake for a family spring break destination. New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans as well as Los Angeles. We believe this year we’re going to see a lot more “us” in US travel. We’re already starting to see that these particular destinations will outweigh years past as far as bookings.”
Part of the fallout from the pandemic has been record numbers of unemployment and financial hardship, so cost is a concern for spring break travelers. Airlines and hotels are doing their part to make travel more affordable.
“We’ve been getting a lot of deals from our hotel vendors as well as seeing tremendous sales, especially to these destinations from the airline industry,” said Gwynn.
Regional Director Stephanie Odohfre added, “One of our main focuses, outside the pandemic, is to get the best deal for our members. However, we’ve been able to really negotiate some great rates with hotels, and hotels are being a lot more creative as well on what they can offer because there are so many restrictions. So, instead of us going out and trying to piece together excursions and all the inclusions together, the hotels are also stepping up and helping a lot with that because they’re right there. They know what’s going on.”
Naturally, health and safety is the primary concern surrounding travel and Gwynn believes that the gradual increase in bookings are the result of people exercising caution and slowly starting to feel comfortable with the idea of traveling again.
“We’ve gotten some feedback already that people were waiting for the vaccine or to get the vaccine before they “lived their life again.” That’s kind of what we’ve been hearing. Even though they’ve expressed a want to get the vaccine, they also still want to feel safe where they’re going.”
“We’re seeing a lot of people that want to go to Disney. They just want to get their kids out of the house. I think Disney has really tight restrictions, and we see that’s a main concern for people.”
Rovia has seen a marked uptick in travel within the US, but international destinations like Mexico are also going above and beyond to make safety a priority for visitors.
“A lot of the hotels are offering a 14-day quarantine complimentary if for any reason you get stuck there with a positive test,” said Odohfre. “So they are very, very careful. They know tourism is their business, so they have to make sure that people feel comfortable coming in and out of the country. We do see that as one of our major destinations for sure.”