If you’re looking to take a tropical getaway to Hawaii or an adventure overseas, travel agents say now is an ideal time to take a trip even as the industry faces disruptions in service.
The travel industry was one of the hardest hit sectors due to the pandemic, but has rebounded over the last several months, said Lorryn Langton, owner of Pink Pineapple Travel Co. in Fishers. The demand for last-minute travel this summer has skyrocketed as many Americans delayed their travel plans due to COVID-19, Langton said.
Langton said her company remains busy and has particularly seen an increase in clients booking international flights.
“We are still planning fall break 2022 and spring break 2023 travels currently. We have relationships with suppliers offering lower priced, non-stop charter flights to Cancun and Punta Cana, out of nearby Cincinnati gateway, allowing flexibility for Indianapolis-based travelers to beat the expensive jet fuel prices,” Langton said.
According to the U.S. Travel Association website, domestic leisure travel has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels even when adjusted for inflation. The association also noted in its travel forecast that international inbound travel is “making a huge comeback, aided by the recent drop of pre-departure testing.”
Langton said she is seeing a lot of last-minute travel requests, in addition to group travel. However, she also noted that some individuals are choosing to drive to their destinations instead of fly.
“By driving, it is allowing travelers to control the narrative of their travel and not be at the mercy of the airlines with cancellations and delays,” Langton said.
As a travel agent, Langton said she’s also seeing what she described as “bucket list travel,” noting that Hawaii is a popular destination currently.
“Everyone’s wanting to enjoy their favorite bucket list item and visit their favorite Hawaiian island or islands,” she said.
Langton added that cruises are also popular in part because they cater to all ages with amenities such as water slides. She recommended people book their travel as early as possible, urging travelers to be flexible on their origin as well.
Langton said that flexibility is important as some of her clients will travel to Chicago, Cincinnati or Louisville for non-stop flights. Still, she stressed that she doesn’t foresee airline disruptions going away anytime soon, but suggested booking the earliest flight possible to allow for ample time if a delay were to occur.
“Of course, if we’ve learned anything from COVID or the pandemic, it’s to have travel protection,” Langton said.
That can be helpful in instances where baggage delays or losses occur, according to Langton, who noted it can also help cover overnight accommodations or rental car costs as well.
Langton said her goal as a travel agent is to “make sure that clients are getting the best value for their investment.” Pink Pineapple Travel Co., which has been in operation for seven years, also offers 24-hour, 7-day a week guidance before, during and after travel to clients, she said.
“We pretty much help them every hour of the day,” Langton said. “I really pride myself on authentic and transparent advice for our clients.”
For more information, visit www.pinkpineappletravel.com or call 317-643-4300.