January 1st, 2022 ( Seattle Times ).- Despite the blows dealt to the travel industry by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, eager travelers are packed and ready for 2022, Seattle-area travel experts say.
Resurgent vacationers have new goals in mind — to have rich, unforgettable experiences — but they’ll have to be agile to reach them while navigating the ever-changing landscape of regulations. With omicron now, the dominant variant in the U.S., plans always have the potential to be disrupted.
With that in mind, we spoke to Seattle-based travelers and travel experts to compile their outlooks for the domestic and international travel landscape. Even though the surging omicron variant, coupled with winter weather issues, caused travel chaos over December’s peak holiday travel week, there’s still a sense of cautious optimism in the air as relates to travel in 2022.
Two-thirds of Americans are planning significant trips next year, according to Seattle-based Expedia’s 2022 Travel Trends Report, which dubbed its theme as the “Greatest of All Trips” mindset. The report, a collaboration with Northstar Research Firm, polled 12,000 people worldwide.
Travel tips for 2022
How to smoothly navigate travel in 2022? The experts agree that for your best 2022 travel experiences, the key is flexibility — especially with your time and budget.
Paying for refundable flights and travel insurance is well worth the expense, given the erratic nature of travel today. For travel insurance, Expedia’s Hudson says Cancel for Any Reason coverage is the safest option. Most standard policies don’t cover illness or pandemic-related delays. Renting a car? Look for a “book now, pay later” option.
Hudson recommends booking early if your travel dates are fixed, or if you’re going to a place where condominiums are the prime lodging, like Mexico or Hawaii — now is not too early for summer, she says.
Other tips? Research your destination’s vaccine and testing regulations as well as your airline’s policy (read that confirmation email!). Build in time for testing and quarantines on both ends of your trip. Double-check lodging and sightseeing details.