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Coronavirus
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Planning To 'Revenge Travel'? Here's What You Need To Know

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Bill Rinehart/WVXU
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Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

After more than a year of pandemic isolation, many Americans are eager for a summer vacation. AAA spokeswoman Jenifer Moore says there's a lot of pent-up demand.

"A buzz phrase we have come to know is 'revenge travel.' What that means is there are travelers who are ready to hit the road, to go on vacation any way they can to make up for lost time from last year," she says. "Everyone's tired of being at home. Everyone's done every type of home improvement project imaginable so now they're ready to explore the world."

Moore says the eagerness is a combination of pandemic cabin fever and confidence because of the increase in vaccine availability. She says among the people AAA has surveyed, 80% want to be vaccinated before they take a trip.

She says AAA has been watching travel booking activity, and surveying Americans. She says about 72% of people say they're ready to go. She says that's up 20% from earlier this year.

People are starting to make plans. "In some cases, it's a dream trip they never thought of before," Moore says. "But because they were stuck at home last year, they want to take these extended vacations, take four to six weeks, sail, travel, see the world any way they can."

COVID-19 is still an issue and Moore says it's important to take that into consideration when making plans. Some states may still have restrictions on travel or mask orders. Businesses may have limited hours. "Or you may get there and for instance, you may not be able to ride certain rides when things were a little more open and normal," Moore says. "That's why it's really important to, before you even get there, call the places where you're attempting to go to, and ask what their new protocols are, and also what activities and amenities will be available to you."

That especially goes for overseas trips. "Really take a look at what the State Department is saying. There are some recommendations and advisories about not traveling to certain places," she says.

Air Travel

Moore says some airlines are still keeping the middle seat empty on flights. Some are not. She says it's a good idea to call the carrier to find out what their policies are.

Cruise Ships

There's still a lot of uncertainty, Moore says. Some cruise lines are preparing to sail again, while others may be restricted from docking. For international trips, and cruises, Moore says it's a good idea to talk with a travel planner to navigate all the options and prohibitions.

Rental Cars

Many rental companies are reporting a shortage of available cars. "The reason being is a lot of car rental agencies sold off their fleets last year, and now there's a supply chain issue with the automotive industry," Moore says. "Travel is coming back and there's no way to support the demand. You're looking at limited availability or high costs for renting a car." Moore says book early, or consider renting from somewhere away from the airport.

Moore says AAA is recommending overall to be flexible with plans. "Because of the limited capacity and pent-up demand a lot of people are going to start traveling as summer travel season kicks off very shortly."

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.