(NEXSTAR) — If you’re thinking about taking a trip in the post-COVID-19 future, now might be a good time to book, with airlines and vendors offering deals aplenty.
But you have to be thoughtful about it, says Kansas City-based travel agent Kathy Sudeikis, who’s been in the business for over forty years. Things change, and often faster than the average person can keep up with.
“It is a good time to book, but you have to be realistic about what could happen,” Sudeikis said.
She expects “the deals will keep coming,” even after the pandemic, as “business has been off enough that there will be deals once people are up in the air and back on cruise ships.”
For Sudeikis, travel insurance is a must, especially if you’re booking for a trip far into the future. You can buy insurance when you book a flight, hotel or vehicle, or go through a travel agent who can help streamline the process.
Especially these days, travel agents are more essential than ever, Sudeikis said. They help you wade through the fine print and can manage cancellations and reservations. They might even get you deals in the process — like free upgrades and breakfast.
“You would never want to try to do this on your own,” Sudeikis said. “You need somebody to read through the lines, help you wade through the junk. You need an advocate who won’t put you in a queue, like an airline does.”
As for when you should plan your trip for, Sudeikis recommends the summer, fall and next winter.
If you plan something and it doesn’t work out, don’t fret, she says. Most vendors, including airlines and hotels, are offering unprecedented refunds, either in the form of a voucher or full cash refund.