Travel prices are bouncing back, but here’s where to find the bargains

Travel prices are bouncing back. They have a long way to go.

The average roundtrip domestic airfare dropped 15% last year, to $302, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Hotel rates plummeted 21%, to $103, lodging data from STR found.

But the era of cheap travel will end soon, experts predict. The only questions are, when will it be over – and how long do you have to book a low price?
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Pandemic anniversary: Travel ended a year ago, but it’s back — sort of

One year ago, travel ended.

As COVID-19 consumed the planet, airlines mothballed their planes. Cruise lines docked their ships. Hotels closed their doors, some permanently. And under strict stay-at-home orders, millions of travelers canceled their vacations.

But on the pandemic anniversary, people are wondering: What did the virus do to travel? What will it still do?
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Which travel companies treated you right during the pandemic?

As the pandemic approaches its one-year anniversary, it’s time to check the score, fellow travelers. Which travel companies treated you right during the pandemic? Which ones didn’t?

It matters because you usually have a choice in airlines, car rental companies, and hotels. And you want to make the right decision as you start to plan your next trip.

For Daylene Guidice, Viking Cruises is a clear winner. She had a European river cruise booked last spring.
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How to get a goodwill gesture from a travel company

The phrase “goodwill gesture” has been thrown around a lot in the travel industry during the pandemic. When airlines refund fares for canceled flights or when cruise lines offer 125 percent credits, they act as if they’re doing travelers a favor — something they don’t have to do but are doing anyway.

But what is a goodwill gesture, and how do you get one?
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How do you know if it’s really safe to travel yet? It’s complicated.

Is it safe to travel yet? People like Stephanie Wolkin want to know.

Safe for her means she can see her 97-year-old mother in New Jersey without infecting her with the deadly COVID-19 virus. Safe means she can find a way to make her annual trip to France this year, to make up for the one canceled last summer.
Read more “How do you know if it’s really safe to travel yet? It’s complicated.”