Linda Ballou Reports On Travel Trends for 2023: Leisure Travel is Back!
By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate
I’ve just returned from the Adventure Travel Show, and am delighted to report that the travel industry is roaring back with a vengeance.
Airlines are ramping up flights, training and hiring pilots, and upgrading infrastructure to keep up with the demand. Twenty-five new ships for leisure travelers will set sail this year.
But, with this frenzy to meet the pent-up demand for travel experiences comes higher prices and over-burdened service workers.
How do we best navigate the age of disruption? Here are a few of my best tips.
Buy Travel Insurance
Since being airlifted from the High Sierras due to an accident on the Pacific Crest Trail, I have made certain to obtain Medical Emergency evacuation insurance for my journeys. Now, with plane flights canceled in the thousands because of failed technology, extreme weather events, and overbooking by the airlines, I believe it is imperative to get full coverage, especially if you are taking an international trip…
Boomers are more likely to experience physical difficulties while traveling. Medicare does not cover you outside of the United States There are numerous options available geared to a particular type of travel. Here are a few choices:
- Allianz Global Assistance is the largest and most trusted travel insurance provider worldwide. They offer options including trip cancellation, emergency medical coverage, and baggage protection.
- Travel Guard is well known and has been around for 30 years. They offer comprehensive coverage and competitive pricing.
- World Nomads is a popular choice for a backpacker, adventure travelers, and digital nomads. They offer coverage for a wide range of activities including extreme sports.
You can compare companies and options at the Travel Insurance Center, Just plug in what kind of coverage you want and it will provide you with a list of travel companies that fill your travel needs. One caveat, according to travel gurus, is that you should never take the insurance offered by the tour group you are using for your trip. If they should go out of business, you will be out of luck.
Anticipate the Potential for Illnesses, Like Covid-19
We all want to believe Covid is in the rear-view mirror, but now that our guard is down, many are contracting the virus. To protect yourself, you should travel with a free self-testing kit and a medication to ease symptoms. You can get a prescription for Paxlovid or Lagevrio, the medications now prescribed to treat Covid, fill and take it with you. If you are in a remote region, or unable to get to a pharmacy, you will be prepared for the possibility of infection.
Know the Best Way to Book Your Flights, Tours and Hotels
When its time to actually book your flights, go directly to the airline. It’s fine to research flights on third-party sites like Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity, but you should know that they do not have access to all available flights. Once you determine which airline offers the best schedule and pricing, it’s better to book directly with the airline. That way, if something goes wrong with your flight while you are traveling, you will not have to deal with a third party to get satisfaction.
Be aware that when you search online, there are “bots” tracking your movements. These “bots” are programmed to recognize you and increase the price the next time you run your search — like when you go to book your flights. If this sounds devious, that’s because it is. If you want to book online but avoid the devious bots, you need to clear the cookies that reflect your browsing history — or do your research on one computer, then use another one to make your purchase.
When booking hotels, or tours try to book direct. Often a direct booking will reward you with better prices than what you would encounter on third-party sites.
If you are more hands-on in your need to satisfy your wanderlust, you’ll find you can save money and have a safer journey. Remember, that since the travel industry is still in the process of ramping back up after the shutdown, you must be flexible and prepared for the growing pains the travel industry is experiencing.
The dollar is very strong right now in Europe, South American and other favorite destinations. All systems are go. It is time to pack your bags.