NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- As many sit at home beginning to go stir crazy, the questions about, when it will be safe to take vacations again, are starting.
In honor of National Travel Advisor Day, reporter Peyton LoCicero spoke with a local travel agent to get answers about the future.
Traveling as we knew it, pre-pandemic, will likely never be the same.
“The desire is definitely there. People want to go, they’re just waiting to make sure it’s safe and they feel comfortable,” shared Melinda Bourgeois from Travel Central Vacations. “That’s why I think the U.S. is going to be popular because people don’t want to go too far from home and then, have another problem.”
When coronavirus began spreading, travel agents like, Melinda Bourgeois jumped into action, from bringing home students who were studying abroad to helping brides and grooms with honeymoon plans and even helping families trapped in foreign countries get home.
“It was like drinking out of a fire hose,” Bourgeois described. “Not only did you have these people who were canceling for the future but, you had these people who were stuck there. So, it was a little bit more challenging at the beginning.”
Now that states and cities are slowly starting to reopen, plans for voyages will resume. There will be a few changes to expect.
“When we first started this, everyday we’d get emails, ‘Oh, we’ve changed this policy. Now, you can rebook to 2022. Now you can do this’ and we had all kind of policy changes throughout,” said Bourgeois. “Now, all we get is emails about how they’re going to clean rooms and how they are going to keep the airlines clean. And that’s real positive!”
When the dusts settles, almost all Americans will have experienced travel fallouts, cancelled vacays, honeymoons postpones or weddings pushed to a new date.
“That was one of the hardest thing about this whole thing. You wanted to solve their problems. You wanted to get them their money but, really you were thinking about ‘Wow, this is terrible.’”
With all of the new safety policies, Bourgeois says she feels optimistic about the future of travel.