Newly vaccinated seniors leading surge in travel plans, travel agents say

May senior citizens are booking vacations after receiving their COVID-19 shots
May senior citizens are booking vacations after receiving their COVID-19 shots

HOUSTON – Travel agents are noticing a surge in travel among the Houston-area vaccinated population.

Cathy Santos cannot wait to hit the road. The 69-year-old Houstonian loves nature and traveling.

“I just get in my car and go. Put on some good music and I start driving,” Santos said.

Santos is fully vaccinated and hoping to make up for lost travel time in 2020. Last year, she had to cancel her annual trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and her summer Mexican vacation.

Santos said with the peace of mind the vaccine has given her, she plans to add Santa Fe, New Orleans and some east coast destinations to her travel list.

“I’ve been out and about more than most of my friends,” Santos said. “Most of my friends have really been out and not seen people. They’re depressed.”

Travel advisor Ray Alton with Almeda Travel in Bellaire said he’s noticed an increase in bookings among spring breakers and the more seasoned travelers.

“Our older travels they are interested in going out. They are normally interested in more bucket list trips places like Italy and Tahiti, which are currently closed,” said Alton.

Alton said if you have the travel bug, be sure to spend a little extra for trip insurance in case someone gets sick or needs to cancel. The travel agent also said travelers should be aware of restrictions to and from your destination.

“Right now, we’re just suggesting to stay in Mexico, the Caribbean. They’re very easy to get to and they have plans in place where you can get tested upon arrival and upon exiting,” said Alton.

Travel agents said they’re already booking a large number of cruises for 2022 and 2023.