Lake Area residents planning summer trips amid updated pandemic restrictions

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 9:43 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As temperatures start heating up, so does summer travel. Some travelers are already planning their vacation destinations, but there are some things you need to keep in mind: bookings and prices are already skyrocketing.

Some are re-booking trips after a year’s delay, while others are having to delay trips even further into the future due to rising prices.

“The problem here in Lake Charles is everybody is ready to go somewhere,” says holiday travel agent Sonny Duplantis.

“We’re going to Guatemala this summer,” says Cameron Witherwax.

“New York and then the UK and then to Los Angeles,” says Timothy McDonald.

“Panama City Beach in a few days, and then after that, my birthday is in July, we plan on going to Miami,” says Dawson Buller.

“Now that the pandemic is just about over with, we had five trips that we had to cancel,” says Ryan Meche. “We canceled one, we canceled the next one, we canceled the next one - it’s time to stop all that.”

Nationwide, people are itching to get out and travel once again after a year of lockdown. The U.S. Travel Association estimates 72% of travelers planning summer trips, up from 37% last year. However, due to the pandemic, certain factors are influencing those wanting to get away to travel.

“It’s very expensive right now. I wish they [prices] would go down,” says Ashleigh Val.

“We’ve seen prices for most of the items pick up,” says Duplantis. “The ones that were very cheap are now coming back, and they’re raising their prices.”

For those wanting to cruise the high seas, you may have to meet certain medical qualifications.

“We’ve got two sets of people here in Lake Charles,” says Duplantis. “Some of the cruise lines want you to have the vaccination, and that’s holding a lot of people back because they didn’t want to get vaccinated. So we’ve got two sets, the ones that did and the ones that did not.”

Local travel agencies are predicting a sense of normalcy could be reached by the start of 2022, but some travelers aren’t wanting to wait.

“I’m trying to go 2021, because I want to go visit my mom’s grave,” says Val. “It’s been a long time, like 6 years since I’ve been up there.”

“We’re ready to get back to it,” says Meche. “Get back to Orange Beach and go sit in the sand for a little while and relax.”

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