Busy summer travel expected, hotel rates on the rise

BySharita J. Wilson

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Summer season is right around the corner and if you’re looking to travel, you’ll want to move fast as tourism appears to be at pre-pandemic numbers.

“Everyone comes to Florida,” said Mohamed Fareed, who recently relocated to Palm Beach County from Arizona for work. “Everyone comes to Florida to pretty much have fun and enjoy the vacation. It’s the Sunshine State.”

This summer he plans to staycation.

“The beach is five minutes away from here, so you can’t beat it,” said Fareed.

Palm Beach Vacation Rentals said they’re getting calls from international travelers and rental numbers are slowly getting back to pre-pandemic numbers.

“So the summer months, this is really what families are looking for,” said Rick Rose, with Palm Beach Vacation Rentals. “They want pools and beaches, and they want it for the best possible price.”

Rose said the summer months are peak season for northern states, so the Florida market has the best rates.

His 38 vacation properties are starting to book up for the summer.

“There really is a lot to see and do here,” said Rose. “There’s a lot of history here and I miss my hometown, so it’s exciting to participate in really promoting it and sharing that story with visitors.”

If you plan to travel, you’ll want to act fast. According to the travel website The Points Guy, flights are filling up and hotel rates are above 2019 numbers.

“This is still going to be a really big summer for domestic travel,” said Melanie Lieberman, global features editor with The Points Guy. “There is a ton of demand. People are ready to get back out there.”

They recommend booking your flight ahead of time, and to consider a variety of dates and locations when it comes to your vacation.

“The more flexible you can be with your travel plans, the more likely you are to unlock savings,” said Lieberman. “So, thinking about, can I fly out or return a day early or a day late? Can I have some flexibility with where I’m going? Maybe you have your heart set on a beach getaway, but you’re going to look for a slightly different destination where you’re not competing with the crowds. This is definitely not going to be an easy time to find a deal. Travelers looking for a bargain should really think about being proactive and flexible.”

Transportation Security Administration checkpoint numbers have recently been higher than last year and at some points higher than in 2019.