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'Things have been easing up': Central Georgians looking to travel again as COVID-19 vaccine arrives

AAA says, nationally, they are seeing more people book trips for 2022 and further out for 2023.

BONAIRE, Ga. — The travel industry is starting to pick back up again as vaccines roll out.

Cruise lines still aren't an option, but families are scheduling Disney trips and beach vacations.

One Bonaire woman recently left Central Georgia for a quick weekend getaway and spoke about her experience.

Telisa Asaro of Houston County had to cancel one trip to Thailand and another to Italy last year due to the pandemic, but just recently, she flew to Chicago for an art show.

"Since things have been easing up a little bit, I tried to find places that were just open to get away to," said Asaro.

Asaro says with flight prices being so low, it's just an even bigger incentive to get out. That's why she started researching what she can do.

Asaro said, "When I do research on where I want to stay, I also look at the COVID protocol -- you know, what are they doing? I want to make sure I am safe."

Pickles Vacation travel advisor Brittany Lister says Asaro isn't the only one weighing their options.

"It's crazy the amount of inquiries just wondering if it's safe to go here," Lister said. "A lot of people are wondering, 'Are they doing extra cleaning? Is the property empty for a certain amount of hours before the client goes?'"

Even so, Lister says her vacation rental bookings have tripled since last year.

"A lot of the houses I am booking are 6-8 bedrooms," said Lister. "They can accommodate grandma and grandpa, and aunts and uncles, and multigenerational families that haven't been able to get together in a year, and they feel better knowing grandma and grandpa are vaccinated."

AAA spokesperson Garret Townsend also says, nationally, they are seeing more people book trips for 2022 and further out for 2023.

"People are thinking further out ahead as consumer confidence begins to grow," said Townsend.

Still, there is always a risk when traveling. Lister says some properties will still charge you to cancel even if you do get sick with COVID-19.

AAA says most people are traveling domestically with national parks out west among the most popular destinations.

According to TSA, 2021 air travel is about half of what it was a year ago -- about 1 million a day compared to about 2 million last year.

However, it's inching upward. Thursday was the biggest travel day since the Sunday after New Year's Day.