As travel begins to resume with restrictions lifting not just in the U.S., but also internationally, what should you know before hitting the road or booking your next flight?
NBC Chicago Today's Matt Rodrigues sat down with the Travel Mom's Emily Kaufman to get some of her best advice for pricing, destinations and insider tips.
Here's a look at what she had to say:
Before we get into this, you always have to make us jealous. Where are you?
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I am at the Atlantis Bahamas on Paradise Island... it's a daunting task to travel, but somebody's got to do it.
What are the rules for traveling right now?
The rules are so varied depending on the location. One of the reasons I feel very comfortable in the Caribbean, is they have a commitment to these safe and clean and healthy protocols.
If you're wondering about the rules, what should you do in that case? If you're traveling domestically it can vary, right?
It can vary by state, it can vary by country, and the best free resource you can turn to to learn information about what's going on is the visitor and convention website for that particular destination.
Is now the time to get good deals and flights? We've heard prices are going up on flights and hotels.
Well, you've heard correctly. It's all about supply and demand when it comes to air travel and the prices are still lower than they were a year ago, two years ago at this time, but the demand is coming back. So if you want to purchase now, purchase now, but also be mindful. Everybody thinks these cancellation policies mean you can just simply change your mind and get your money back. Every airline is different. Read the fine print, make sure you know that you're making a purchase that may or may not be refundable.
What do you think about rental cars? I'm throwing this in there because I've heard there's been a real shortage of rental cars and prices are astronomical. Do you have any tips on that?
My recommendation is if you're renting a car join the loyalty program, so you can skip the long line and go right out to the kiosk where you can get your car and go.
What other spots are people thinking about going to right now?
Well, there's a big interest of course in Florida and Orlando, people are flocking to those places as well. What they're doing with the theme parks that I want to make sure everybody who's considering a visit to Orlando understands [is] that they've got capacity control so they're limiting the number of people that can go into the theme parks. So you've got to make your reservations ahead of time. You don't want to be disappointed and show up there and not be able to get into the theme park.