Vacation Rush: Travel Agencies Urge Chicagoans to ‘Book Now'

As countries reopen to vaccinated travelers, finding reservations may be difficult.

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With vaccinations well underway and news that European countries may be open for vaccinated travelers by summer, Chicago travel agencies are the busiest they’ve been in a year.

Lynn Farrell, president of Windy City Travel, says business is up an estimated 40% just within the last month.

“We’ve got files of people going to Europe,” Farrell said. “What we’ve done is created scenarios for them that if we needed to pivot, we could pivot.”

Farrell says top destinations include Hawaii, Montana, Greece, Croatia and Mexico.

Much of the surge comes as vaccinated travelers begin to “return to normal” or catch up on travel plans canceled in 2020.

In fact, demand for travel is so high that many destinations are reporting a rental car shortage. If you can find a rental car, be prepared to shell out more money than expected.

“They have over 4,000 people arriving in Maui on a daily basis. There’s not that many cars,” Farrell said.

Sunset Travel and Cruise agency, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, still cautions travelers to purchase insurance for their trips.

Even though some destinations are reopening, others are facing new waves of COVID-19 cases.

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