What you need to know before traveling during the pandemic (includes video story)

As more vaccines become available in the United States, more Americans are expected to travel. But as the risk of a COVID-19 surge continues to loom, the Centers for Disease Control recommends avoiding non-essential trips.

If you do decide to leave home, AAA’s Jeanette McGee said to ask questions about your trip before booking. “If you’re planning vacations that are at a hotel and are excited to use the pool, the pool may or may not be open. Hotel restaurants may or may not be open as well as health facilities.”

Hotels may also have new protocols like virtual check-in and, if flying, you might have to check with your airline to see if they are still offering their usual amenities through the pandemic.

AAA said road trips are popular over the spring and summer, and they don’t expect this year to be any different. But they do warn that gas prices are climbing and may continue to do so through the summer.

McGee said travel agents can alleviate any stress that comes from booking through a pandemic. “They can help you navigate travel insurance if those are options for you,” she said. “They can help you understand what’s open and what’s not, both domestically and internationally.”

Helen Acevedo is an FIU student majoring in broadcast media with a minor in political science and international relations. She is passionate about giving people a platform to tell their truths.