Busy summer travel expected, hotel rates up

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The summer season is fast approaching and if you’re looking to travel, you’ll want to get around quickly as tourism appears to be at pre-pandemic numbers.

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

This summer, he plans to stay.

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

Holiday rentals said they were receiving calls from international travelers and rental numbers were slowly returning to pre-pandemic numbers.

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

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

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

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

If you’re planning to travel, you’ll want to act fast. According to travel website The Points Guyflights are filling up and hotel rates are higher than 2019 figures.

“It’s always going to be a really big summer for domestic travel,” said Melanie Lieberman, global features editor at The Points Guy. “There’s a ton of demand. People are ready to come back there.”

They recommend booking your flight in advance and considering a variety of dates and locations for your vacation.

“The more flexible you can be with your travel plans, the more likely you are to save money,” Lieberman said. “So thinking about, can I fly out or come back a day earlier or a day later? Can I have some flexibility as to where I go? Maybe you care a beach getaway, but you’re going to be looking for a slightly different destination where you’re not competing with the crowds. It’s definitely not going to be an easy time to find a bargain. Travelers looking for a good business should really think about being proactive and flexible.

The number of Transportation Security Administration checkpoints has recently been higher than last year and at times higher than in 2019.

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