Travel agency QCA says numbers still down, hopeful for 2022

MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) — While the AAA predicts travel is up about 34% from last year, local travel companies say they’re still seeing low numbers. Gulliver’s Journey at SouthPark Mall says they only see about 30-40% of their regular travelers.

While many Americans are vaccinated and traveling again, the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19 are getting tired. Julie Neal, director at Gulliver’s Travel, says to those who want to travel, even after the holidays: just be smart about how and where you go.

“We have gained so much knowledge over the past two years, but there is a lot. If we share this knowledge together, it seems like a very good relationship. Flights and airline schedules are a mess, being aware of those and having the travel agent we can track them for you,” says Neal.

“We see hills and valleys [with the pandemic]we hope it’s not a mountain this time.

She also notes to pack not only your bag, face mask, passport and vaccination card, but also your patience, “be a really patient traveler right now. If there is a will there is a path and on the other side there is still a relaxing path, you just have a few more hoops to get there.

Don’t forget to also do your research before traveling or returning home. Some countries, like the United States, for example, may require a negative COVID test and proof of vaccination before you can fly.

The winter months are generally slow, according to Neal. But, she expects 2022 to have higher numbers, especially in Europe.

The TSA expects January 2 and 3 to be the busiest days for post-holiday travel.

Neal says that during the pandemic, she’s seen a variety of travelers at Gulliver’s, multi-generational families, new couples, girls’ nights out and seniors. She says some find it easier to travel and manage the hassle of flying with a travel agent.

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Willie R. Golden