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'We all need to work together': Holiday travel expected to be a hassle this year

Plan ahead and be ready for changes in your plans
Best November Travel Days
Best November Travel Days
Posted at 6:30 AM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 09:55:09-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It is October which means it is time to get those holiday trips booked. If you haven't booked yet, travel experts say book as soon as you can as this holiday travel season is expected to be hectic and full of uncertainty.

“You have two years of pent up demand going into the holidays this year," Breton Travel owner and president John Lovell said.

Lovell says he and his staff are busier than ever as they help travelers navigate not only booking, but all of the travel safety requirements like testing and vaccinations.

“Sometimes even if you're vaccinated, you still might have to get a test before the flight after the flight," co-owner of travel site The Vacationer Phillip Dengler said.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport is one of the only airports in the country to offer testing on-site, but the recommendation is that you get that sorted out much earlier than your arrival to the airport.

“It's the first time some folks are going to travel in two, two and a half years, maybe even longer. Everybody's gonna feel like they're kind of new at this again. So we all need to work together to try to have a good holiday season," Gerald R. Ford International Airport director of commercial development Stephen Clark said.

According to Clark, the airport is dealing with their own troubles as airlines continue canceling flights and with the airport still being understaffed, just like numerous other businesses and companies.

He says this holidays season, it's important to expect the unexpected and expect some bumps in the road too. Maybe even take to the roads this year and drive to your destination or get travel insurance, as those flight cancellations are expected to be an issue.

“Thinking out of the box really is kind of what you have to do right now," Lovell said.

According to Dengler with The Vacationer,for Thanksgiving try to book your flight for Monday, November 22nd or Tuesday, November 23rd. However, try to avoid the Sunday after Thanksgiving for your return as airports are expected to be packed that day.

For Christmas, the best day to fly out is any day before December 23rd and the earlier the better. For your return, try to get back December 26th if you can. That's the day right after Christmas and not too many people travel on that day.