Travel experts say now is the time to start booking your 2023 vacations

Versie Dortch

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The holidays may be over, but those travel pains many people experienced are expected to stick around this year. Travel experts tell WBRC that you need to start booking your trips for the year, now.

“It’s very possible that people will think, ‘well, I have this and now I can go somewhere,” Christen Perry, owner of Classic Travel Connection, said.

Thousands of canceled flights in December could cause an influx of travelers during the spring break and summer travel seasons.

“I would expect spring and summer to be very similar to what we saw the last couple of weeks,” Perry said. “Airports are going to be full, planes are going to be full.”

Perry said her team has been working on getting clients refunds and credits all week after Christmas cancellations. She said 2023 was already set to be a busy travel year, and this could just add even more travelers. Most airline credits expire after one year.

“We still have people traveling in 2023, that couldn’t travel in ‘20 or ‘21, so they have rescheduled, and now you have this funnel of people coming to travel in 2023,” Perry said. “We still have short staff in the airlines, in the restaurants, hospitality industry and hotels. We are seeing all of that, but the demand for travel is still way up.”

Perry said if you’re traveling this year, cancellations and delays may be unavoidable, but planning ahead and packing light can help. She said hiring a skilled travel advisor can also help you navigate flight hiccups and airline customer service.

“You have to think ahead and think what you are going to do if this and what can you do to prepare ahead of time to prevent,” Perry said. “If you can at all help it, do not check luggage, pack carry-ons only. If you do have to check a bag, get a good carry on suitcase, learn to roll your clothes and get packing cubes and then you don’t have to worry about lost luggage.”

She also suggested buying an air-tag or a tracking device and adding it into your luggage.

“Maybe the airline won’t know where your luggage is for four days, but at least you’ll know where it is and a lot of times you can tell them,” she said.

Perry said you also need to plan for flight and hotel prices to be high and airport security lines to be long this year. She said another way you can avoid travel hiccups is by getting services like Clear or TSA pre-check, to help you skip some of the line at security.

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