Couple plans post-pandemic getaway; travel agent sees a mix of rebooking and cancellations

Some travelers begin making plans for summer getaways with changes due to COVID-19

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - What are your thoughts about traveling? Can the beach wait or are you eager to make plans for a new adventure?

As the restrictions across the country loosen, travelers are gearing up for a busy summer.

Jay McGee and his fiance Lita Henderson have been staying at home following the rules, but now they’re ready to see what life is like outside their four walls.

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“Just trying to find the best in every situation for everybody, but I guess every cloud has a silver lining,” McGee says.

The silver lining, in this case, comes with beach waves and a cruise ship.

“Some people think we’re crazy and some people are all for it,” McGee says.

Just within the past two weeks, Magee and Henderson decided to plan a quick trip. The couple will be on one of the first cruise ships sailing out of New Orleans in a few months.

“We want to be on the first one because we feel like they’re going to be in their best behavior. The ship will be cleaner than it ever was before,” McGee explains.

This veteran cruiser says he and his fiancee haven’t decided if they will stay on the boat or venture off on a stop.

“I wouldn’t use the word worried, but if they tell us that’s it’s probably not best to do that, we probably won’t. We’re just going to take it as it comes,” McGee says.

That’s the outlook this outbreak has forced frequent travelers to take. Their travel agent, Amy Lytle says her travel agency, House of Travel is heading into its third month of disruption. Lytle says it’s been a mix between passengers canceling and rebooking.

“We have probably lost somewhere between 350-400 passengers either to rescheduling or canceling,” Lytle explains.

That planned trip to the beach gives families something to look forward to. She says some aren’t ready to let go of their plans. That’s also been this agency’s saving grace.

“If anything they’re just kind of adjusting the dates,” she says. “Those that were traveling closer to home, like the Caribbean or Mexico. We’ve got some that are hanging on to their vacations this summer. They’re just kind of doing the waiting game,” Lytle says.

Lytle says she takes a close look at restrictions to make sure her passengers are safe, guiding them through any anxiety. She says in the past week, she has booked nearly 10 passengers for trips in the fall and even into the winter holidays.

As for this couple, they’re ready for their first post-pandemic getaway.

”Just try to look out for yourself and others but don’t let it prevent you from living your life,” McGee says.

Magee and his fiancée say they are packing courtesy masks for the trip.

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