GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Vickie LaGarone spends a lot of time these days checking the CDC’s website for her clients. She is the founder and CEO of Genuine Vacation, a family-owned travel company in Grand Rapids. LaGrone is so on the website that she said she knows it “back and forth,” and that’s a good sign of things to come. “Business was slow there when the pandemic first hit, but now business is starting to pick up for the third quarter and beyond,” LaGrone said in an interview with Zoom last week. “I think once this is all over things will bounce back and travel will resume for sure.” She said more and more people are booking trips for the summer and fall terms. Travelers are also planning spring vacations and people are flying everywhere. “A lot of people are going to the Caribbean, Mexico , in Aruba. But some islands are starting to close their borders, which is a bit sad to say, “said LaGrone.” A lot of them are starting to close, especially St. Martin and the Grenadines. They won’t let us not going there yet. “So, given that a pandemic is still ongoing, she suggested anyone traveling this year to always check your destination’s COVID protocols. She said they were changing. every day, even in the United States. “On January 26, the United States implemented a negative COVID test for international travelers 72 hours before return,” she said. LaGrone also recommended to take out travel insurance, which can cover “J ‘was myself in the San Francisco area, north of there, with my husband a few years ago, and ended up with a blood clot and ended up in the hospital this weekend, ” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel products and services for AAA. “I had $ 60,000 in bills before you could blink, and my travel insurance paid for all my expenses.” Haas said these are the types of things AAA travel agents talk to their customers about. They too are seeing an increase in travel plans this year and think purchasing travel insurance is a must. “There are many reasons you might have to cancel your trip that go far beyond COVID. So let’s just say that a loved one in your family gets very sick themselves and you can’t go on vacation, ”Haas said in an interview with Zoom last week. “Travel insurance covers those kinds of things, or if you are traveling and need medical assistance, counseling, or transportation, travel insurance can help.” Haas said AAA travel agents were answering all kinds of questions. “We even work with preferred travel providers who will be doing tours, and these people are going ahead and making sure we choose venues that meet all safety guidelines,” Haas said. “So that you can really sit back and enjoy and relax on your vacation.” That’s the goal, Haas said. She, like LaGrone, believes the industry will rebound once people travel more. So, she suggested reserving your plans now. “If there’s something on your wish list, go ahead and make a reservation,” she says. “You may find that if you wait until the last minute you won’t have the choice you want or even wait until later in the spring as more and more people lock in the big ones. destinations. If it’s something that has limited capacity, you want your reservation to be on the books. »Follow FOX 17: Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – YouTube.