As travel optimism continues to grow amid updated CDC guidelines, vaccine availability and state reopenings, AAA travel counselors are seeing significant interest in car rental bookings ahead of the week. summer travel season. However, travelers keen to hit the road may experience high costs and limited availability due to disruption from the pandemic.
A slowdown in auto sales during the pandemic and now a shortage of semiconductor chips has resulted in a domino effect with auto manufacturing delays and inventory shortages from car rental companies as demand for domestic road travel grows. increases.
AAA travel counselors have also noted another trend where demand for local car rentals is increasing as people don’t think their vehicles are ready for a road trip. As a result, rentals in Kentucky could also be affected.
According to the AAA Leisure Travel Index, average daily car rental rates have doubled, with prices reaching $ 134 per day. But even as the national average has doubled, some destinations are being hit hard with daily prices ranging from $ 250 to $ 600 or more reported at some rental airports across the country.
“Road travel will be the main driver of the travel resumption as summer approaches,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, director of public and government affairs, AAA Blue Grass. “With growing interest in a great United States road trip experience, AAA encourages travelers to plan ahead to ensure lower costs and availability for their trip. “
AAA expects a significant rebound in travel this summer, as evidenced by the results of a survey of Kentuckians that found 62% of those polled are considering or planning to take a trip this summer. Additionally, the survey found that 33% of Kentuckians plan a quick getaway, while 24% plan a longer, more extravagant trip.
The following tips help travelers plan their trip in advance:
• Book early. Lock down any rental car reservations when booking flights, hotels and other initial travel arrangements.
• Work with a travel counselor. They can help you find discounts and research bundled travel options that could make your rental cheaper when combined with other travel costs.
• Plan ahead. Use the free COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map for the latest information to help you plan your trip.
• If possible, stay flexible with your travel dates. Weekly rentals may be cheaper than daily weekend rates. Some rental companies may offer you a refund for unused days if you return the vehicle early.
• Consider off-airport locations, which are often cheaper than renting at the airport. Be sure to inquire about the location’s opening hours in relation to your flight, and factor in the cost of transportation from the rental location to the airport.
• Prepare your vehicle. If you can’t hire a car and need to use your vehicle for the trip, go to a trusted auto repair center for a vehicle maintenance check.
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