By Marie Saavedra

CHICAGO (CBS) — A lot of people are holding off when it comes to vacations.

But for how long?

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CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra has more on travel trends as spring break approaches.

It’s first worth saying that people are traveling. Numbers from the TSA showed the number of people going through security is about half of last year. Still, that’s 50%.

What we wanted to know: If the beginning of vaccinations meant the beginning of people planning big travel for later this year, it seems neither the shots nor the bookings are happening quickly.

“Yeah, we definitely had to cancel a few trips at the beginning of COVID when it happened.”

Lily Wahman is a Chicago insurance broker by day, travel blogger by night. And her photos will definitely feed your wanderlust. Remote work has made it possible for her and her husband to keep booking trips.

“Once things kind of settled down and we realized there were countries allowing Americans back in, that put it back on the table for us,” Wahman said.

 

They feel comfortable with their precautions while traveling internationally, but they know others might not be.

“There are people that are traveling, but not at the levels that they would have been or should have been.”

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Giselle Sanchez is with Mena Tours and Travel. CBS 2 asked for her snapshot of what travelers are asking for, nearly a year into this pandemic.

“We’re getting a lot of inquiries about domestic travel. Hawaii has picked up enormously,” Sanchez said. “We have also continued to have requests for the beach towns in Mexico and the Caribbean.”

But the hurdles remain. Even though vaccinations have started, Sanchez said she’s not seeing a rush of bookings for future travel later this year. A new AAA survey done last month shows 67% of Illinoisans are uncomfortable traveling, citing worries over new strains of the virus, fears of getting sick, and the number of cases.

The CDC’s new requirement of a negative COVID test before returning to the states has slowed Sanchez’s bookings to a crawl.

” I think people are just waiting for the cases to go down,” Sanchez said. “I think people are waiting for the government to say you can go.”

For many it’s worth staying home a little longer, and not navigate the changing rules and what-ifs. Still, in her travel community, Wahman’s hearing hope for the more immediate future.

“I do think that people are still optimistically trying to play things for the second half of 2021,” Wahman said.

When the excitement for a big trip could outweigh the worries.

You may be one of those Illinoisans who doesn’t feel comfortable traveling by air, but AAA also said 78% of us do feel comfortable driving on a trip. We looked at Airbnb’s research too. It shows local getaways within a couple hundred miles are still the biggest draw.

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Marie Saavedra