People are finally getting back to travel which is awesome. On the other hand, you may have heard that there are shortages in car rentals, hotels and even restaurants – which is decidedly not awesome.
What’s a traveler to do? Don’t despair. We’ve got some great workarounds to deal with this phenomenon, and help you enjoy your long-awaited vacation.
The Rental Car Shortage – Is it Real?
It all depends on where you’re headed. Some cities are really feeling the crunch, while you might find other locales don’t have bad shortages at all. If you do draw the short stick, there are a few tactics that can help.
All signs point to summer 2021 being a busy one for domestic travel. The longer you wait to book a car, the higher the price will be and the better chance there will be that the rental companies will be sold out. If you buy early you can lock in your price and avoid getting shut out.
Venture Out from Airport Locations
It can also be prudent to look further afield than the airport rental car counters. Neighborhood locations often have more inventory and better prices. Sure you might have to Lyft to the location, but the trade off can actually save you some cash.
Skip the Car
These days, in most destinations, you can get by with a ridesharing service or even using public transportation. What we’re saying here is that the lack of a rental car should not derail your vacation plans. If you choose to forgo the car, consider booking a hotel near public transport and save yourself parking fees as well!
Staffing Shortages at Hotels
The hospitality industry is struggling to staff back up after COVID-19, which could mean some disruptions in service for travelers in upcoming months. How can you avoid this icky problem?
Do Your Research
Planning is going to be key for the rest of the year. Make sure you call ahead to the hotel where you plan to stay and get the lay of the land. Are the facilities all going to be open? Will hours of operation be regular or limited at restaurants, pool, fitness center? If you’re the kind of person who likes to have their room completely cleaned each day, is that service going to be available?
A lot of the service shortages that you’ll likely see may have been implemented because of COVID-19 safety protocols. Now they may be lingering because of staffing concerns. Just knowing what the situation will be can help you adjust your expectations.
Longer Waits at Restaurants?
For the short term, this is likely. Again, restaurants are in the process of staffing back up after a devastating year. We think its important to support small businesses and restaurants in recovery, and we’re suggesting a couple of workarounds to help your group deal with longer waits.
Go at Off-Peak Hours
We highly recommend dining at that fabulous place for lunch instead of dinner or early instead of 7pm. Peak dining hours will likely be even more of a madhouse than usual, and you can avoid an extended wait just by going a little on the early side.
Lean on Your Concierge
The trend has certainly been for people to go it alone in recent years, but if your property has a concierge now is a great time to leverage their help. They can point you to restaurants where they may have developed a relationship and help you jump the queue to avoid any hassle.
For the short-ish term, we can all expect some shortages and service disruptions when traveling. Practice patience to avoid frustration and use some of our tips to help you get back to travel in 2021.