Vaccinations key to enabling Americans to resume international travel


NEW YORK, NY (CBS Newspath) – The European Union is preparing a plan to reopen to vaccinated Americans and many seniors are ready to go. Travel advisors say the older travelers are among those leading bookings.

Gale and Bob Grossman are frequent travelers. They vacation in places like Italy, Brazil, and Ireland. But international trips were no longer possible when the pandemic hit.

A year later, the senior couple is now vaccinated and eager to start flying abroad again. “As soon as Europe opens up, we’re gone,” says Gale.

“We go to Ireland every year also and Ireland can’t give us an answer when we can get there and we keep postponing that trip as well,” says Bob.

It’s what travel advisor Hillel Spinner keeps seeing among his older clients. “Between February and March, I’ve noticed an increase of about 110%. And the reason for that is they’ve been vaccinated, they feel safe to travel again, the world is their oyster, they’re like where can I go now?” he says.

A recent survey by the American Society of Travel Advisors finds 44% of those polled say being able to travel is the main reason why they’re getting vaccinated. And two-thirds of those surveyed feel the vaccine will enable them to do so.

Jim Moses is the President and CEO of Road Scholar which provides educational travel tours for older adults. He says, “It’s been unbelievable. We’ve seen about a 50% increase in the numbers of people who are enrolling in programs. They’re so excited.”

Alisa Kauffman is in her early 60’s and planning a 60th birthday trip for her husband to Greece. It’s a much needed getaway after losing her mother to COVID in August. “Travel is the only thing that you can buy that makes you richer, and that’s the one thing that my mother taught me,” she says. A lesson she can put to good use now that she’s vaccinated.

The travel agency Embark Beyond is seeing strong bookings in Turkey and Greece this summer.

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