SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Summer is right around the corner and amid soaring fuel prices and an increased demand for travel, we wanted to find out how you can make the most out of your fun in the sun.
“If you’ve been on a flight recently, you’ve probably seen they are pretty full. People are more comfortable traveling and…people want to get out,” said travel expert Sarah Dandashy.
With travel restrictions being lifted and anticipation building towards summer 2022, what are the latest travel trends and how can you get the best bang for your buck? We took our questions to Dandashy to find out.
“We are still seeing that pent-up demand for travel is definitely trumping the rise in prices,” Dandashy added.
Dandashy told Western Mass News that while increased fuel prices are not making a big impact on travel plans, it may affect where people vacation and how often they get away.
“We’re seeing a big trend towards staycations or road trips, specifically more so within a three-to-six-hour radius…You can never overlook Boston, always a great, great scene and not too far away,” Dandashy explained.
With people electing to take fewer trips, she said getting off the beaten path, away from beaches and other seasonal hotspots, can help minimize travel times and maximize fun.
“It’s not going to be as expensive and it won’t be as crowded. When it comes to booking flights and or even getting on the road, just be a little creative if you can, if your schedule permits,” Dandashy noted.
Dandashy added that you should always book direct to have the best access to cancellation policies.
“Also, definitely don’t sleep on loyalty rewards programs. Take advantage of those. You could earn or redeem points for future trips,” Dandashy said.
Traveling in larger numbers is all the rage, which can also help you save on hotels and Airbnb rates.
“People are traveling more in groups, be it families and multi-generational travel or as you just mentioned, with a group of friends,” Dandashy said.
So with staycations and day trips on the rise, what are some ways to enjoy a day off in western Massachusetts? Look no further than MGM Springfield, which serves as the only AAA Four Diamond hotel in western Massachusetts.
“Maybe the kids go to grandma and grandpa’s and you come enjoy the hotel, which is gorgeous or bring the family. We have the area’s only rooftop heated pool and hot tub,” said MGM Springfield
A Topgolf suite and bowling are now open for group reservations and the highly-anticipated Free Music Friday series will return in bigger and better fashion beginning in June.
“It’s really a great opportunity for those local artists like Trailer Trash, which is a huge, huge attraction…We also have created a food truck village, of sorts,” Ward added.
Just up the street there’s always fun for the whole family at the Springfield Museums.
“Whether you come for a couple hours in a day or whether you come and travel and spend the day here, there will be something new every time you come,” said Jenny Powers, director of the Springfield Science Museum.
Admission is free for all Springfield residents, which includes access to the fifth anniversary of the opening of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss.
“Every Wednesday is a Seussian themed day with lots of other activities, whether they be art, history, or science every day of the week,” Powers added.
Also, what better way to spend a summer night than by catching a Westfield Starfires game at Billy Bullens Field? The baseball team showcases a roster of college stars.
“They live with host families here within western Massachusetts. They’re great kids…and we really plan on getting them out into the community throughout the spring and summer,” said Chris Thompson, owner and co-founder of the Westfield Starfires.
Their 32-game home schedule is filled with promotions including fireworks, cornhole, and a craft beer festival, in addition to day camps for future sluggers.
“We have opportunities for Little League teams and birthday parties to come out and actually high-five our players in the dugout and be introduced during the starting lineups,” Thompson added.
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