JACKSONVILLE, Fla — When it finally felt like a good time to travel more worry-free, gas prices spiked and Russia invaded Ukraine.
First Coast News is on your side with what experts advise for your Spring Break and summer travel plans. Whether you're changing them may depend on whether you're flying or driving.
"Gas prices going up was part of you cutting your trip shorter?" First Coast News asked Branden Sweeper.
"Yes," he replied. "Yes."
First Coast News caught up with Sweeper under one of those signs that now make you cringe: a gas station price per gallon sign. He still had hours to drive back to South Carolina. He won't be hitting the road as much this summer.
"It was supposed to be a longer trip, but I'm kind of gauging my activities to kind of make sure I'm not spending more money on gas than I need to be spending," he said.
In an office in Downtown Jacksonville, stories above the road, owner and CEO of TripVax Corporation Kamen Blackwell says, so far gas prices aren't keeping people out of the sky.
"A lot of places in the Caribbean, like Jamaica, are actually pretty much sold out all the way through about July," Blackwell said.
Blackwell's company's gone from booking plans for travel nurses during pandemic surges to getting clients' families out of Ukraine.
"We're using Google Maps to see, 'Okay, what road is that person on? Okay, tell them to head this way, and get to Warsaw' and things like that," he said.
When it comes to the opposite of this with a summer vacation, Blackwell says travel insurance may be required depending on where you go.
"Things are super busy," said Blackwell. "So if you have any plans on traveling for this year, book it now."
Here's are some tips from Blackwell:
- Determine your budget before booking your trip
- Use a travel agent to avoid stress over requirements for different countries
- Get travel insurance
- Book your trip now
You may want to check this out, this list of travel advisories from the state department.