Vacation Destinations: Make Your Summer Travel Plans Now

By Elaine Marze

fter two years of Covid restrictions that devastated the travel industry the public is ready to hit the roads, air, and oceans again. This is great news for travel agencies that are busy booking vacations for excited would-be travelers. Louisiana is fortunate to be surrounded by states with popular vacation sites. Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, are favorite getaway options. Beach lovers can choose sand and surf in Alabama and Florida, while nature and physical fitness lovers can exert themselves hiking and canoeing in Arkansas. Another option that is currently making a resurgence in popularity is cruises.

Linda Haydel, agent for GlobeTrek Travel in Shreveport, says business has increased tremendously. Some of the more popular destination sites recently include cruises to the Mediterranean and Alaska, she said. Caribbean cruises are especially popular because travelers can leave from New Orleans and save airfare. Disney World and Hawaii are also popular destinations.  If you are considering traveling, Haydel cautions that vaccines are still required for most air and sea travel at this time.


Another option is to go online and book your own travel arrangements and itineraries. You can also get excellent rates going directly through the cruise companies. Norwegian Cruise Line is currently advertising a special package on Western Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises that features 70 percent off second guest and free open bar, free specialty dining, free excursions, and airfare for a second guest.


In addition to 24-hour food service, cruises offer music, variety shows, casinos, contests, and activities that will keep children, teens and adults content. For those who don’t like the thought of floating around in a big ocean, there are riverboat cruises as well as ocean-going cruises. Riverboat tours usually have plantation excursions, and there are noticeably fewer people on the smaller paddle riverboats which suits some travelers just fine.


For families with children, there are special destinations for them as well. Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas has everything kids could want. The elaborate indoor water park also has a fantasy lodge with specialty shops, restaurants, and story times. For older children, teens, and adults who are young at heart, Wolf Pen Gap in Mena, Ark., is an off-roader’s dream. Just three hours from Shreveport, there are cabins right on the river, various lodges and campgrounds near the trail system built specifically for four-wheelers/ATVs in the Ouachita National Forest.


Whatever your vacation plans this summer, be prepared for higher costs for gas, air fare and hotel rooms. It’s worth the extra cost for many just to have the joy of taking a vacation again.