Tips for planning your summer vacation travel

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- As the country begins to reopen, many may be thinking about taking a long-awaited vacation this summer.

Down the shore, house rentals are going fast.

If you want to take to the skies 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has everything you need to know before you book.

According to search engine Hopper's latest data, flight searches for mid-summer travel, that's mid-July to mid-August, have been up 100% over the past two weeks alone.

That's why now's a great time to lock in flexible offers and great airfare deals before prices rise as travel demand increases.

Take advantage of low prices now, before they rise average domestic prices for summer travel now is around $261 round-trip. Increasing an average of 6% per month starting at the end of March.

If you're nervous about booking this early and plans possibly changing, take advantage of trip protection options, like refundable tickets or flexible dates.

Some give travelers the option to change the date, time, and even airline of their flight for any reason up to 24 hours prior to departure

Lock in great deals now, and book later. Everything is uncertain now, so look for deals like Hopper's Price Freeze where you can hold a flight or hotel price and book later, so you don't miss out on the low offers now. You could save up $200 per ticket.

Consider a staycation. Many nearby hotels are offering geo-fenced rates and special promotions for nearby residents.

Be sure to check out local vacation spots for reduced rates and travel options closer to home if you want to venture out but stay domestic. Salt Lake City, Phoenix and San Diego are trending for outdoor adventure opportunities.

The big takeaway is that it's more important than ever to research before you book. With COVID testing protocols in place, make sure you understand travel guidelines before choosing a destination. Have a plan to meet those requirements.

Carefully review refund policies for every step of your trip, flight, hotel, rental cars, and excursions.

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