Polar Vortex Equals Big Business for Travel Agencies

WILLIAMSPORT — Cabin fever seems to have gotten the best of us here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. Travel agents say all this cold weather has prompted many people to book vacations to tropical destinations.

The phones are ringing a lot these days at World Travel International, in the Williamsport Regional Airport.

“We’ve been working six days a week, a lot of hours,” Julie Johnston-McManus said.

Travel manager Julie Johnston-McManus says winter is typically their busy season, and the recent cold snap is bringing in spontaneous travelers!

“They’re taking vacations they may not have taken if the weather had been more cooperative. They’re booking a lot of last-minute vacations, where can you get me out of here in ten days,” Johnston-McManus said.

Johnston-McManus says cruise ships are popular as well as all-inclusive vacations. People want to go anywhere that’s warm.

“Our most popular destinations have been Punta Cana, Jamaica, or Cancun Riviera-Maya, Aruba, St. Lucia,” Johnston-McManus said.

Even though none of these people here at the Williamsport Regional Airport are headed to the tropics, many of them are traveling down south. They say they are excited to get out of this cold weather.

“The last week since it’s been really cold here I’ve been really looking forward to it. It will be nice. A nice change of pace,” Michael Beckman said.

Michael Beckman and his wife are going to Fort Myers, Florida to visit their son.

“So how warm is it supposed to be there? I think 81,” Beckman said.

Zach Lomison is a marine stationed in Georgia. He is heading back down south after visiting family in Williamsport.

“It’s always hard to leave but it’s going to be warmer,” Lomison said.

If you are looking to replace the snow and ice with some sand, the agency says there are still some last-minute travel deals to be had.

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