New Year’s travel plans decline

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 27, 1999

Not only will most people make it home for Christmas, they’ll also stay there for New Year’s Eve.

Monday, December 27, 1999

Not only will most people make it home for Christmas, they’ll also stay there for New Year’s Eve.

Email newsletter signup

Despite the hype, or maybe because of it, not a lot of people will be on the roads or in the air Dec. 31, said Bridget Johnson, travel agent with American Dream Travel.

"A lot of people will be staying home because of the 2000 scare," Mrs. Johnson said. "The clocks turning over to a new millennium – no one really knows what God has in store for the millennium. A lot of people want to stay at home or go to church services."

Everyone wants to wait and see when it comes to the possibility of a Y2K problem, Mrs. Johnson added.

"Everything’s computerized today," she said. "Airplanes run by computers. Credit card transactions, water, electricity – they are all connected to computers. Anything you use today could fail. It’s scary."

Beyond the computer threat, more religious-minded folks might think the end of the world is near and want to be close to friends and family, Mrs. Johnson said.

"I’d just like to be home because this is the sixth year of the Bible," she said. "The Lord created the Earth in six days and the seventh day he rested. In the bible 1,000 years equals a day. It will be 6,000 years since the Earth was formed by our calendar and on the seventh day the Lord rested. People think this may be the end of the world as we know it and God will take his Christians home and that’s when the turmoil will start."

Because of all this, New Year’s Eve vacation packages – once priced high – have decreased dramatically in price. And anyone willing to take a chance this holiday season could get a dream vacation at an unbelievable price, Mrs. Johnson added.

"Flights were still available as of last week and the price is not as outrageous as you might think," she said. "Some lower-class seats are still available."

And there’s still time left to book a cruise, one of the most sought-after vacation packages, Mrs. Johnson said.

"Cruises are offering a lot," she said. "Lots of parties and a lot of big name entertainers are going on cruises. We still have availability. It’s not too late."

Even with the lower prices, Mrs. Johnson doesn’t expect to sell many more vacation packages.

"There’s not a whole lot going on right now, especially with our plant closing down," she said.

Unfortunately, it might be too late to get a refund if tickets were already purchased for holiday travel. Most insurance policies require a 45-day notice, Mrs. Johnson said.

"We weren’t affected, because none of our bookings were with Ironton Iron or Cabletron employees," she said. "But I do feel for those who might have wanted to do something."

Those who do need to travel the highways this holiday season might want to avoid lane restrictions in Waverly in Pike County, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation Southern Ohio Travel Report.

Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on U.S. 23 north and south of downtown Waverly in connection with the project to reconstruct the pavement and to construct three sets of bridges.

Traffic is maintained in one lane in each direction in the southbound lanes. Delays are possible.

Alternate routes include Ohio 32 and U.S. 35.

For information on additional lane and road closures caused by construction, accidents, flooding or other related traffic events, motorists can visit the Ohio Transportation Information System on ODOT’s Web site at