Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Forces Some Travelers To Rethink Summer Vacation

Friday, June 18th 2010, 10:18 pm
By: News On 6

By Nicole Wiseman, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is forcing many to reconsider their summer travel plans. Some vacationers are canceling trips, and others are switching destinations. 

But depending on where you're going, it's possible your plans will still go off without a hitch.

It's estimated tens of millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since the drilling rig explosion in April.

The spill has caused problems in Northwest Florida, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, and Grand Isle, Louisiana.

"We've had a lot of questions with our customers and people calling in, kinda wanting to know what the latest is and how it's going to impact their travel," said Greg Spears of Spears Travel in Tulsa.

Spears says he hasn't seen travel slowing down because of the spill, but says many are changing destinations.

"Either they're already booked and want to reschedule to another location, or just in the process of looking at other destinations, kind of switching gears a little bit," Spears said.

Spears says if travelers are worried and have flexibility with their plans, then perhaps switching destinations is right for them. However, he cautions vacationers not to jump to conclusions.

"They hear gulf shore or gulf coast and they're thinking the whole gulf area is impacted by this, which is certainly not the case," said Spears. "I just had a customer that's in Destin right now and said the beaches are great, the only oil is on the sun tanners."

So if you're traveling this summer, agents say your best bet to a perfect summer getaway is staying well informed.

"You need to look at when you're going and what your expectations are and kind of monitor it closely," Spears said.

A number of websites are offering information on the oil spill, which should help you while making travel arrangements. They are listed to the right of this story.

6/18/2010  Related Story: Oklahomans Concerned About BP Oil Cleanup