Longtime travel agent sees return of happy faces

Bill Kirby Jr.

Travel agent Dawn Gibson has been manager of the AAA Travel Agency on Red Tip Road for 37 years.

People have pretty much been in lockdown for the better part of the past two years because of the COVID-19 health pandemic.


They’ve been cooped up at home.


“Everybody’s been like that,” says Dawn Gibson, who can tell you all about how much people like to travel.


She’s been manager of the AAA Travel Agency on Red Tip Road for 37 years.


With the pandemic subsiding, people are itching to travel and see family and friends or to visit their favorite destination.


“It’s something that people enjoy doing,” Gibson says, “and they haven’t been able to do that.”


Now, they’re getting out and making travel plans, Gibson says, going just about everywhere “compared to two years ago.”


You can’t blame them.


After all, there are only so many “Friends” reruns you can watch on television. Only so many board games you can play. And only so many closets you can clean out and send your old clothes and shoes to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Fayetteville Urban Ministry or Myrover-Reese Thrift Store.


Take it from Popeye the Sailor Man.


“That’s all I can stands,” the cartoon character says. “I can’t stands it no more.”


Gibson says cruises are popular.


“We’re booking cruises to Florida, Alaska, New England, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada,” she says. “And some people are doing European travel to Italy and the Mediterranean. And some people are going out west to the canyons and the national parks.”


There also are river cruises.


Anything to get away.


And you need not ask.


“They’re doing Las Vegas,” Gibson says.


Closer to home, she says, the mountains are a destination.


“They’re going to the mountains in Asheville, Boone and Gatlinburg,” Gibson says. “And the beaches.”


Gibson says she and her staff at AAA Travel Agency are seeing many smiling faces these days.


“Everybody is excited about travel,” she says. “Everybody is happy when they come in.”
Bon voyage.