I don’t know about you, but with everything in lockdown right now, I cannot stop dreaming about my next actual vacation. I have had several canceled due to the pandemic, so here are things I am keeping in mind as I make plans to get away once we get the all-clear.
1) Buy Travel Insurance
I always suggest this to my clients, but with all the new uncertainties that have come up in the last few months, I hope people will think about their health and safety when making a final decision on which policy is best for them.
2) Purpose of the trip
Most people would plan their trips based on the total cost. I think this will be very important now, but in a slightly different way. People often talk about all the places they hope to visit in their lifetime. I hope that this sudden stop has made people realize that nothing is guaranteed. If you want to create memories, do it! Some destinations have better travel seasons, but a trip does not need only to be taken for a special celebration. Let the journey be the celebration and enjoy every aspect of it. Visit a new location for the value it will add to your life, not just to say you have been there and took a picture. When you return home from your vacation, you should feel different. Perhaps you feel more inspired, motivated, or relaxed; at the very least, you should see your “new normal” with a different perspective. If you are someone that says they need a vacation from their vacation, you aren’t doing it right.
3) Remote and Private
Destinations that are off the beaten path and not open to thousands of people are going to be on the top of people’s travel lists. Hiring a private guide to take you around a city before or after the peak times of the day is going to be something to consider as part of your travel budget. Making sure you have reservations for meals or visiting a destination in which meals come to you are things to keep in mind.
As a travel advisor, I like the phrase, “I make suggestions, and you make decisions.” We do not have any firm new guidelines about traveling in the future, but here are some things to think about before departing on your next trip.
1) Do you have any symptoms of an illness? Everyone knows what is normal for them. With spring on its way, a lot of people are affected by allergies or changing weather. You need to monitor your health changes. If you are indeed sick, travel insurance policies can help cover your trip so that you can rebook it for when you are feeling better.
2) Plan to do some cleaning. I am sure by now, you have gotten into a new cleaning routine when going to a store or coming home from an errand. Continue this new cleaning routine when you do return to traveling. With the shortage of masks, gloves, and sanitation wipes, I do not expect to get these items when I enter the airport or step onto an airplane. I will be bringing my own to wipe down my seat, seatbelt, and tray table. The same is true when I enter a hotel room. I have gotten emails from every restaurant, store, and business that I visit telling me about their new cleaning policies. I am glad they increased their level of cleaning, but I know I need to be proactive in keeping myself healthy when they reopen.
3) Stay in your comfort level.
I know we hear the message to push ourselves and be daring or courageous. But for the time being, I feel it should be a personal choice for what we are comfortable doing. There are great resorts that are within driving distance of Atlanta. Some of these places have separate cabins for guests and will allow people to leave their home and not be with a crowd.
Wherever and whenever you are looking to go next, you will want to book early, as demand for later in 2020 and for 2021 is high, and space on smaller tours and in remote places is limited. With such uncertainty and farther afield destinations, it helps to have excellent partners on the ground to provide real-time updates to keep travelers safe and happy. When you are ready, I am here for you.