Can we just skip the rest of 2020? What a start to the decade!
These last few months have been hard in so many respects for so many in so many ways – economically, physically, emotionally. Odds are, you’ve had to cancel travel plans due to the necessary pandemic shut down.
We are all hurting and struggling with uncertainties at the moment. (As a side note – Pema Chodron’s book Comfortable with Uncertainty has helped me during other uncertain times.)
We will not be returning to “normal.” We will create and adapt to the next normal – including and especially in the travel industry.
As part of this next normal I was thrilled to see that the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) is working with governments, health experts and other industry associations to set forth effective safety protocols & tool kits for implementation to ensure that travelers are and feel safe. As new information becomes available about COVID-19, from the WHO and CDC, these protocols are updated.
In early June 2020, the WTTC began to certify hotels, cruise lines, tour operators that adhere to consistent health and safety standards. The specially designed stamp allows travelers to see who has adopted these health and hygiene global standardized protocols.
As the travel sector adopts common standards to ensure the safety of its workforce and travelers, we can shift to reopening and rebooking securely and safely. When certified, these travel destinations get world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp.
As the entire industry works to create the next normal for travel, the primary goals remain
a secure, seamless trip that provides authentic and meaningful experiences,
brings the world together, and
keeps us all well and safe.
I know, you know how to travel. You can book a flight or a hotel and pack a perfect carry on. But I’m here to extend your dollars and save you time. As an expert, I am a perfect matchmaker. I have an extensive Rolodex of contacts through a my membership with The Gifted Travel Network, a Virtuoso Member Agency.
I spend time nurturing those relationships so that I can connect you with the perfect experiences and opportunities for you. Whether you are seeking solace and rest, adventure and perspective, a new beginning or to see the sites while staying healthy, I’ve got you covered.
With varying openings and infection rates, you likely wonder when it makes sense too book any future travel, and even if you should or if it’s still too soon.
You may be shocked to hear this, but now is the perfect time to plan your vacation and escape for 2021.
Here are five reasons why ::
1 | It’s less risky than you think
Travel insurance is changing, and now even more necessary to protect your travel dollars. They are being more clear about exclusions, so you can make an informed decision. They are evaluating travel suppliers for solvency too – covering some and not others. Things that have always been covered (such as baggage loss, missed flights, interruptions, delays, etc) often still are. Some are still offering cancellation and medical benefits related to the virus on new policies purchased.
2 | Demand will be high and supply low
When I called to get an appointment for my hair, I discovered I had to wait nearly a month. Due to the new health precautions, the availability was diminished greatly and the list of those wanted to get in was long. It’s already the same in the world of travel.
Changes in health policies mean hotels and resorts can accommodate fewer guests. A colleague had clients traveling to Africa for a safari in May 2021, and he couldn’t get the dates his clients wanted because the resort was already booked. All the trips that were to be happening this past spring and this summer were mostly postponed and not cancelled. And postponed into 2021.
There will be a bottle neck of pent up demand, so plan soon.
3 | Reservations are super flexible
Those in the travel industry understand that it’s impossible to commit to anything right now. But reservation policies are more flexible and more consumer friendly than they’ve ever been.
A travel advisor (like moi!) can help guide you through this new landscape through the phased re-openings and updated booking policies as well as health procedures.
5 | Your investment can help struggling communities
Travel contributed $8.8 trillion to the global economy in 2018 and was responsible for 10.4 percent of all economic activity. With travel halted, many communities and countries are hurting. Thailand, Mexico, Spain and Italy, rely on tourism for the health of their economies.
The United States benefits the most – by far – from tourism, followed by Spain and France.
So even domestic travel, which is all many of us will even be considering for the time being, would be helpful to communities who need it.
I loved this quote from The Washington Post:
“Don’t ask me if I miss the Americans. I’d go pick them up on a boat if I could,” said Claudio Gargioli, the owner of Armando al Pantheon, a well-known Roman restaurant where tourists book tables weeks in advance. Gargioli said 50 percent of his customers were typically American.
These infographics compiled by Foreign Policy speak volumes :: The Tourism Industry Is in Trouble. These Countries Will Suffer the Most.
The economic pain is real so to the extent we can postpone from 2020 and plan for 2021, we can offer hope to communities around the globe.
4 | It’ll make you happy
So much of 2020 has been cancelled, literally. Funerals, vacations, graduations. The news is full of anguish and anxiety.
While the post-pandemic travel landscape is still not mapped, we can still dream and create something to look forward to. Much of the fun of travel is the anticipation and all we do to learn about the places we plan to visit! Planning a trip – dreaming about it, talking about it, preparing for it, can help us look forward with optimism and hope.
The study, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.
More from that New York Times report here How Vacations Affect Your Happiness
And National Geographic reported the same thing. Here’s why planning a trip can help your mental health.
A 2014 Cornell University study delved into how the anticipation of an experience (like a trip) can increase a person’s happiness substantially—much more so than the anticipation of buying material goods. An earlier study, published by the University of Surrey in 2002, found that people are at their happiest when they have a vacation planned.
So let’s start with a conversation about your travel dreams and boost your happiness. We can create a bucket list of destinations and experiences and start the process of manifesting your desires.