Travel. Is. Back.
With countries relaxing their COVID-19 policies – including the US dropping its testing requirement for travelers in June – travelers are returning to beloved favorites and exploring new places around the globe.
Yes, there have been a few hiccups: Airlines are still playing catch up with the surging demand for travel, and the last few months of canceled flights, lost baggage, and airport headaches prove it. The US Department of Transportation introduced new regulations for the airline industry. Plus, the US Transportation Department launched an Aviation Consumer Protection page to provide information on passenger rights and an easy one-stop place to file complaints.
In Europe, some major airports, including London’s Heathrow and Amsterdam’s Schiphol, even asked airlines to pause selling peak summertime flights.
“If it felt like everyone you knew was in Italy or Greece or France this year, it’s because they were,” said Misty Belles, Virtuoso’s vice president of global public relations, during a panel at Virtuoso Travel Week. The pent-up demand creates quite an explosion of business, so I advise planning as early as possible.
Here’s what a recent Virtuoso survey revealed about travelers ::
- Forty-five percent are ready to travel now or within the next three months,
- Travelers are keen to stay close to home, and
- Head to farther-flung spots such as Italy, Greece, Spain, and Ireland.
With the demand for travel returning fast, packing your patience is vital, and so is using a travel advisor like me to handle your plans. I’m here to help with flight delays, answer questions about travel insurance, connect you with the right contacts for a stress-free experience where you’re going, and recommend off-the-beaten path alternatives if you can’t book your first choice.
Travel demand continues to be high for fall and the holiday season. But unfortunately, with that high demand with limited availability, travelers will still see price increases and less-flexible cancellation policies. So it’s critical to plan your trip with Premier Wellness Travel as we can help you navigate today’s travel landscape. And to secure travel insurance – because you never know.
The Top Five Travel Destinations for Fall
According to Virtuoso booking data, these are the most in-demand destinations for fall travel ::
1 || The US
Staying close to home is still a popular option for many travelers who may be craving travel but not quite ready to jet across the ocean yet. I’ll always love a classic road trip, can’t wait to explore more under-the-radar national parks, and look forward to the start of ski season in destinations such as Park City and Vail.
2 || Italy
European locales have been in demand all summer (they occupied seven of the top ten spots in our most popular summer travel destinations), and the euro being at parity with the US dollar has only enhanced this. But, of course, Italy is a perennial favorite, consistently at the top of Virtuoso’s travel dreams lists for years. Whether you’re hoping to museum-hop in Rome or stroll across Florence’s Ponte Vecchio on a brisk autumn morning, every travel advisor we spoke to told us to make sure to plan for a grand Italian tour – availability is minimal.
3 || Mexico
There’s a lot to love about Mexico, including ::
- Colonial charm in San Miguel de Allende.
- Whale shark season in Baja California.
- New retreats on the Riviera Maya (including the soon-to-open St. Regis Kanai Resort and The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun).
- Oaxaca and Mexico City are among the world’s most exciting culinary scenes.
All this variety is a relatively quick flight away for most North Americans, which makes the country an appealing spot.
4 || France
Earlier in August, France lifted Covid travel restrictions for international travelers, making some of our favorite places more accessible to see again. Fall river cruises down the Seine promise picturesque medieval villages and countless wine-tasting opportunities; I can’t wait to see what is going on in Paris, from new art exhibits to revamped hotels.
5 || Turks and Caicos
One prominent trend Virtuoso advisors have seen this summer are travelers seeking out restorative wellness escapes. Of course, you all know my favorite is COMO Parrot Cay. There aren’t many better places to tune out than in a cabana on a pristine stretch of beach, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are home to plenty of them – along with seven stunning Virtuoso resorts. Plus, the quick, 90-minute direct flights from Miami also keep stress at a minimum!