Since the moment the virus took hold of the world in the most aggressive way, I knew travel would be different. While both good and bad can come from this, there’s a few things that will undoubtedly be changed from the world we knew.
Local, Boutique, Unique, and Out of Business
One of my favorite things about planning vacations for people is showing them the hidden gems and small mom and pops that are both out of the way and completely worth the trek!
I love finding a restaurant where the owner is working the counter or cooking in the back. You can almost feel the love and passion when you walk in the door. However, few people start a restaurant or a boutique hotel thinking they will make millions. Most of these places are only trying to sustain themselves and their staff, which often become family. They are pouring their heart and soul into their work and do it all for the love of delivering a fantastic experience to their guests. However, if those guests stop coming, they all know their fate.
Many of these restaurants do not have 6 months worth of savings to sustain themselves. Sadly, the large chain restaurants and hotels have the investments and the diversity to survive this, but many of the boutique places that tend to truly hold the culture within their walls will be out of business.
Adventure Travel and the Search for a Hospital
As a travel agent, I typically include information like nearby hospitals and the local consulate in the final itinerary as a courtesy. I never anticipate this information being used, but I know it’s nice to feel a bit more secure.
The virus has not yet wreaked havoc on a lot of the small Caribbean islands or the many countries of Central America. Thousands of people head to these destinations every year, but I fear that may change this coming winter. I don’t anticipate many people jumping at the opportunity when we can travel again to head to countries that lack in health care facilities.
It has been anticipated that a vaccine will be created within 18 months from when they began research, which puts us well into 2021 before production will be ramped up and available to the public. If that’s the case, I don’t see tourists venturing to Mexico, Jamaica, and beyond without the guarantee that they will have access to a quality hospital if something were to go wrong.
The confidence in traveling to these smaller countries has been rocked and will take time to recover. (Although, I very much look forward to that day!)
Local Travel Overwhelmed
For the reasons above, consumer demand to go abroad will undoubtedly decline, but the need to travel has not died. How many times have you read “I need a vacation now more than ever!”? People have a love for experiencing the world and will not let go of the high they get from traveling. Since they will require that need to be met, I see American tourist destinations being overrun quickly. What do you think Savannah, New Orleans or Sedona will look like with an extra 100,000 visitors this winter? What about an extra 500,000 visitors? Will Yellowstone or Yosemite still have wildlife if the demand for the parks triples or even quadruples? Who wants to head to Disney kids?!
1.) Plan sooner than later for your next vacation, but don’t plan it for June. We need to be realistic about this timeline. I have been encouraging my clients to book later in the year or early 2021 for a higher chance of avoiding disappointment.
2.) There are amazing deals available right now, even for next Spring, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of them. You’re not insensitive for planning something a year out. You’re being smart about your money and the realistic expectations for the future.
3.) Choose a destination that may be a bit more unique but can still offer you a perfect vacation for your travel style. Have you ever stayed on a dude ranch in Montana?! What about a far flung resort in the Adirondacks? Did you know America has all-inclusive resorts just like the Caribbean islands?! If you need ideas for unique destinations close to home (or further abroad), I’m here to help!
My agency can book any hotel, vacation rental, flight, car, boat, cruise, or excursion in the world at absolutely no cost to you!
To begin planning your next trip, contact The Travel Byrds today!
*The statements in this post are my own personal opinions on how travel will be affected. I wish everyone the highest level of safety and security and look forward to giving you all giant, obnoxious hugs when I’m legally allowed to again!
To begin planning your trip, contact The Travel Byrds today! We’re eager to help you experience life!