The outbreak of COVID-19 has applied major stress to the travel industry. With social distancing, a myriad of travel restrictions, and self-quarantining in full swing, travel plans around the world have been halted. And with it comes a new wave of wanderlust. For many people, new trips and expanded horizons are just on the other side of the coronavirus health crisis.
Some travelers will emerge cautiously from their homes, while others will opt for bucket-list adventures. On the other hand, some Americans will choose to avoid public transportation and take their vehicles to off-the-beaten path destinations, choosing instead to explore state-wide or venture into nearby states. Road trips could become more prevalent over jet-setting, bucket-list travel.
Whatever the case, it’s natural to start planning for your next journey. Doing so gives you inspiration for the future, as well as something to look forward to. With that in mind, here are a few tips for early planning during an unpredictable travel climate:
Be Safe With Bookings
It seems as though each day, new forecasts regarding COVID-19 spring up. Some experts predict the beginning of summer will make way for restored freedom, while others have a timeline that extends to fall. It’s important to keep these forecasts in mind as you plan. The further out your trip, the more likely you are to be in the safe zone. However, you also want to consider cancellation options and insurance for these trips, regardless of the timing. Many airlines have offered free change flight options and cancellation for bookings made within a specified time frame; research this ahead of time to ensure you’re covered.
Consider a Road Trip
To avoid public transportation, why not opt for a road trip instead? With so many people working from home, chances are you saved up some miles and can put those towards exploring different parts of the country. Many Americans have converted their vans into miniature homes that allow them to explore from coast to coast, outfitting them with solar panels and insulation.
For example, the classic Volkswagen has become synonymous with the #vanlife movement. But no matter what you’re driving, be sure your insurance and warranty are up to date. For example, if you own a Volkwagen, you might opt for an extended warranty from a company like Olive (click here for more details: https://gogetolive.com/extended-car-warranty/vw-volkswagen/.) These warranties help cover unexpected repairs, which could prove very useful for long-distance road tripping.
Emphasize Local Businesses
Now more than ever, it’s important to support local businesses, preferably over corporations. From family-run bed and breakfast properties to mom-and-pop restaurants and small boutiques, consider how local businesses can be incorporated into your travel plans. By supporting the communities around you, you can help stimulate the economy and sustain small businesses that need consumer dollars the most.
To help fuel your wanderlust, why not take strides towards creating inspiration? For example, you might create a saved list of homes on Airbnb, or put together a Pinterest board of your ideal destinations. As you continue building out your inspiration, you’ll find that you gravitate towards some destinations or activities more than others. You can even start using a platform like Travefy to begin putting together a loose itinerary of your journey.
Get a Travel Agent
There’s so much we’re able to do when it comes to planning trips independently. However, during such times, it may be in your best interest to opt for a travel agent. Travel agents understand the market and its risks and rewards, and can save you plenty of time. They serve as advocates for your journey, contacting vendors on your behalf to ensure the best experience.
They also have access to tools, amenities, and upgrades that the average consumer doesn’t have access to. This is because they’ve built many relationships with different vendors and are well-versed in dealing with them. In some cases, you may even save money. A travel agent looks at the entire trip from a holistic point of view, considering many areas of your journey that may have slipped your mind, like airport transfers, late check-outs, or noteworthy local experiences.