Wow, 2020, right?! Like everyone else in the world, I really hope I never see another year like this one again. From fear to anxiety, anger, sadness, loneliness, to pure insanity at times— I’ve felt the entire range of emotions that come with being a human being in 2020— put on top of it a Mom, Wife, Business Owner then ice the cake with the fact that my business is Travel and like many Texans, my husband is in Oil and Gas (sheesh!).
My 2020 started out with plans to Disney Cruise in March, Nashville in April, and Africa in June; none of which happened, of course. So here I am, sitting in my home like almost everyone else in America—dreaming of— where to next?
If you had asked me “Where to Next?” in February I would have listed places like Argentina, Antartica, the Galapagos, or Bhutan but with the uncertainty of the world at the moment, everyone is looking to explore their backyards a little further. I know personally places like Yosemite or Mackinac Island were on my list, but by no means were a priority, and suddenly they seem a whole lot more interesting. While international travel is mostly off the table to many places, and those places that are allowing foreign entry can be a bit complicated. A good Travel Advisor can definitely help you manage the chaos, many people simply aren’t comfortable making commitments to travel abroad just yet.
So, where to? What trends are we seeing? Travel at the moment is a deeply personal decision and everyone has a different comfort level— while some people are not ready to go anywhere just yet, others feel the need to make memories with their families or make up for milestones missed while in quarantine. Some people feel the comfort of knowing hotels are taking sanitation very very seriously, while others would prefer to rent a home to stay away from others (pro tip: You can have your cake here and eat it too! There are many resorts throughout the US that offer home/villa rental where you can be alone while also having the comfort of knowing your room was cleaned to a tee— the hotel’s reputation depends upon it).
Overall, the three biggest trends I am seeing in travel at the moment are driving distance vacations, National Parks trips, and visits to the favorite “small towns” in the US. Places such as Napa, Santa Barbara, Seaside/Rosemary Beach, Aspen, Jackson Hole, and Park City are grateful to see tourism bouncing back this summer after a very, very rough few months. As for the National Parks— in case you weren’t aware— there are 63 National Parks in the US— how many have you seen? I know many people are checking some off of their bucket lists this year!
In fact, with most people looking to reschedule their Caribbean or European holidays to US soil, it’s been very difficult in some places to find availability due to the fact that hotels are not at full capacity and home rentals are almost not to be found. Also to note, 2021 bookings for your favorite international destinations are also becoming scarce as nearly everyone booked for 2020 has had to reschedule for 2021— so my advice? Plan early and make sure to book flexible rates so that you can rest assured your plans can change if need be. Home rentals usually carry much more strict cancellation policies than hotels, so this is something to consider as well.
On my personal list for travel this year is Walt Disney World (which reopens this weekend), Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado (Sand Surfing and Sand Sledding!), and Yellowstone/Jackson Hole (which has been on my list for many years, but I never made it a priority).
Where are you thinking of traveling?