Travel in 2021 and Beyond!

Since the pandemic began, you would be hard pressed to find an industry that is more changed by COVID than Travel. From new procedures and protocols to entry and exit requirements, it’s no wonder most of those who are traveling now have changed their travel habits as well. January is often the month where most people plan travel for some part of their year and at the Shameless Tourist we are beyond lucky to have seen a January and February to be booming with clients looking to plan their Spring Break, Summer, and Fall getaways.

Domestic Stays

“Long haul” travel has been placed on the back burner for many of us recently and most of our clients are looking to stay closer to home. We are so lucky to live in such a large country with so many diverse landscapes, there is a lot of domestic travel to choose from! Our top destinations have been Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and as always– Florida! Rounding out this list lately is Hawaii, which reopened in the fall and has been more popular than ever for travelers looking for a beach getaway.

Nature Calling

Our big cities in the US are something that have always amazed me- the energy, the culture, the food! But in the past year we have seen a big shift toward the great outdoors— the Mountains and the Beach are where most of our clients want to be and many are rekindling a love for an old sport or finding joy in a new one. Golf enthusiasts are flocking to their favorite courses and finding time to check off the bucket list some of those courses they have always wanted to play. Skiers are enjoying the snow, fisherman are getting out on their boats, and even I have taken up a new sport– Surfing.

Longer stays, more luxurious hotels

With work from home and school from home being a large part of our lives now, another trend we have noticed is that most people are booking longer getaways. The short weekend getaway has turned to week long stays for many. I’ve also noticed a more dramatic shift in the luxury travel sphere– more people have been willing to book luxury hotel options. I’m assuming this has to do with traveling less frequently (more budget for getaways), less expensive airfare, and the desire for a stress free vacation. I’ve also noticed for my clients who have kids back in school, the desire to travel during school breaks has been immense, so I recommend if you would like to travel during the breaks, plan ahead!

Our Favorite Getaways

So, for the fun part– where are our favorite places to recommend at the moment? Where are our clients traveling to? Here’s a short list of some of our favorites:

As a reminder, booking any of the above properties through the Shameless Tourist give you exclusive access to VIP amenities, pricing, and insider tips you cannot get by booking directly at the same price or better than listed online. Contact us today to learn more and find your perfect 2021 getaway!

Travel in 2020

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?