I am really itching to travel! This is the longest I have gone in years without traveling. Honestly, I have tried to come up with a trip that I would feel comfortable doing. So far, I have not found one. I constantly receive new information that does not help the matter, either. For example, yesterday, I received an email that six well-known cruise companies will not sail until February or March 2021, and at that time they will only have limited ships, reduced days, and sailing from local ports. I can only imagine how much (more) confusion this will cause!
The future of travel has been transformed. Those who plan a holiday will be rewarded with real value with emerging destinations that are beautiful and offer you fantastic memories. Planning is the key! One thing that is for sure is that COVID has changed things forever. And some things for the better. But, buying a vacation like you would buy a hamburger has always been ill-advised, yet people find it irresponsible. I’ve had to help people change many reservations, track down refunds, and deal with chargebacks due to the unprecedented problems caused by this pandemic. It has taken months to resolve, and I have to admit I think of travel differently. I do not assume anything. Sometimes, I feel like Sherlock Holmes!
Nowadays, there are so many things that can screw up our vacations. And when it does, a computer cannot be your advocate. It does not notify you about changing rules and regulations or have the contacts to correct the problem. Only a professional travel advisor can be your advocate. We have the ability to make sure that your needs are taken care of.
I recommend that you wait until 2022 to travel. There are just too many uncertainties right now!
Recently, I had a telephone call from someone who was bored and wanted to fly from Las Vegas to Orlando to take his young family to Disney World. Even a vacation to “the happiest place on earth” can be a nightmare right now if you do not plan properly! I am not a Disney expert; however, I know someone who is, so I contacted her. (That’s another benefit of working with a professional travel advisor. We have destination specialists that we can contact to get current information.) Here’s what I learned:
• Before you leave home you need to confirm your Disney hotel and restaurant reservations, get paper vouchers, park reservations, and a valid admission for the same park on the same day. No park hopping is allowed.
• Facial masks are strictly enforced; even on rides. Be warned there is no excuse not to wear a face mask. I know that airlines require children from ages two and up to wear a mask while in the airport and on the plane. They have to be made with at least two layers of breathable fabric that cannot have valves or holes of any kind. They must thoroughly cover the nose and mouth and be secure under the chin and face; bandanas will not be allowed.
• Social distancing is enforced in all queues; there are floor markings.
• You must download an app to order food. It’s an easy way to pay if you add your charge card information. (I am not sure if this is the only way to pay.)
• There will be closures, and transportation will be limited. Now, imagine doing all of this with a two-year-old and a four-year-old. WOW! I am worn out just reading this!
COVID is worldwide, and needless to say, as a professional right now, I would not advise you to travel. If I cannot arrange a vacation for myself that I feel comfortable going on how could I, as your advocate, suggest one for you? You deserve an unforgettable holiday. Knowledge is the key to a safe, comfortable holiday that will offer you unique experiences.
Now is the time to PLAN for the holiday of your dreams. Incredible emerging destinations are opening up in 2022 for exploration for savvy travelers. You want to be ready to say yes to the holiday when the timing is right. As a professional, not a computer, I will stay on top of the changes and advise you accordingly. Over the last year, I’ve had to fight with companies to get my clients their refunds, transfers of insurance, etc. It was an exhausting ordeal. But on the brighter side, going through trying times as I have done over the last few months gave me some new contacts, plus I gained knowledge and connections that will be helpful in the future.
There will be fabulous exciting places to visit again for those who want value and, most importantly, value their time.
Most companies will email travel advisors like me whom they stay in contact with them regularly with special deals. In the meantime, I will gather your information, contact a lot of companies, and when a great opportunity comes in the future, I will be able to take action.
In the meantime, I recommend that you visit www.ASTA.ORG (American Society of Travel Advisors). Here you will find professionals specializing in every type of travel. You will be able to read our bios and choose the one that specializes in the location you want to visit and has contacts there. You will also have a travel advisor who will be your advocate before, during, and after your holiday. We professional travel advisors do not disappear.