Rules and advice are changing daily when it comes to travel for this season. Some countries are announcing the re-opening of their borders to foreigners, with or without quarantine, some airlines schedule flights and the European Commission launched a plan to support tourism within the Union.
But everyone seems lost as to what is actually allowed, and what is not. Now is the time everyone wants to have their holidays sorted, and have something to look forward to.
I thought of writing a post about the "can and cannot" but it would probably be obsolete by tomorrow morning. So instead, I wanted to share some tips and ideas to plan your summer, in a different way:
*Be a tourist in your own city
How often did I think “I am never going to have the opportunity to see that exhibition or this highlight of Amsterdam, it’s full of tourists!”. Just as you would plan a long weekend in a European city, ticking off all the nice museums, coffee places, parks and iconic sights, do the same for your own city!
I am really looking forward to making use of my museum card and visiting the Rijks museum again, taking the kids to a windmill on the outskirts of town and even checking out the flower market after eating a cornet of fries with mayonnaise: Stuff I would never do because ‘it’s a tourist thing’.
*Expand: Be a tourist in your own country
It is likely that millions of tourists visit your country every year. So there is something exciting and interesting to see. Check out those attractions that can be done within 2 hours of your home. It is likely there is plenty to do. The crowds of American and Asian tourists will probably not make it this year, so all sights should be less crowded and a real pleasure to visit.
I am planning day trips all across the Netherlands: Giethoorn, Delft and Gouda, here we come! (I never thought I would say that)
*Still try and travel off-peak
If you are kid-free or your children are not of school age, avoid taking holidays between mid-July and mid-August. Not only because of crowds and prices, but also, because it is the best time to enjoy your own city.
I love my neighbourhood during those 6 weeks of school holidays. No one in the streets, the weather is beautiful, the terraces are empty and it is super quiet. Social distancing will be easy. We’ll disappear when everyone comes back at the end of August.
*Stay in a fancy hotel
There will be less demand and more opportunity for locals to enjoy a staycation. You could be overnighting in a lovely boutique hotel, or a 5 star with a spa and swimming pool avoiding the extortionate prices. It is worth looking into it and doing it like a tourist.
If you got to love social distancing and are keen to totally avoid human contact, head out for long walks, cycling and glamping adventures to the national parks, private reserves and forests.
I particularly love cycling around the Veluwe National Park and coming back to a cosy comfortable cottage in the middle of nature. Peace is guaranteed.
*Roadtrips for the win
This summer is also a great opportunity to keep everything very flexible and just hit the road. A road trip allows you to see as you go, adapt to any new rules and restrictions that might be put in place. You can always find stays in guest houses and Airbnb. Or if you are keen to avoid seeing anyone, or unsure about health and safety procedures in hotels, take the ultimate self-sufficient approach and do the road trip in a campervan. That's an adventure!
*Keep 2020 modest, save some money to plan something exceptional for 2021.
Even as a complete travel addict, I am putting travels on hold and save that fun for next year with a truly exceptional and out of the ordinary experience.
It will allow enough time for all actors of the tourism industry to create the new procedures, rules and ways of doing. Air travel might become a bit smoother. Train travel will be improved, and we will have learnt a lot from this crisis.
As a professional, I am working hard behind the scenes, to create the next version of Unique Travels, in line with the 'new normal' and appropriate for you, families, who will want to travel safely in the future.
We will want to travel better, more sustainably and responsibly. I am really looking forward to the next version, and until then, I will enjoy the beauty that is closer to home.
Are you concerned about your summer travel plans? Do you have questions and would like a professional opinion. Do not hesitate to reach out.