Whether you managed to go away this summer/autumn or decided to stay closer, there is now the question of 'what's next?' for holidays and travel plans. I would usually be busy planning Christmas holidays for families, adventures they would have been waiting for, with the promise of sunshine and culture shock.
This is obviously not the case, and as measures are getting stricter across Europe (and further), travelling is looking less and less likely towards the end of the year. And by that, I mean travelling in a safe, nice, comfortable and pleasurable way. I mean real exploring, discovering new cultures, meeting new people and trying new foods.
So, let's get a very blurry crystal ball and make some predictions... Here are some personal thoughts, ideas and tips about the coming months in terms of travelling.
Forget about 2020
Ok, maybe that is a bit harsh, but I, unfortunately, believe it. 2020 was the year of the staycation. And it will remain. Should you want to travel again this year, do it locally or do it privately. Rent a house or house-swap with a relative. Drive there, encounter few people and chill in your own domain.
Get dreaming for 2021
You might not see further than your childhood village this year, but this will give you plenty of opportunities to dream about faraway adventures for 2021. It's time to start researching destinations, the kind of holiday you aspire to and create a plan of your dream escape.
Travel for longer
Now is maybe an opportunity to put your stakes in the ground and request a long holiday for next year. 4 weeks+ far away over summer if you have kids in school-age or in the shoulder season if you know you can escape in quieter times.
We have travelled very little this year, so in the future let's enjoy every part of it. Even the car ride or the long train journey. Let's not rush to get there as quickly as possible, let's be mindful and make a real adventure out of it.
Plan every detail to make the trip easy
This might not sound like fun at first, but actually, this will allow you to have a more restful, enjoyable holiday in the future. Where will you stay, which guides you will want to meet, which experiences will you want to have, what is the itinerary looking like ... the more you plan ahead, the smoother the trip will be.
Work with a professional
Kind of obvious from a travel designer, but it is true.
First, rules change daily. You need to be up to date to choose the best possible option that will be as little risk for you and your family.
Second, you are not paying a large sum of money for everything x months before departure. I communicate and negotiate with each accommodation, hotel, guide, activity provider. We discuss payment conditions and very importantly, cancellation policy!
Finally, there are so many new fantastic initiatives for travellers. New options, undiscovered destinations, remote getaways and truly unique accommodations. 12 people eco-cruise in Antarctica, glamping in the desert, living remotely with families,... There are lots of exceptional experiences out there. Some you would not have considered before the pandemic, that will make future travels really exciting!
A special trip deserves all the attention and expertise needed. Research, ask questions, look for information and make the right choices.
Make your trip really special for everyone
Travel needs to stop being a consumer product, but a real choice and a mindful decision. It needs to be special for you, your family but also for the community you will be visiting. Think of the impact of your trip on the people, their livelihood and the environment. Let's make that impact positive!
When safe and fun tourism can restart, looking forward to the adventures I will be planning next year, sustainability will be the pillar of Unique Travels and its core value. I cannot wait to restart organising amazing trips for you, families, the best possible way.