As 2021 begins, it brings with it the promise of new opportunities to travel and finally get out of our homes.
But we’re not totally in the clear yet, and continuing travel bans, safety measures, and COVID-19 case count rises mean that it’s not time to dust off your suitcase quite yet. You can start planning your trip, though – and before too long, it’ll be time to leave the house and start on your next adventure.
To help you jumpstart the process, we made a list of all the things you should consider when planning your trip – so you can make your vacation truly worry-free.
Start saving now
After a year of little to no travel, you’ll probably want to make a splash when you finally get to take a big vacation. And that means you’ll probably need a little nest egg to fund your journey.
You don’t need to save a bundle – but decide on a goal and start working toward it so that when you finally hit your destination you can do everything you want to – without keeping one eye on your back account.
Prioritize flexible booking
The world is slowly opening back up, but that doesn’t mean things are back to normal. No one’s sure what the next few months hold.
Prepare for whatever may come your way by checking the rescheduling and cancellation policies on all your bookings: that means airfare and train tickets, lodging, and anything else.
Most airlines, cruises, and hotels have loosened up their cancellation policies this past year – or done away with them permanently – but you the fine print can get you.
Some places, like Paris and Japan, are welcoming visitors – and have rolled out measures to keep travelers and locals safe. Others, like Puerto Rico, are urging people to stay home.
Take note of what case counts are like in different destinations – and what each place is asking of visitors.
Traveling ethically means making sure that your trip doesn’t negatively impact the people who live in your destination.
Look for lodgings and experiences that prioritize safety measures
We’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to wearing masks and social distancing. A quick look at the reviews of any place you’d like to book should give you a good idea of whether it’s somewhere you’d feel comfortable.
And a clean hotel room is a must on our list even in normal times.
You can also prioritize safety by choosing less crowded places – or planning a trip that revolves around outdoor activities.
Don’t beat yourself up
Traveling is stressful these days. There’s no two ways about it. But don’t feel like you’re an awful person if you decide you need a vacation. There are still ways to travel safely, and if you follow these tips you’ll be able to go in ease.
Plus, many popular tourist destinations are hurting after almost a year of no visitors. Your travel may actually be helping the tourist industry and locals get back on their feet. Not to mention that it’ll be the break you so desperately deserve after months cooped up inside.
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