2020 was absolute hell on the travel industry. Most industries the world over had to pivot hard to stay afloat. The travel industry, in particular, had little choice but to shutter completely during the pandemic. Restaurants, airlines, tour guide companies, hotel chains, and other travel-related industries took quite the beating.
Travel-minded folk the world over canceled trip plans left and right when the world shut down, which left most people with a severe case of wanderlust. When quarantining for months at a time inside, what else is there to do but dream of an exotic beach vacation?
For those curious about the state of travel in 2021, only time will tell. Airlines are currently promising ticket vouchers for canceled flights (regardless of ticket class in most cases). Hotels are bent over backward to promise a seamless rebooking process for canceled trips. So while you might not want to book a trip for January, booking now for a trip in August isn’t as risky as it sounds.
When considering 2021 travel, think about a few things prior to booking. How much of a hassle will it be to rebook? Can you get refunds on your plane tickets? What about your hotel, hostel, or vacation rental? Note that Airbnb is no longer giving general refunds due to COVID-19. Finally, consider infrastructure. Even with a vaccine, you could still get sick. Are you heading to a place where this would be a huge hassle? Did you purchase travel health insurance? You should!
I am a travel blogger, and I plan out vacations like it’s my job. So for those still wondering, here are my Top Five 2021 Vacation Destinations for a post-COVID trip.
The Mexican-American land borders have been closed for months already. At the time of this writing, American’s are allowed to enter Mexico by air or sea. So you could technically take a vacation in some parts of Mexico.
For those wanting to wait, Mexico is still an excellent option for Americans. For most states, the plane ride is short and sweet. Plus, the savvy traveler can book tickets now and find some potentially excellent ticket prices.
If you need another incentive to visit Mexico post-vaccine, Cancun has got you covered. Even a quick glimpse at the CometoMexicanCarribbean website shows some fantastic deals for travelers. Deals include 50% off some all-inclusive stays (buy two nights get two free), two days of free car rentals, 20% discounts on spa treatments and amusement parks, and more. If you’re dreaming of sandy beaches, margarita’s, and ceviche, now is the time to book.
Italy is a destination on the minds of many travelers during the best of times. Great food, world-class wine, and a plethora of historical sites make the Boot a dream vacation for many a jet-setter.
Italy has closed its borders to the world, but many Italian places are eagerly planning for tourists’ return. Sicily, for instance, has announced plans for a voucher system to entice tourists to visit. The official Sicily Tourism website cites “details to be published soon.” However, those in the know have speculated that vouches could include funding half the cost of flights for travelers in addition to free museum tickets and paying for a third of tourists’ hotel costs.
That means if you dream of white sand beaches, plenty of cultural hot spots, and some of the best food in the world, you might be able to snag yourself a genuinely fantastic discount.
For those dreaming of Italy, keep checking the Sicily Tourism website for booking information.
Who doesn't want to visit Italy? Even without the coupons?
Cyprus has officially announced that it will waive all COVID quarantine and testing requirements for those who get vaccinated. That makes them the first country in the world to declare such publicly.
In fact, Cyprus already has open borders for quite a few nations and plans on lifting the travel ban on 56 countries. Americans will note that the USA is not on that list - yet. However, most of the EU, EU Economic Area states (like Iceland), and tourism-heavy weights like Japan, South Korea, and the UAE are on the list. That means Cyprus may experience a tourism boom as early as March.
It is said that Aphrodite herself was born on a beach in Cyprus, and even if you don’t believe that the island is an easy sell. Cyprus and its beaches can get up to 340 days of sunshine a year, for one. Cypriot halloumi (a type of cheese) is choice along with their mezze and Mediterranian style food (think meat kebabs, olives, grape leaves). Plus, the island is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world.
What’s not to love?
Currently, New Zealand is only feasible for someone who has a lot of time on their hands. The country requires all tourists entering to have a voucher to a managed isolation facility before even boarding a plane to the island. Isolation must be done for 14 days, regardless of COVID test status. In fact, if you aren’t a legal New Zealand citizen or resident, you currently have to get prior approval from immigration even to enter the country.
So why is New Zealand going to be a 2021 hotspot? Simply put, people aren’t likely to want to dive back into crowded areas anytime soon. At least most people. There will likely be a huge trend of travelers looking to tick marks off their bucket list, as well as travelers wanting to stay remote while they see the world.
With its stunning vistas and epic scenery, New Zealand certainly fits the bill for both of those things. Whether you’re looking to check off the must-see places of the world, or if you want to stay somewhere remote yet breathtaking, the island nation is probably high on your list.
So while the world may be waiting a while to be allowed back into Hobbiton, there is little doubt that people will be lining up to visit.
With all being said and done, many people were burnt by the travel industry in 2020. If you’re reading this and had to go through hours of waiting to get a refund on your airline ticket - you know what I mean.
So truthfully, there will be a subset of the travel population who avoid international travel for quite some time post-pandemic. Domestic travel, however, is certainly still on the table.
For many, I anticipate that traveling domestically will seem less risky than hopping a 10-hour flight to the other side of the world. Plus, for American’s at least, there is no shortage of places to explore within their own country. A fun reminder that Texas alone is the size of France plus Switzerland. America is huge. So with that being said, American’s looking to travel domestically in 2021 will have no shortage of options: mega-cities, deserts, mountains, prairies, beaches, and charming small towns. You name it.
Call me biased, but Utah is a great choice!
So, where are you dreaming of going post-pandemic? Are you dreaming at all? Let me know and spread the #nbholidaycheer!