Remember the horror movie I Know What you Did Last Summer? If we’re talking about the summer of 2020, home was your hot vacation getaway as you baked bread, chatted with friends and family on apps like Facetime or Zoom, and binge-watched shows on Netflix. But now, a year later, people tired of being stuck at home have hope for a more normal summer of 2021, thanks to the rollout of vaccinations (albeit slow in many countries) along with guidelines on how to stay safe.
With that said, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. chief medical adviser to the president and the Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases currently maintains that “we’re just not there yet.” As for international travel for tourism, most countries have strict protocols in place that are a patchwork of proof of immunizations, curfews, and quarantines. Not much fun for a vacation.
So, as you make your summer 2021 plans, here’s what to expect.
1. Travel Domestically
Due to several factors, including slow vaccine rollouts, emerging variants, a lack of knowledge about the full impact of vaccines, and people with vaccine hesitancy, your best bet at this time is to plan domestic trips a few hours away from home. Getting there on the roadways is safer than the skyways or other mass transits because you can remain with those in your bubble.
Many travelers already knew the joys of RV travel, and others discovered them during the summer of 2020. RV travel allows you to get off the beaten path away from crowded urban areas and enjoy safer, outdoorsy activities at national and state parks and campgrounds. With an RV camper, you have a comfortable place to sleep, a bathroom, and a place to prepare meals. Take your masks and hand sanitizer, and follow local guidelines.
2. Explore Your Own Hometown
During the last major recession, the concept of staycations became popular, not due to disease but a lack of finances. This year, do some research about the places in your own hometown and the local area that you may have overlooked.
If you look at your home turf in a fresh way, you may be surprised to find quite a few interesting things to see and do. Try to look at your hometown with the eyes of a tourist and create an itinerary. Try out those new restaurants and bars or ones you’ve overlooked and make new memories in a familiar place.
3. Focus on Friends and Family
Since it isn’t quite time for travelers to cross items off their bucket list, focus on friends and family. You know, the ones you’ve only visited virtually for a while. Vaccinated adults can now have gatherings like dinner parties while maskless, and with warmer weather, outdoor family barbeques are back.
Practice social distancing and wear a mask when you aren’t eating if the statistics in your area deem it necessary.
4. Get Vaccinated
It’s a given that as vaccine availability increases, international travel will open up again. It’s expected that by summer’s end, vaccinations will be available worldwide. The United States is already in good shape, and President Biden has pledged to send out up to 60 million doses within weeks.
You’ll need proof to get on a plane and travel abroad, so go ahead and get vaccinated as soon as it’s your turn and available where you live.
5. Stay Flexible
As you make your travel plans, stay flexible. Many travel vendors require full payment 90 days in advance. This means if you plan a trip abroad for August, you should decide by May if it’s necessary to cancel. Otherwise, you risk losing money.
Look for airlines that are still appealing to travelers with flexible cancellation policies. You can also consider purchasing a travel insurance policy with “cancel for any reason” coverage.
6. Think Ahead
Thanks to vaccinations and procedures in place for a “new normal,” international travel will be more possible for 2022. So, in between those road trips, staycations, and backyard barbeques, go ahead and dream about those exotic bucket list trips. That’s when travel should definitely rebound, and you can go ahead and book this year for 2022.