Is it in poor taste to be planning your next great vacation now? The short answer is no. The travel industry has been devastated because of this pandemic. This includes the people working in the industry. Therefore, the sooner we get back to vacationing, the faster the industry will recover.
But before we go any further, I’m certain you regard, with respect, the millions of people directly or indirectly affected by this health crisis. I, like you, am grateful for the men and women fighting on the front lines of this pandemic. But this article is looking beyond the horizon to a brighter vacation future ahead. The vaccines are here. But what percentage of the population will get vaccinated? Will you take one? When? And furthermore, will the vaccines work to stop the spread? These are the key questions in determining exactly how and when consumer confidence in travel is restored. In the meantime, let’s get planning and take advantage of deals being offered for future travel.
Planning and booking a vacation these days has a couple of extra steps and a few additional considerations. Obviously, please take a vacation as soon as YOU (and your party) feel comfortable and please follow the CDC and local government guidance and travel responsibly.
So where do you want to go? “Place” evaluation is important now more than ever. Start your dreaming by asking yourself what you want to see, how you want to feel and where you want to be on your next great escape. Once you have a general idea in mind, begin seeking destinations that may be a good fit. Consider how you’re going to get there, where you’re going to stay and what amenities, services and activities are available. Once you narrow down to a few options, pick up your smartphone and talk to expert residents in those places.
Call Or Email The Place
Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply call (or email) that place and get specific answers for free? YOU CAN! But, before you do, have some answers ready to provide whoever’s on the other end of the conversation.
Have Your Information Ready
Essentially, have your specifics ready to provide. These are the “5 w’s”. Here’s my short list with a few example answers...
Have Your Specific Questions Ready
Obviously, every place you visit has plenty of things to see and do for most vacation goers, but I suggest you garner answers specific coronavirus questions such as the following:
How To Contact A Place
Most “places” in the United States (and others) have official tourism bureaus. These are called Convention & Visitors Bureaus or Chambers of Commerce. They can be found online by typing the name of the place you’re considering plus the word official plus the letters C-V-B.
They all have options for contacting them. I suggest you call them during regular business hours. Remember, they too are dealing with staffing issues during this pandemic so give them a few hours (or up to one business day) to respond. In most cases, they will honestly answer your questions based on real-time, on-the-ground knowledge. In addition, they can point you in the right direction for additional information.
I have always been a big fan of these organizations and they’ve been around for a long time. They are usually funded by the taxes collected from visitors such as “hotel tax”. They may also be funded by membership by local businesses. Doing a little recon in advance will go a long way to saving you and your family time and money!
Save travels and stay vacated!
This past Monday, I took my first commercial flight since the start of this pandemic...and guess what? It was fine. Now let’s be clear. In the US, most domestic flights are six hours or shorter. My flight was 90 minutes wheels up to touchdown. It was in a non-stop flight from Newark Liberty to McGhee Tyson (Knoxville, TN) on board an Allegiant A320. In short, the flight, service, crew interaction and actual flying went even smoother than I had expected. So here’s the rundown.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues here in the US and around the world, signs of normalcy are beginning to emerge and businesses are beginning to reopen. I believe the entire vacation ecosystem will evolve over time. However, if you are considering staying closer to home in Washington, DC but still venturing out for a little fresh air (and change of scenery), then consider a destination from this list of 13 all within a three-hour drive of Washington, DC.
Germany will offer Deutsche Lufthansa AG a 9 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) bailout that puts the state back into the ownership of the airline that they privatized twenty years ago.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues here in the US and around the world, signs of normalcy are beginning to emerge and businesses are beginning to reopen. I believe the entire vacation ecosystem will evolve over time. However, if you are considering staying closer to home in NYC but still venturing out for a little fresh air (and change of scenery), then consider a destination from this list of 13 all within a three-hour drive of Manhattan (New York City). Of course, please remember to obey local health guidelines, practice social distancing and take necessary precautions to keep you and others around you safe as you hit the open road! (Drive times according to Google Maps - subject to traffic, weather, etc.)
After months of saving and planning, the moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here. The suitcases are packed. The mail has been stopped. The neighbors are watching the cat. Everyone is excited and you are on your way out the door to… nowhere. Many Americans have experienced this very scenario lately. They went through the fun, yet often tedious task of planning and saving for a vacation, only to have it ruined by the coronavirus pandemic.
Each week on Beyond Your Backyard NOW presents the “10-5-1” of each episode. We’ll detail “10 Places” that could be perfect for your next vacation, as well as “Five (5) Helpful Travel Tips” and “One (1) Parting Thought or idea” which we think underline’s that week’s show. Below is the “10-5-1” from our third episode which was originally presented on April 20, 2020.
At the end of the day, I’m a travel nerd at heart. I’m also a pretty big movie buff, and I love watching movies with strong travel themes. As we’re all social distancing and self-quarantining during the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are turning to Netflix and other streaming sources to help us pass the time. Instead of scrolling through titles for hours, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite travel films to hopefully help you decide what to watch.
The Grand Canyon is one of the unofficial wonders of the world. It can be found on countless vacation bucket lists. At 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the sheer size and depth of the canyon is awe-inspiring. While the National Park is currently closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it will eventually re-open and be ready to welcome visitors back again soon. There are many ways to see this amazing part of the country, no matter what your interest may be.
BROADWAY REVAMPS IT'S SONGBOOKS!
Broadway. The Great White Way. The center of the performing arts universe. Broadway is many things - open is not one of them. That being said, there are ways for people under quarantine to enjoy some Broadway magic at home.
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!