I am sitting here at my desk on this dark, damp, dreary day and I am trying to put my thoughts together on this article. The travel industry and the world are in a constant state of change, and it is hard at times to stay ahead of it all. With that said, do not hold me to everything I write about today, because it could be changing as I write.
First Things First
The first thing I want to write about is time and timing. We have people walk in the office all the time and ask, “Where can I go next month?” The optimistic answer is, anywhere you want to go. The reality is, maybe not very many places. There are several reasons for that, and I will try to cover that in my next few paragraphs.
First, the industry has changed. The airlines do not have as many flights in the air and that is due to several things. Pilots that were furloughed last year are not back to work because they all need to recertify to fly. Another aspect is hotels and resorts that are not operating at full capacity. In this world of COVID, there are more people that want to travel then there are options. With that, the rule of supply and demand comes into play and travel can be more expensive.
No matter which side of the aisle you are on, the options that you have available to you are greatly diminished. Cruising has just started back up and the full complement of itineraries are not yet available. Social distancing and testing requirements have reduced accommodations on land, air, and sea.
What Does It All Mean
So, what does this all mean to you and me? Well, it means that we need to start planning earlier. If you do not start the planning process early, there will simply be nothing left for you. Right now, in our country there is a rental car shortage. Rental agencies sold off their fleets at the beginning of COVD and they still have not recovered. Couple that with the auto makers inability to produce cars due to other supply chain shortages.
Next, expect to pay a little more, not “find a deal” when traveling right now. Yes, there are promotions that are running, and we do our best to find you the best price on any vacation that we plan with you, but we can only do so much.
Let’s talk about restrictions in the current state. Right now, if you want to cruise, plan on being fully vaccinated. Plan on the ships being at a reduced passenger capacity. European travel? Every day it seems, more and more EU countries are closing their borders to unvaccinated Americans and Canadians. Currently, the easiest travel options are Mexico and a good portion of the Caribbean. In fact, with Mexico, you do not even need to test to go there, just to return home. The problem there is airfare costs to some of the destinations (all driven by supply and demand).
Domestic travel is a good option, but even that comes with its own set of problems with the current state of things. Like I mentioned earlier, the car rental shortage. We need to stay abreast of all the changes that are happening in municipalities all over the country. That is part of the reason why you hire us to help you plan. We can help you stay on top of all the changes that are happening day to day and week to week.
A website that we have recently found, helps to stay on top of the ever changing list of countries that we as Americans can and cannot travel to and lists restrictions also. CLICK HERE to check it out.