When to Start Planning Travel Again
This was supposed to be an epic year of travel for my family. With Ellie starting Kindergarten (now virtual Kindergarten) in 2020, we had a nice set of plans for a series of trips before she was more tied down. Of course those plans are all gone now, but when/where/how do I start rebuilding our travel plans.
I started my travel career as a backpacker. We spent a year and a half only a step or two ahead of ourselves. That meant we often arrived in a city without a hotel and booked transportation at the last minute. Because of these roots I have struggled to plan ahead when traveling. Sometimes that has backfired, but in many cases it is a positive thing. It definitely helped with COVID, because I had far less to cancel.
Plans For 6 Continents
Nonetheless this year we had plans to hit six continents. Gone is the 1+ month long road trip through Europe or the two week family trip to Japan. Gone is the roller coaster trip with friends to Korea and Japan and so much more. I know many of you are in similar circumstances and that isn’t new, but how do we rebuild?
As someone who doesn’t like to plan ahead I have been hesitant to book anything. I don’t mind grabbing a flight at the last minute or a hotel room same day, but I hate having to book, change and/or cancel plans. I’m all for grabbing a mistake fare or a great deal ahead of time, but right now I just don’t want to book anything else.
In our Facebook group and elsewhere I see many people have moved on. They are planning their 2021 trips and some are even booking full pre-Covid like trips for 2020. Optimism is a great thing, but is it warranted here? Is the excitement of getting something “on the books” worth the time, effort and sad feelings when you do have to cancel?
Travel Is Our Life
Perhaps I should elaborate a little more on why I am writing this. I know for myself and many of you travel is a part of our lives. A deep part of our lives. When I look at the totality of the world right now I am even more grateful for my past travels and all of the blessings in my life. I don’t even for one second feel sorry for myself for having to cancel my trips. That doesn’t mean I’m not trying to figure out where to go from here.
On the flip side though being at home has been productive and nice. We have tackled many of the projects our many trips prevented us from completing. Mark and I have both talked about the lifestyle creep of this hobby and the negative impact it can have on life. No doubt current events have allowed a bit of a reset with that. So I don’t necessarily want to go back to the way it was, but I do want to move on when I can. But is now the time to start booking?
Let’s Talk About It
This post is less to preach and more to have a discussion. I’ve learned over and over in life that what works for me might not work for others. My way of doing things has lead to some incredible successes (in travel and life) and many failures too. Enough failures to remind me that I should listen to others.
So what I am getting at is when do we start planning? Do we just book stuff and deal with the disappointment and frustration of canceling if necessary? Do we just lay low and jump on a trip last minute when it feels right? What other considerations are you making when booking travel? Have you booked a full pre-Covid like calendar for next year or are you holding off?