Over the past week, we've had a flood of clients asking what the travel scene is like right now. So here's the scoop!
In short, yes, people are traveling.
We have families heading to Tahiti literally as I type this. Over Thanksgiving I'll have families traveling to Mexico, the Caribbean and East Africa. And in December we have several families going to Peru, Galapagos, and Costa Rica.
Of course like all things 2020, this winter travel will look a little different. Here are 4 key things to know about booking travel as of November 2020.
Booking Travel Last Minute
Understandably, right now everyone is booking travel relatively last minute.
In previous years, long-haul destinations such as Peru, the Galapagos and East Africa needed to be booked at least 12 months in advance - even further out for the most in-demand properties.
There currently is space available in December and throughout the winter months in most destinations around the world. Festive Season, the week between Christmas and New Years is starting to book up most places, but other than that we are finding space without problems.
However, don't expect to find crazy deals or big discounts. Due to Covid most travel suppliers are offering extremely flexible cancellation and postponement policies and working to create low-risk, high-value experiences you can plan and book now.
Focus on a Few Key Destinations
Right now, we're focusing on a few key destinations that are open and that we feel confident booking.
Our list (which is growing by the day) currently includes Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos, East Africa, Tahiti, Mexico, Costa Rica and some islands in the Caribbean including St. Lucia, St Barths and Turks & Caicos.
These destinations are all focused around outdoor activities and have proven their ability to maintain social distancing with strict covid precautions in place.
Accommodation Type Depends Totally on the Destination
Since the beginning of the pandemic, home and villa rentals have been in high demand. This affords you plenty of personal space and the ability to prepare your own meals, maintaining plenty of social distance.
However, as more destinations open up it's become clear that accommodation type really depends on the destination.
Some destinations, particularly some islands in the Caribbean, are requiring a negative covid test to enter and then a second negative covid test after a 2 day quarantine. Other islands, like St. Lucia, are limiting tourist movements. In this case, we strongly recommend booking a resort or hotel vs a home or villa. This way you can enjoy the resort amenities vs being cooped up in a private villa without services and amenities on site.
Patience, Flexibility and Open-Mindedness are Crucial
Now more than ever - you must approach travel with flexibility and patience.
Over the past few weeks, every single one of my clients traveling in November and December have had pretty significant shifts in flight schedules (from Tahiti to Costa Rica to Kenya). Frustratingly, this seems to be the temporary norm while the airlines adjust to new travel patterns and demand.
While traveling internationally has always required a sense of adventure, it's clear that as the world re-opens following the pandemic we all need to remain more patient, more flexible and more open-minded than ever before.