The advisors we talked to were confident about close-to-home travel emerging first: they’re even planning some of their own vacations. Grace DeVita hopes to visit her grandkids near Saint Petersburg, Florida, within the next month; Leah Smith is daydreaming of California Wine Country
and the New England coast while hatching plans for later this fall to travel with her family and the baby she will soon welcome; and Ken Neibaur is gearing up for a California road trip.
Other close-to-home travel trends advisors are predicting: Trips to luxury resorts in the middle of nowhere; interest in cities such as San Diego
, and Denver
, which promise nice summer weather and an array of outdoor activities; an increased demand for private villa rentals and other residential-style accommodations; national park- and mountain-centric getaways; and the return of the road trip.
“There’s a real opportunity for some unique experiences with RVs and luxury car rentals,” Largay says. “And by RVs we’re not talking Cousin Eddie pulling up to the Griswolds’ house in Christmas Vacation
– these are finely appointed moving hotel suites.”
To date, several countries (including Australia
, New Zealand
, and Argentina
) aren’t allowing some foreign citizens in … yet. On the flip side, Greece
, and several Caribbean countries are set to begin reopening their borders in June, with many other destinations following closely behind. The other biggest deterrent to international travel: Many travelers just aren’t ready to hop on a long-haul flight.
“International travel depends on a number of important factors, with the most important being a go-to therapy or vaccine for the virus,” Largay says. “If people have to quarantine on arrival, get tested before a flight, or show an immunity passport, that will dissuade them from taking the risk because too many things could go wrong. That said, we are already seeing an increased interest for international travel for late 2020 and early 2021.”
International destinations a short flight away for U.S. travelers, such as the Caribbean
, will likely bounce back first, though Neibaur predicts that fast access to modern healthcare when traveling will become a more important factor than ever before.
When international travel returns, an increased desire for venturing thoughtfully and sustainably will come with it, DeVita says. The world has collectively witnessed lockdown’s positive effects (carbon emissions recently dropped to record-low levels, scientists report
), while also learning about how much travel dollars can directly support local communities.
much looking forward to traveling internationally again,” says Virtuoso agency executive Tony Adler. (Sometimes that the anticipation for a trip – especially
right now – can be almost as exciting as the trip itself.) “We had to cancel our March trip to Asia, but we’ve rescheduled another Asia trip with one of our sons and his fiancé for December. We want to be a model to our clients and show them that travel is still wonderful. We’re hoping everything works out and we’re able to go without having to take extraordinary risks.”
Those who can’t wait to get out there again (*raises hand wildly*) will need to understand that travel as we know it is going to be different for a while. It might even be a little confusing and overwhelming at first. “There won’t be a consistent reality for travel requirements,” DeVita says. “Airlines will each have their own rules, and hotels, restaurants, and tour operators will all have different policies too.”
Working with an advisor means that if something goes wrong – a hotel shuts down, a flight gets cancelled, a trip is suddenly cut short – it’s handled. That peace of mind can be priceless. “Things are changing on the fly,” Largay says. “It’s best to trust an expert who knows the latest developments and rules – and will answer the phone when you call.”