My cousins had a Magic 8-Ball toy I enjoyed playing with when I stayed at their house. I’d ask silly questions like, “Magic 8-Ball, will I get a Scooby Do radio for my birthday?” or “Will Rick invite me to the school dance?” Have you ever tried to predict the future?
Since early February, when travel came to a screeching halt worldwide, the questions I receive from clients have changed from “Where should we go and stay?” to more hard-hitting questions such as “When can we travel again to Europe, or Australia? What are the destination’s entry requirements? What are the safety protocols on the airplane and at our resort? Where can I get a Covid-19 test required for travel to my destination?”
I certainly wish I had a crystal ball to predict the future of travel. If so, I’d be rich! Today, unfortunately, we’re limited on where we may travel without restrictions—even here in the United States–and there’s a debate among folks over whether traveling outside our own city where we reside is the right, or responsible thing to do.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Vacation Shaming?” It’s when someone makes another person feel shame or guilt for wanting to travel/taking a trip. I see this shaming all the time, especially right now on Facebook where someone mentions they’re thinking about going on a trip, or they’ve booked a trip, only to have family, friends, and complete strangers throw in their unsolicited opinions on whether travel is safe or recommended. There are even published reports of employees who aren’t using all their paid vacation time due to vacation shaming. Have you been a victim of vacation shaming?
Well, if you know anything about me, you know I don’t easily cave to the pressure of outside forces, especially when it comes to travel. I know that the root of fears associated with travel is the Unknown, so I always gather the facts I need from reliable and trusted resources in order to make an intelligent and personal decision that’s right for me and my family. I don’t participate in vacation shaming or apply pressure when it comes to whether or not someone else should travel. As a travel consultant, my key role is to provide advice and information my clients need to make the best decision for them. My recommendations are always based on information I’m provided by my clients regarding their needs, wishes and concerns, and then I analyze the industry resources at my disposal before I make recommendations. “Based on the information you’ve provided me, and our conversations, I recommend XYZ for your upcoming trip.” I won’t force my personal opinions on others, and I’m certainly not going to recommend a destination that isn’t well-suited to my clients, or is unsafe/unavailable for travel. I am, however, a firm believer that it is indeed possible to safely travel to amazing destinations when the appropriate precautions are taken, and I’ve been on two international trips in the last month with my family members without incident—Jamaica and Mexico.
I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future of travel, but I do have trusted and reliable travel industry resources I rely on for the most up-to-date safety protocols for airlines, resorts, hotels, and tour operators, as well as the latest entry requirements for destinations around the world. I’ve been on two international trips in the last month, so I also have first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to travel by plane and stay at an all-inclusive resort.
I know you’ve had plenty of time to be dreaming about your next trip, so let’s have a one-on-one conversation to discuss where you’d like to go, even if your plans are for 2021/2022. It’s not too early to take advantage of Early Bird discounts! Give me a call (309) 256-2984, shoot me an email at Jennifer@JenniferWalkerTravel.com, or complete a Contact Request form on my agency website to get the conversation started.
Until next time…
P.S. For fun, here are some of my predictions for travel: Increased interest in private transfers/tours/guides; villas for multi-generational family travel; VIP, one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences; small-ship cruising; rail journeys; and small-group escorted travel.