Essentials for Getting Ready to Travel Again
What being ‘travel ready’ means at the start of 2021, probably varies more than ever before. Travel is driven by the very human desire to explore and to enjoy, which has not changed. And, while the prospect of being able to travel is a joyous one, it's also, in many ways, overwhelming. We have pondered what being ‘ready’ might mean, and want to share with you some thoughts, ideas, and tips from our decades of travel experience, and a breadth of opinions and insight from our team of intrepid women. We want to help you get back to being ready, and being able to travel well.
How to Feel Confident Traveling Again
This will certainly be a year of ‘transition’. Rather than looking at your bucket list, booking a flight, and packing your bags, there may be many more small steps in between. It is very much an okay notion to want to put more research, thought, and intention into your travel choices.
Do your research about destinations - especially related to how COVID might have impacted them. Know the policies of the companies and airlines you are traveling with. Be extra prepared for travel during more chaotic times; consider purchasing the travel insurance you would not have in the past. Add a bit of a cushion to your travel budget to have some extra funds in case plans change, and ponder a ‘Plan B’ in case something should cause an adjustment that you will have to navigate.
Explore your options and make informed decisions, but also be willing to take calculated risks based on your personal sense of comfort and safety.
How Things Are Different
It may seem obvious, but it is easy to forget that the new routine of masks, hand sanitizers, and distancing don’t go away when you take off for ‘vacation’. They remain important, but these new details are easy to prep for and to also get used to. Be patient with the changes to how you experience travel, and the aspects of it that are now different or possibly even required . . . everywhere.
We have been forced in the last year to make decisions about aspects of everyday life that we never had to before, yet most people have become more cautious and also more purposeful in how they interact with the world. Use that moving forward! Give yourself permission to be intentional (maybe even picky) about the choices and decisions you make related to travel.
How To Pick Travel You Are Comfortable With
Studies show traveler preferences have shifted toward the familiar, predictable, and trusted. Trends of course point to domestic vacations, extensive planning, and more time in the great outdoors. Travel involves being willing to expose yourself to new situations and to be able to tolerate some uncertainty because you don’t know exactly how it’s going to go. But, how to launch into that now?
Narrow in on your top priorities; Are you seeking as-safe-as possible of a destination? A peaceful environment? Something that guarantees adventure activity? What about the distance or effort required to travel? Have fun with it and visually sketch out all the things that come to mind! It is okay to adapt your bucket list to make room for traveling closer to home and to tried and true destinations you may already be familiar and comfortable with. Think about what kind of trip you would benefit from most? Do you need a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway? Is your top goal to get away from zoom, devices, and distractions? Or, maybe after a stifling year, you need a big physical challenge to look forward to and prepare for?
How to Prepare in a New Era of Travel
If you are feeling any sense of apprehension about the opportunity to travel, consider adding new habits to your travel preparation plans. Do a trial run of getting out for a shorter time - a day or weekend - by going somewhere nearby that you are comfortable with or maybe haven’t visited in a while. Consider allowing for extra time and space at the start of the trip to simply adjust to being out, before your actual vacation begins. Once you are on a trip, slow down. Be mindful of the choices you now make when you travel; how you spend your time, what you eat, how you connect with others. Be sure to revel in every moment of the experience.
No matter where you choose to go or what you plan to do, you should still ponder how to prepare physically for an adventure, especially after a year of potentially much less activity. This is important not only to feel great while enjoying your time away but to help ensure you venture out with a strong immune system.
Once You Return
After you have navigated this new era and feel you are well-versed in its ways, share what you have learned and experienced with other women in order to do the important task of supporting each other toward fulfilling our human desire to explore and to enjoy. Recognize that people may be balancing risks to their physical health as well as risks to their mental and emotional health in pondering whether and how to travel. Perhaps you may be the encouragment of ‘being travel ready’ that a gal needs in that very moment - we can do this, together!