2021: Bringing Travel Back?
In 2020, 'Travelin' Tim' became 'Stay At Home Tim'. Like many people, I had great plans. A trip in May to visit the Republic of Georgia, a visit to India in November. Also, like many people, as news of the COVID-19 pandemic grew grimmer and grimmer, I kept minimizing it. 'Oh, it's confined to China' became 'I'm sure it will not be a big deal' became 'It should be over in six weeks or so' became 'When will it end????'
So here we are, at the beginning of 2021, on the border of horrifying and hopeful. Horrifying, because it seems like the worst days of the pandemic as far as sickness and death go are ahead of us... hopeful, because vaccines are beginning to roll out as we speak. So, what does that mean for us travel addicts? If you're like me, it means a bunch of vouchers and airline miles to be used, and a renewed wanderlust itch that is aching to be scratched. And yes, I've already booked parts of three different trips, each with a varying degree of certainty whether it will actually happen or not.
My 'vacation time' bank is as full as I can carry into the new year with me, so I'm ready to go. My sleeve is rolled up for a vaccine as soon as it's made available to me, and my passport is burning a hole in my wallet. So, here's what's on my calendar for 2021: Malta (Late February, Current Odds: 15%) - Booked in a fit of optimism over the summer, I have some serious doubts that I'll actually be doing this one. I had airline miles that were going to expire in April, and Malta seemed like a warmish place for a late winter mini-trip. If I end up cancelling, the miles go back into the account. I have not booked any accommodations at this point, but if I do, it will be in an Air B&B that I can stay in by myself.
Turkey (Late May - Current Odds: 55%) - I had credits on both Turkish Airlines and Intrepid Tours for cancelled trips in 2020, so this is how I'm using both of them. I'm hoping that my age might put me slightly ahead of the 'general population' in the vaccine line, but either way, Turkey has been one of the few destinations that has been open to Americans for awhile. I think it will be close enough that if I can't go in May, June could still be a possibility.
Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand (November - Current Odds: 85%) - Now we're getting into the end of the year, and by god, we'd better be good to go for traveling by then. So far, I've only put a $1 deposit on this trip (a Black Friday special!), but if things start looking better this spring, I'll likely nail everything down then. With four countries involved, there may be some visa stuff that has to happen, so best to get started early. How about you? What travel plans do you have for 2021, and how confident are you at this point that they will actually happen?