For many people around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed our entire way of living but also affected a lot of travel plans. Unfortunately, summer vacations and spring breaks have been pushed back or canceled altogether. But, we all feel that itch to get out and explore. Or, just go somewhere to relax and de-stress.
Although travel is still uncertain, many people are starting to think about their trips for the next year, looking into Charleston, SC rentals and low airfare prices. While there’s no harm in dreaming about your next great getaway, be aware that your plans may need to be altered. Here are some tips on planning for next year’s vacation in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Inquire About Return Policies
Whether you’re currently planning a trip for 2021 or you already had one booked, you need to talk to your accommodation and transportation providers to learn about their return and exchange policies.
Once the pandemic hit the U.S. in late February/early March, travel was almost altogether halted, and many people were scrambling to figure out their previously planned trips. Because of the unusual circumstances, nearly all airfare and other travel industry businesses released policies that allowed people to reschedule or get their money back.
In fact, Southwest even announced that the company plans to honor canceled flight funds until 2022. This means that even if you book a nonrefundable flight and you aren’t able to or don’t feel comfortable flying at the time of your trip, you will not receive a full refund, but you will be able to put the money toward rescheduling or booking another trip through the rest of 2020 and the entire year of 2021.
It’s important to be aware of policies like this prior to booking a trip in case the state of the pandemic changes and further affects air transportation in the coming months.
Consider Purchasing Trip Insurance
Now, more than ever, trip insurance is important. In the past, trip insurance didn’t necessarily guarantee that you would receive money back if you needed to cancel your trip. Many insurance policies have specific requirements for receiving a refund. However, during a pandemic, trip insurance should cover your flight if you’re unable to fly or there is a no-travel ban on your destination.
As with the return policy, you’ll want to do a lot of research before investing in trip insurance, to make sure this specific scenario would be covered, but it can still provide additional security for you.
Research the State of Your Destination
Although pandemic stats are changing on a daily basis, you should stay in the know about what is happening with the coronavirus in your planned destination city or state. With your trip several months to a year away, it’s certain that the situation will change, but the more up-to-date you are, the more well-informed you’ll be as the trip approaches.
This will give you an idea of whether or not the place you’re visiting is a hotspot or if the numbers affected by the virus are declining. It’s also a good way to understand what the particular requirements of that region are when it comes to masks, social distancing, and other precautionary measures.
Some travel may be unavoidable if you need to relocate as part of a new job / opportunity. Advance travel or a vacation may be necessary to scout out a new home, school, etc. The above research can help prior to the new house hunt.
If you are moving your office/home to another location and would like assistance with transportation – or perhaps you’ve made an IKEA purchase that you’d like delivered to your home or office – then check out what is available in Winchester as a convenient and affordable Man and Van solution for you!
Try to Avoid Air Travel
If possible, it’s currently recommended not to plan a trip that involves flying, especially if you’re flying to another country. With the future so uncertain, leaving the country may not be possible if that nation is barring foreign visitors or experiencing an uptick in cases with its own citizens. You don’t want to put the health of your family or the citizens of the area at risk.
If you’re traveling domestically, consider renting or driving your own car to avoid going through the airport. This may mean you need to plan a vacation closer to home. But, you can still get that laid-back, island beach vibe when you research Isle of Palm vacation rentals in Charleston, SC or other coastal areas of the country.
Be Prepared to Be Flexible
The key to planning a vacation in 2021 is flexibility. No one knows what exactly the future holds, in terms of the virus’s spread and how it will continue to affect different regions and countries. So, you should go into your planning with the understanding that your vacation time may need to be pushed off.
Most people need to give their workplace advanced notice of a vacation. You can let your employer know the dates you are planning, but preface this with the understanding that those dates might have to be altered. Then, stay on top of the news as the trip approaches to determine whether it’s safe to follow through on the trip. If not, take advantage of the rescheduling policies and trip insurance to move your vacation to a later date.
Go on a Virtual Vacation
Although you may be dreaming about that big special trip in 2021, for right now you can satisfy your travel bug by visiting a place closer to home that seems safe. Or, you can do what so many others are doing and jump on board the virtual vacation trend. Some of the most beautiful destinations in the world are adding virtual vacation options to their websites, which allows people to experience the beauty and learn the history of an area without having to travel across the world.
This may not be quite the same as a real, in-person vacay, of course, but it’s a fun way to see new destinations and get inspiration for your next big trip.
Source: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
Add Charleston to Your Bucket List
If you haven’t been to the Holy City, you should certainly look into Charleston, SC rentals, as this southern city has everything you need for a great getaway, from delicious food to gorgeous beaches. If you live in the region, this could potentially be a great nearby trip to satisfy your need to get away. But, if not, this is the perfect time to start a bucket list for yourself and plan your next great adventure. Look into the area and organize your research to make sure Charleston finds a place at the top of your list of places to see.