By Joyce Masyga, Agency Owner
One of the most incredible aspects of travel is its ability to change us. It teaches us lessons we didn’t know we needed to learn. It alters perspectives we didn’t know would ever change. And it provides experiences that instill compassion, tolerance, patience, and so much more. But why do we do it? Why do we pack our bags, board planes and travel to places both near and far? Perhaps it’s the adrenaline that makes us feel alive, or maybe it prevents us from feeling complacent in life. For some, maybe it comforts us to know we’re forever evolving into better humans,widening our view of the world. Or perhaps it’s simply watching our children experience new things with pure joy and excitement in their eyes. No matter what your reason is, it’s your motivation, it’s your calling, and it’s your ‘why.’
Consumers are anxious about traveling again and are looking to professional travel advisors for information on what is safe, what is open, which hotels have implemented enhanced hygiene measures. They want an advocate if something happens before, during or after their trip. There is a need for information and trusted guidance. Expectations may be frequently translated into support from a travel consultant who is very familiar with all stages of the journey. Even after travelers get vaccinations, travelers are likely to remain more cautious of health issues going forward.
In a COVID-19 world, travelers are much more cognizant of the need to travel to destinations that make it easy to maintain social distancing practices. Endless Travel Advisors can get creative by designing itineraries that avoid public forms of transportation or crowded tourist areas. This may take the form of itineraries focusing on more remote locations or niches such as birding tours or biking tours, where travelers are less likely to come into contact with others.
Here are a few destinations that are open for business with some restrictions in place.Alaska
Explore Alaska’s vast landscapes. Let us cre- ate your ideal itinerary—the things and places you’ve always wanted to see.
For adventurers, how about trekking on a gla- cier, kayaking on a high mountain lake or sea kayaking, mountain biking or a photo tour of incredible scenic beauty and wildlife. Families can take sled dog tours or rides, nature hikes, gold panning, or visit Alaska Native culture sites and museums. Alaska is always a great place for fish- ing trips for any age or level.
An example of a Self-Drive 7-day vacation:
Day 1 – Anchorage
Upon arrival in Anchorage, pick up your full-size rental car with unlimited mileage (We use full-size cars because they are very stable and can handle your luggage.).
Day 2 – Anchorage to Homer
Enjoy the 225-mile drive to the picturesque town of Homer at the “end of the road.” Enjoy the day as there is a lot to see on these scenic highways.
Day 3 – Homer
Enjoy a half day halibut fishing excursion. For the non-fishermen, you may choose from fly-out bear viewing, a day-cruise across Kachemak Bay, or strolling the beaches and shops.
Day 4 – Homer to Seward
Drive 175 miles to Seward. Visit some of the places you missed on your drive to Homer. See the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward and learn about the unique eco-systems of the area.
Day 5 – Seward Sightseeing
Depart on an exciting cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park. This tour will visit the glaciers and give you an opportunity to see the area’s wildlife. Visit dog sled kennels and ride on a training sled.
Day 6 – Spencer Glacier Float Trip & Alyeska Resort
Depart Seward for a short 65-mile drive to the Portage Train Depot. Board the Alaska RailroadHawaii
Hawaii is a beautiful tropical vacation hot spot unlike any other in the world. From its beautiful white sandy beaches and its majestic mountains and steep valleys to its city life, there really is something for everyone to enjoy! The weather in Hawaii is always perfect. Hawaii has a winter season, but it doesn’t get much colder than 75°F (24°C) during the day—ever. It is summer all year long to the typical vacationer, and shorts and bathing suits are normal attire. The Hawaiian culture is very much alive, and it shines through its people! From its city and beach names (which are almost all still in the Hawaiian language) to hula demonstrations at luaus and ukulele or lei making lessons, it is a great way to learn more about Hawaiian culture. All of the Islands are open for visitors now, so take advantage of the low airfares to Hawaii. Mexico/Caribbean
Endless Travel is seeing that all-inclusive vaca- tions make a lot of sense for travelers today. Families and couples can get away to a foreign country and take advantage of the ocean, and do it safely.
All-inclusive vacations include all of your meals, drinks, transfers, most non-motorized water sports and often tips. Travelers booking beach vacations are looking for relaxation and fun; nothing is more relaxing than knowing you can enjoy yourself to the fullest extent and not have to worry about a bill at the end. We all like to indulge on vacation, so being able to have all food, beverages, entertainment and a wide vari- ety of activities included in the package price provides great value.United States
I am sure many of you have done most of your traveling in the United States this past year while visiting family or doing short driv- ing trips. The statistics show that RV rentals are at their highest. In fact, my husband and I, along with my two sisters and husbands are planning an RV vacation to The Mighty Five in Utah this March. The Five National parks that make up the Mighty Five are: Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capital Reef National Park and Zion National Park. Each park anchors a travel region that beckons trav- elers to immerse themselves in not only the iconic national park, but state parks, national monuments and small towns that weave texture into southern Utah. All national parks are open, but services and activities may be limited due to COVID-19 protocols. Reach out to Endless Travel for assistance in booking this type of trip with a group or self-drive.
Although nobody knows exactly what will happen, one thing is clear; we won’t be able to travel as freely (without consideration for our health) as we used to… at least for the foresee- able future. With a considerable amount of uncertainty regarding travel safety and contradic- tory information online, travelers will continue to look to the experts when it comes to planning their trips. Travel has become increasingly complex, and travelers may engage with Endless Travel advisors simply to help them manage the complicated airline arrangements and health regulations they must adhere to.
Disclaimer: Endless Travel advisors are not physicians and we can’t predict the future. This article was written with what we know today. It is always your decision as a traveler to know your risks. Please follow all COVID-19 precautions.