We’re all hoping for a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, a time when things go back to normal and activities we love like international travel will return in full force for all of us to enjoy again. Many of us are planning for a time, maybe 4 months, 6 months, a year from now--probably sometime in 2022--when we’ll fly off to the next destination on our bucket lists and get back to having fun. I’m sad to say, for many, that will probably not be true. Here's why.
As a veteran travel planner and CEO of my own company, I’ve been watching the industry very closely and speaking with my supplier partners about planning post-Covid-19 travel. Though there are a few destinations that are safer than others to travel to right now, some people have it in their minds that 2022 is the year they’ll get back to traveling. Covid-19 will hopefully be under better control in 2022, yet what’s going to keep a lot of people from traveling might not be large outbreaks or new variants. It will be poor planning.
What travelers currently don’t understand is that high quality travel operators have only a finite number of ship’s cabins or hotel rooms available for 2022 travel. And many of those staterooms and hotel suites are already booked with passengers who weren’t able to travel in 2020 or 2021. It may seem counterintuitive here in the fall of 2021, yet many 2022 departure dates, even through next summer or next fall, are already full!
Adventure and luxury travelers who are planning to get back out there in 2022 will very likely find themselves looking at dates in 2023 or even 2024 in order to find space. What had been a moratorium on travel due to Covid-19 is about to turn into a 2022 moratorium on travel for many who didn’t book their trip ahead of time.
The good news is many operators still have their Covid-19 booking policies in place which include the ability to cancel or change a travel date should Covid-19 or even future commitments you’re currently not aware of cause you to have to cancel a 2022 trip. Many of these provisions will expire on Nov 30 or Dec 31 of 2021, so it’s important to take advantage of them now. Once January comes around, these policies could disappear and you might be on the hook for a trip you aren’t able to take.
We all know there is an enormous level of pent-up demand for travel out there, and as soon as people feel more confident about improvements in pandemic conditions, there’s going to be a stampede of people attempting to book a 2022 trip.
In order to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get turned away or moved onto a 2023 or 2024 date, I can’t urge you strongly enough to book your 2022 trip now. Even if you have to move the date because a future commitment comes up or, heaven forbid, a Covid-19 surge unfolds, at least you’ll have the option of traveling in 2022. As time passes, more and more people aren’t going to have that option.
Are you ready to set up your 2022 trip? If yes, please contact us. My team and I are here to help you select the perfect trip, and to make sure it’s fully confirmed so you have something to look forward to in 2022.