No one is telling you to get into the car, stat. It is time to start thinking about traveling again, though, and maybe redefining what that means.
If time—and life—was short, where would you go? What was that one place that you told yourself you would go for years, only to never go? If our time in lockdown has been any indication, it meant looking at every nook and cranny, measuring twice, and cutting once, in all areas of life.
Traveling, with purpose, has always been the name of our game, and its time to bring that back with vengeance.
I think you know where you’re going next, so here’s what to consider when it’s time to hit the road.
Please apply common sense, for health's sake.
Some basics apply here. Book only if you’re absolutely, completely certain if you’re going. Book close to as traveling as possible (prices will still be bottom barrel for a while). Stay flexible. Buy proper travel insurance. Do not venture into places still under lockdown, or experiencing resurges. It will not be fun.
Consider it our public responsibility, and to be your mom.
Prioritize remote places and outdoor adventures. (Many less oft-touched places like Mongolia were relatively untouched by COVID-19 from a health standpoint; however, it does not mean they were not economically affected.)
Considering Bhutan for the last 10 years? Now is the time to go; that is, if they’ll accept you.
Playing devil’s advocate for a second: It may actually be safer to travel internationally than it may be domestically, though that should be weighed against the consideration of being packed in a canister full of people in the air versus a vehicle with family. Especially if you’re considering Florida or Arizona.
Can you travel and work remotely? This is the time.
If you’re fortunate enough in the position not to be an essential worker, then the possibilities are endless. Who says you need to hang out here in New York with me?
Though we get readers from all over, most Map Happy readers come from the U.S., so while some of the following scenarios may not be applicable to everyone, though they do give some interesting ways to think about the situation.
Many of us forget there’s a whole entire continent down south, though countries like Brazil and Argentina are still in varying stages of lockdown. However, on the upside, think zero time zone adjustments and an additional 3,000 miles between you and your boss.
Though Europe has always held minimal interest (sorry!), working there (or six hours ahead) has always been our favorite time zone to operate in. No one’s checking in when you wake up, and if you do manage to get a couple of hours of work in before the U.S. starts their day, it makes you feel like an overachiever being light years ahead in the workday.
Coupled with efficient phone scheduling in the early Euro afternoon, no one will really notice once you start checking out around 3 pm your time, again, because you're in Europe. It’s the best time zone to work in. Barcelona retirement, here it is.
Asia may be the toughest for obvious reasons, though it could work well for night owls that won’t quite quit. Relocating here may be best relegated to short, quick trips.
Besides, no one is going to really notice until 2021, and who knows? It could be permanent.
The end of the year is almost here.
Depending on the industry and job function, September can spell the end of spontaneity for some folks. Count us included, and we work in the travel industry.
September each year certainly drives home the point that travel is a means to an end, and that end can encompass many things: Postponed weddings, work conferences, and other familial obligations. In many ways, it kicks off a four-month work lockdown period for many that lasts through until the Christmas season.
For that reason, and that reason alone, trips that inspire whimsy, joy and Instagramz galore, are relegated to the summer. They must be taken before September, because our next good shot is the holiday season (and that looks like it already has been decided for us).
Since at this point, a third of the year has come and gone during lockdown, there are only two months left to enjoy free time. Though a slow wave of countries (and states) have already begun to reopen, the real wave of tourism won't begin to start for a bit.
It is inevitable there is a "sleep inertia" that the travel industry will have to go through, and countries figure who they will or they won't allow in.
Summer vacations might have to be a bit more spontaneous than in years past, but don't be surprised if you see us squirreling away to our own vacation in August. The more information that we have, the better equipped we are to make informed decisions, and we are — finally, after many months — reaching a tipping point.