Travel Tips

Make Your Travel Plans Come True in 2021: How To Book Travel Today With Peace of Mind

And just like that, 2020 is almost over. We survived months of strict lockdowns that forced us to stay at home. We’ve put our travel plans on hold and just shushed our wanderlust with gardening, cooking, Netflix binge, and hobbies to keep us sane. While we’re coping with the pandemic pretty well, we can’t help but crave the “old normal”, which involves packing our stuff, flying, staying in a hotel, and discovering new, exciting places. 

If you’ve been itching to travel since March and you’re seeing the travel industry slowly reopening its doors, you might probably be thinking: is it okay to travel in 2021? 

Yes… but no. Yes, because we’re seeing countries opening their borders and working on their tourism sectors to boost the economy. We’re seeing more hotels, airlines, and tourist sites reopening and adapting to the new normal. But as far as health and safety are concerned, the virus is still out there so we can’t let our guards down. Multiple promising COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon and we have no other choice but to wait. 

So if you’re planning to book your travel for 2021, here are friendly reminders to remember by heart. 

Contents

1. Don’t expect 2021 to be “normal”

I don’t intend to burst your bubble but if you’re looking forward to the “best trip you’ve ever had” in 2021, that’s not going to happen. While the travel industry is back to business, there will be a lot of restrictions around entry to states and countries. 

You’re required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing. There’ll be fewer crowds. While that seems like a good thing, you can instantly feel the lack of energy in the scene. The restaurants, theme parks, museums, and other public places may be quieter, colder, and quite hollow. Festivals and other fun events are also more likely to get canceled to prevent large social gatherings. 

2021 is also not the perfect time for family trips. Several countries discourage traveling with kids, the elderly, and other folks who are more vulnerable to the virus. 

2. See how brands operate during the pandemic

We’re talking about the measures the hotels, airlines, and travel destinations are taking to prevent the spread of the virus: 

  • Do they limit the number of guests on-board or on-site?
  • Do they refuse people who are sick? 
  • Do they have contactless payments? 
  • How about their physical distancing protocols? 
  • What are the steps taken to disinfect the property and ensure the health and safety of their staff and guests? 

Patronize brands that take safety precautions seriously. Their strict protocols only show how committed they are to protecting their employees and customers. 

3. Look for flexible policies 

Okay, so there are a plethora of hotel properties, offering cheap rates to entice travelers. The question is, are they refundable? 

Next to its pledge to ensure health and safety, flexibility is something you should look for when booking hotel accommodation, flights, and tours. Before taking advantage of an attractive deal that may soon expire, review the cancellation and rescheduling options first. 

The pandemic taught us that anything can happen in just a short period. This so-called “new normal” is not, in any way, normal at all. While you won’t know what’s going to happen soon, you can give yourself some peace of mind by having the chance to back out. 

4. Look for discounts 

If you’re gonna take a non-refundable travel deal, why not choose the ones with a lot of discounts and perks over the ones with standard rates? Look out for basic economy fares and hotel rooms which often offer a significant price discount in exchange for non-refundable terms and conditions.

5. Check your travel reward cards

If you’re still not ready to book a 2021 vacation today, you can still take advantage of the deals from your travel reward cards. Since banks are currently scrambling to earn, you can see a boom in credit card offers as of the moment. 

6. Stick to big brands that you’re loyal to

Are you a member of some sort of loyalty program? Travel experts recommend booking with the brands you’re loyal to. If you wind up with credit rather than a refund or rebooking, you might be able to use it before it expires. 

7. Reach out to the company

So you booked a great non-refundable travel deal and regret it? Your money doesn’t need to go to the drain. You can still get your cashback if you negotiate well. 

Reach out to the company you booked through to see if you can negotiate some credit or money-back deal. Companies, who are working to build strong relationships with patrons, are more likely to be more flexible than their cancellation policies indicate. 

Don’t fall into this dilemma by reading the fine print before booking anything. 

8. Choose domestic travel 

Travel experts suggest choosing domestic travel over international ones. Test out slow travel in local places. List down the beautiful places in your home country that you haven’t seen because. The slow, and short-distance trips aren’t just safer and more convenient — traveling domestically also helps boost your local tourism and economy, which are trying to recover from the impact of the pandemic. 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a passionate content writer who loves traveling, discovering new food, taking photos, and of course, writing. She’s got a lot to say about travel, dining, cultural appreciation and lifestyle. To know more about hotel and tourism tips, you may visit Leopold Hotel Ostend.

Carmina Natividad

Carmina Natividad is a passionate blogger who'd rather write helpful and engaging posts online than rant on social media. This free-spirited damsel enjoys writing articles about travel, fashion, food, home design, career, relationships, and lifestyle. When she's not writing, you can find her drawing monster doodles, eating Japanese food and petting her boyfriend's cat.

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