Photo by @ourhappydiaries
Say it with us: “we will travel again someday.” This has been our mantra over the past few months, and fortunately it seems like we may even get to travel someday soon! After more than a year spent with social distancing top-of-mind, now’s the time to pull out that travel bucket list and start planning. This way, when the all-clear finally arrives, all you’ll have to do is board your flight, kick back and enjoy your next adventure.
Here are seven tips to help you plan your post-pandemic bucket list trip.
1) Start today: The more time you have to plan logistics the better, especially when traveling internationally. Sometimes bucket list journeys involve multiple destinations, so creating a spreadsheet of lodging, inter-country travel (like buses, trains, etc.) and any ticketed sites or museums is a good idea. Traveling with friends? Share the spreadsheet and invite them to input their suggestions, or create an Instagram saves board or Pinterest board of favorite neighborhoods and restaurants to get the ball rolling.
Photo by Kimpton Aluna Tulum
2) Narrow your search: The world is a big place, and after a year plus at home we bet you’ll want to go everywhere. Now is the time to narrow your search by asking yourself a few questions. Warm or cold weather? City or rural? A destination where you can relax and do nothing or a cityscape where you can explore, learn and people watch? We’ve got some suggestions for all types of dream trips. Also, keep in mind how much time you have for vacation. If you only have a week off, plan a trip that won’t take you 24 hours to get there.
3) Stick to your budget: Nothing can ruin a trip like blowing your budget. If you’re traveling with a group, Splitwise helps you organize expenses among everyone and keeps track of balances so there’s no confusion as to who owes what to whom. Sites like Groupon and Living Social may offer discounted activities and restaurants in the destination you’re visiting, and the XE Currency app tells you the conversion rate of every country you visit so there are no surprises.
Photo by @thedarlingniki
4) Research travel requirements and restrictions: Travel restrictions will be a reality for a while, so it’s best to stay as updated as you can. Kayak has created a travel restrictions color-coded map that shows which countries have air travel restrictions, as well as a list of the most recent related news stories. The CDC also offers a COVID-19 travel recommendations map so you can make your own decision (as some destinations do not have restrictions but do have high COVID risk), but this map does not include restrictions.
5) Find dreamy lodging: If there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it’s how important it is to love the space you’re in. The same rules apply when on vacation. Consider finding a hotel room that includes the things that make you happy: a soaking tub, a gorgeous view, luxurious bathrobes, a delicious mini-bar. Splurge for a suite if it feels right!
Photo by Kimpton Armory Hotel
6) Plan your experiences: Many famous museums and sites are reopening with strict social distancing and timed entry protocols in place, so instead of reserving entry tickets weeks in advance, you may need months. Yes, months. If indoor activities aren’t available, consider urban hikes, national parks, wineries and walking tours – all fun and immersive options.
7) Research your restaurants: Enjoying the local cuisine while traveling is a major part of the bucket list trip experience. Eater is a tried and true resource for the latest news in the restaurant industry around the world, with regularly updated, hyperlocal “Eater 38” maps of the most standout restaurants in cities like Chicago, London and New Orleans.
Photo by Elm & Good