A few weeks ago on CorporetteMoms we had a great discussion about how everyone is readjusting family vacation plans in 2020, and I thought it might be a great topic here, too. Where WERE you going to go? If you are traveling this summer, where are you going? If you’re planning travel for the future, where (and when) are you going?
For my $.02, I’m thrilled I got a lot of travel in before the pandemic hit (2018-2020ish) — my husband and I took a long-hoped-for vacation without kids to New Orleans, I got to see one of my best friends married in Lake Tahoe (and I had a blast at her bachelorette party in Austin, TX), we had a mini-vacation for my husband’s milestone birthday, and (in January 2020) we went away to a winery for a few nights with friends. As a family, we got lots of visits with grandparents, a few quick trips with friends to waterparks and the like, and took a trip to Universal Studios.
For 2020, we were planning to go to Disney World in April — the trip was originally rescheduled for October, but at this point we just got a total refund. (I still need to look into our airline refund; for one of our flights we got a straight refund but for our return flight we got a credit, which may or may not expire in a year.) My husband and I had hoped to have a mini-vacation in Chicago in April; that was also cancelled…
We don’t have any solid travel plans for 2021 yet, although if we feel comfortable I’m sure we’ll find a way to visit with grandparents. I continue to put money each month into our vacation fund as part of our automated savings strategy, though, so whenever we feel comfortable to travel we should have a really nice budget to work with.
Ladies, let’s hear from you — how have your vacation plans changed in 2020? Where were you going to go in 2020; where ARE you going in 2020, and, if you’re planning for future travel, where and when are you going?
We are in the Northeast and spent some time hiking/camping in Maine and New Hampshire this summer. I anticipate that even interstate travel among Northeast states may not even be a possibility this year, so any travel we do will be in our own state and of the hiking/camping/rv’ing variety. Also putting energy into turning our backyard into a “staycation” spot including a firepit and screenhouse for the time being. When I mentioned the possibility of a nice vacation this year, my spouse reminded me that our main job this year is to stay alive and well, not pampered or relaxed. As much as I will miss our yearly winter escape to a warm climate, I don’t think it’s a possibility/worth the risk to my family or citizens of other states and countries. Will dream of a Caribbean destination for the future in the meantime.
*meant that I’m anticipating interstate travel will be increasingly unlikely even among Northeast states during this winter if cases increase and given stricter quarantine measures.
How was Maine? We are considering are driving to Maine in August for a week as a friend-group trip – trying to find places we can drive without stopping at all. We are hoping to eat seafood and spend time distanced from others and outdoors. Pretty minimal expectations and will likely be grateful for anything because this is in place of a big international multi-city and more luxe trip we had planned for 2020 that we cancelled.
Maine was really lovely. We pretty much spent the whole time in a cabin by a lake, so can’t really comment re: what busier areas like Portland would be like. While in New Hampshire, we are outdoors at a few restaurants, and all patrons were respectful about wearing masks until seated, etc. Hiked in the White Mountain National Forest area which wasn’t super crowded, though we did drive by a few outdoor water parks that appeared pretty packed. Hope you have a great vacation wherever you go! My sense is that parts of Maine and New Hampshire are less packed that beaches in RI/CT/Cape Cod, but that could be totally incorrect. When I’ve gone to a beach, I’ve tried to go on a weekday vs. the weekend so that it’s less packed.
Strongly recommend checking current state Covid guidance prior to booking a Maine vacation (or really anywhere).
In mourning for our Covid-cancelled Alaska vacation, we booked an August family vacation in Maine. Last week, Maine instituted a 3-day prior negative Covid test result for any out-of-staters. Looking at the cancellation policies for airfare, lodging, car, etc we decided it wasn’t worth the gamble (to include Covid test result time frames) and cancelled the Maine vacation.
+1 and also please think about the effects of people living in the state, especially for states like Maine that have the pandemic really well-controlled. We have a family home in Maine. It was heartbreaking to me not to visit this year (I’ve gone every year of my life, including the year I was born), but ultimately it felt like the right choice for the state, which has one of the lowest infection rates in the United States. We know many people who live there who are terrified of getting infected from all the tourists traveling from hotspots. The government is allowing visitors in with negative tests, but this is not what the people in the state want for the most part. Maine originally required a 14 day quarantine for out of staters but dropped it under pressure from business interests, so I would only feel ok about visiting if I were going for a long time and could do the 14 day quarantine (a proper quarantine – not leaving my own property, even for outdoor activities).
I mean are you talking about a flight or a drive to your family home in Maine? I wouldn’t get on a plane but I’d say you should go if you can drive directly there. Outdoor, properly distanced activities are fine, if you stay away from people I don’t see the issue for the residents. We all have to deal with interstate travelers.
If you drive there, stay in a private home, don’t go into a grocery store or restaurant or shop, and only do outside activities, actually keeping 6’ distance from other people at all times, you’re not much risk to the local population. But 99% of travelers don’t do all that. And even for the most cautious travelers, there is always some chance you will have to interact with people. What if you break an ankle hiking and have to go to an ER? Or are walking around a cute town far from your AirBNB when you suddenly need a bathroom badly? It’s not realistic to believe there’s no chance you could infect someone.
It’s not just Maine, lots of the more remote tourist locations are very worried about this because they don’t have many year-round residents so they don’t have the hospital capacity for a lot of people, and many of them cater to retirees who are more susceptible to severe illness than the average person. I know it’s been a big concern in the Outer Banks, some Georgia beaches and many other more isolated destinations.
+1. We only went because it’s a 3 hour drive and we were staying in a family member’s cabin. I wouldn’t have planned a Maine trip if it entailed plane travel as restrictions change so often. We are planning a camping trip for October, but in our home state even though Maine/NH would be nicer because of shifting restrictions.
Yes of course. I’m looking at Maine specifically because it’s a straight no stops drive so airfare isn’t needed and we also don’t need to rent a car so neither are am issue. For lodging if you can, I have had luck for our beach house negotiating a clause in rental contact that specifically says if travel from our state to Maine is not allowed by any local state or federal guidance or regulation we terminate with refunded deposit and any fees paid.
Hope you have a great time if you go, and you probably already know this, but be sure to not leave your seafood unattended! I’ve seen many a seagull snatch away a lobster roll the second someone turns away. ;)
For this year, I had planned:
– ski trip to Switzerland in January. This happened without a hitch – but I possibly caught COVID en route and brought it back to Scotland which makes me feel hugely guilty
– trip to visit my parents and go to a yarn show in February. This happened too!
– trip to the city I studied in to run the half marathon in March. The half marathon went ahead but I didn’t feel comfortable travelling for it – was able to move my hotel room booking to October.
– an amazing trip by rail in June to Switzerland, Austria, and France. That didn’t happen but we are still planning to do that same trip in 2021 or 2022.
– a writing retreat in Wales in August – now cancelled. I will go back next year or the year after.
– a knitting retreat in Cumbria in October – this has just today been confirmed. I’m most worried about the fact that we will all be sitting round a long dinner table together but I trust the organisers to make the right decisions about what’s needed to make it safe.
I have a ski trip booked for the end of January next year which I booked this January – the company are allowing people to move bookings out so it’s likely I’ll push that to 2022.
I did also manage to get a weekend to visit my family in earlier this month which was absolutely wonderful.
Small Law Partner
We cancelled trips to Hawaii, and never got the initial planning stages of a trip to Northern Europe/St. Petersberg. I don’t know where we’ll go, if anywhere, but if we do travel it will likely just be within driving distance. The idea of staying in a hotel is not something we’re comfortable with at least right now.
My husband and I are DINKS and travel is a high priority for us. Every year we try to go on a big international vacation in the spring or fall and then in the winter we go somewhere tropical with occasional long weekend trips in between. We have a significant anniversary coming up and we were hoping to go all out for a really big trip. With international travel out of the question, we looked to see if there was anywhere we would feel comfortable driving – perhaps an Airbnb in a remote area where we could relax and enjoy a change of scenery. I spent a lot of time looking at options, and ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it. I’m feeling bummed about not having any plans for travel for the foreseeable future. I love planning trips almost as much as going on them. In the grand scheme of things, I know staying home is the right thing to do and when I put it into perspective, it really is a minor sacrifice. However, when travel is a big part of your life it’s really hard not to have anything on the horizon. We spent a lot of time and money over the past few months making our backyard area awesome, which helped, but it’s not the same. I’m taking a few days off in a few weeks and I’m going to try to plan some fun things in my area to do that I wouldn’t normally do.
I feel this. Esp in terms of travel being a big part of your life. I have so much fun planning – maximizing and double dipping credit card points and earning offers and sign-up bonuses, status upgrades, point transfers and airline partners to get the exact international flight. I even love travel days when I spend a few hours at the airport lounge when I wrap up work on my computer over a nice meal and a few well-made cocktails. I love talking to fellow travelers, I love travel as a couple, friend group travel and solo travel and the different experiences of each. I even miss packing and my sleep mask, airplane foot hammock, everything about plane travel.
Although driving to an Airbnb doesn’t have the glamour of jetting off somewhere new, we are city dwellers – so renting a house with its own pool a few hours away was surprisingly fun and felt more like a “real” vacation than we’d even expected. And it was easy to stay distanced with bringing our own groceries and doing extremely low-contact carryout.
The original Scarlett
+3 – all of this, all of this
We could be twins, friend.
Feeling it hard this year.
Lost over $500 on a ski trip that didn’t happen. Otherwise, missed out on a bachelorette party (dodged a bullet on that one) and am contemplating how to safely visit my best friend’s baby that will be born in September.
Cancelled my bachelorette party (Austin) and honeymoon (Thailand) – got almost everything back on those, either in credit or full refund, and hoping to do both at a smaller scale in 2021 along with my rescheduled wedding. Just got back from visiting family at the Jersey Shore, and I think that’s the only kind of travel we’ll be doing for the rest of the year.
sending you all the hugs. i just attended a zoom wedding last week and so many hugs for all the brides out there
So many canceled trips for 2020. We had big vacations to Europe and the Caribbean planned, as well as domestic plane trips to visit family and friends in NY, Maine and California.
We road-tripped to an Airbnb in Michigan for a week in July and will probably roadtrip somewhere south (maybe the Florida panhandle) at some point in the winter, assuming the situation there stabilizes, but that is likely to be it for our 2020 travel.
I go back and forth between thinking there will be a vaccine next spring and we will get to do real travel next summer and fall, and thinking the pandemic will never end and I’ll never get on an airplane. I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between. My 10th wedding anniversary is in fall 2022 and I will be pretty depressed if we can’t do a real getaway then.
Instead of a major anniversary trip to Tahiti, family get together in the Wine Country, and hosting a massive and boisterous Christmas gathering the two of us are working from a remote cabin, and hiking and swimming in the local only mildly slimy lake. Hopefully the local resort will open for skiing or we will spend the winter snowshoeing and watching people ice skate on the frozen lake.
We were going to go to England (March) and Denmark (July) – my husband had work conferences and I was going to tag along. Conferences were cancelled/virtual. Other than that, just domestic trips planned to visit family (all flight-distance), none of which have happened. I’m pregnant and due in October. We’re not putting anything on the calendar for next year, although still funding our travel fund. My husband is not optimistic that anything resembling normal leisure international travel will resume earlier than 4-5 years from now.
Can I ask why your husband thinks that? I think that’s the right timeframe for the airline industry to fully rebound, but I chalk that up more to reduced business travel and the financial impacts of the pandemic. I don’t see why people who have the funds wouldn’t be able to travel as soon as we have a widely available vaccine, which virtually all experts agree is very likely in the next 1-2 years. If we can’t get a vaccine in that timeframe, it’s because survivors don’t develop lasting immunity, and in that event the pandemic isn’t ending in five years, it’s ending never.
Maybe his definition of normal leisure travel is different from yours, but your guess that it’s 2 yrs or never is … not any more savvy.
I didn’t say leisure travel would never happen. I said the pandemic wouldn’t “end,” meaning covid will become an endemic disease we all get again and again, like colds and flu. But when it’s not a brand new disease, we won’t get it all at once, we will have better treatments, hospitals won’t be overwhelmed, and we won’t have to keep the whole world shut down.
Huh? So the OP’s husband is talking about leisure travel and you’re trying to refute his claim by talking about something else?
My question was what “event,” for lack of a better term, is going to happen in 4-5 years that would suddenly make travel possible. A vaccine, if it’s possible to develop one, will be widely available within two years. Herd immunity, if immunity to covid lasts that long, will also happen within the same timeframe. The only way we won’t have herd immunity through a vaccine or natural infection within 1-2 years is if immunity to Covid lasts less than a year in many people. Based on what we know so far, that appears to be a very real possibility, but then I don’t understand what would change several more years down the line that would suddenly make travel dramatically safer or more feasible. I was not being snarky, I was curious about his perspective. Maybe he knows something I don’t.
Cancelled a trip to Peru in June and got it all refunded/our deposit for our Machu Picchu hike is available to be used for 2021 or 2022. DH and I have been extremely spoiled to have a family lakehouse to use during this summer, which we went to for the week instead of Peru, and several weekends. No future vacations planned, except we are hoping to ski a lot in the winter. I think that’s keeping our travel spirits high, and if come December, ski resorts don’t open, DH in particular will be really sad.
The planner in me had picked out all of the places I wanted to visit in the next few years prior to TTC. Now that those are all on hold, I’m kind of thinking why wait?
I see a poster above mentioned that Maine has a 3-day quarantine. I’m in Massachusetts, where there’s a 14-day quarantine for all but 6 states starting Aug. 1. I suspect we’ll see more and more of these interstate quarantines, so I plan to stay firmly in state and sacrifice. It is difficult (I used to travel 25% of the time for my job), but what can we do?!
Anon Probate Atty
We were supposed to go to Utah for a ski trip in March, to North Carolina for my niece and nephew’s bar/bat mitzvah in March, and to visit my brother in California this month, all of which were canceled. We were supposed to attend my husband’s aunt’s wedding in California in May, which was canceled and held via Zoom instead. We are also probably going to cancel our 20-year anniversary trip to Aruba in October, although I’m still holding on to a little bit of hope for that. It would be a short flight for us, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. We did drive to the beach twice this summer – once for a Friday-Sunday trip and the other a longer 4-day stay. Both times, went to a beach we hadn’t been to before and stayed in a rental house. They were nice, relaxing trips, so at least we feel that we’ve gone somewhere this year. We’ve missed out on lots of travel this year. But missing out on our 20-year anniversary trip will be by far the biggest bummer.
I was going to Germany this fall as an exchange student, and had a side trip to Paris planned for a particular event. Fortunately, I would have needed to start putting money down in April, so we knew there was a problem before paying any deposits. The event’s canceled, the university I was going to isn’t accepting exchange students in person this fall, and most trans-Atlantic flights are canceled. It is going to be the highlight of my month when I get to go to the local zoo. Europe is right out.
(We’re hopefully trying again on the exchange student thing in February/March. Hopefully by then, things will be slightly more under control – under the current rules, I can get into the Schengen Area as an exchange student even if they’re still not allowing US tourism, so it all really depends on the university I’m going to.)
I had just gotten back from a work trip to the UK when shutdowns started happening, and thankfully got a few days off while I was there. We were supposed to go to Chicago for a wedding in August–that has been moved to next year. We were tentatively planning to go to Glacier NP sometime this summer and ditched those plans. We did go to a beach in our state for a week (rented a house, didn’t go anywhere but beach and house and grocery store), and plan to rent a cabin in the mountains in our state for a long weekend in October to replace the annual trip we normally take with some friends to an amusement park’s Halloween-themed weekends. I’m not attempting to plan anything in 2021 yet. It’s just too uncertain. We’ll hopefully get to Glacier next year, but who knows.
We usually do international destinations for vacations. This year we went to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota for a week of canoeing and hiking. It was beautiful and a really fun trip. It’s not a vacation we would ever have done except for the current circumstances. Highly recommended.
My husband and I travel a ton. In January and February we were excited that we had booked and planned almost all of our travel for the year. We then got to cancel all of it. Luckily almost everything got refunded. Canceled trips include a long weekend in Banff with friends, a trip to a friend’s medical school graduation, a week in Peru, and a week in Mexico with my husband’s family. My husband was also going to take his mom to Patagonia for a week and a half (to celebrate a big birthday) and I was going to meet them for a long weekend in Mexico City at the end of the trip. We haven’t officially canceled our week with my family for Thanksgiving (I try to wait until the flights are canceled to cancel trips because it’s easier to get money back), but I can’t imagine we’ll go. We did spend a week at a beach in driving distance, which was lovely. I’m also hoping to take a backpacking trip at some point.
I’ve booked the week of the election off, and have rented the little beach cabin on the Washington coast that has been a family vacation spot since the kids were little. They’re all grown and busy now, but will come down and spend a couple of days as schedules allow. I’m currently on the east coast for work , and couldn’t bear the idea of being away from everyone during what may be a very difficult and possibly scary week. It’s very isolated and peaceful with lots of happy memories, plus of course beautiful scenery and it will give me a chance to deal with whatever happens without trying to maintain regular day to day life for a bit.
Also cancelled a much-anticipated hiking break in North Carolina that was scheduled for April. I’m hoping we can get that back on the calendar before my tour in the SEUS is over because I’ve never been and it looks beautiful.
Cancelled trip to New Orleans for a friend’s wedding in April (flights refunded), and cancelled trip to Texas to visit family, also in April. I’m particularly bummed about both cancellations because the New Orleans trip was going to be a mini babymoon (I gave birth in June), and the family visit in Texas was to see both of my grandfathers, both of whom were battling stage 4 cancers and have since passed. No travel plans for the rest of 2020 (mostly due to having a newborn), but my parents and in-laws have altered their plans to visit and meet the baby. In laws will drive (12 hours, stopping only for gas) in a few weeks, and stay with us; my parents (in Texas) are looking at flying in October or November, but are still on the fence about that.
My boyfriend and I had planned a two-week vacation starting in Play del Carmen for 4 days and then flying down to Peru for 10 days in April. We scrapped that, obviously. We did a long weekend at a mid-Atlantic beach town for the 4th. We are now heading out to FL for a month to rent a house with a pool, where we will mostly keep to ourselves. We’ll take two weeks as vacation and work remotely for the remainder, and that will be our big trip for the year.