Due to my distinct lack of a crystal ball, I’ve avoided talking about the future of travel on my channels up until now. After more than 3 months in lockdown in the UK, and longer in some places around the rest of the world, we’re not in a much clearer position to say with confidence if and when it will be safe to travel overseas again. But, this month I’ve seen a slight increase in searches for travel content on Girl Tweets World and it got me thinking.
Are you booking flexible holidays for later this year? Will you, a community of people who LOVE travel, be on the first flights out of here? Are you an Aussie who has already hit the road for a domestic holiday?
Rather than draw assumptions from a few hundred clicks I took to Instagram to ask readers directly instead. I asked where everyone was at with their travel plans this year and the answers were mostly in line with what I’ve been thinking.
As there was a lot to unpack, I’ve tried to summarise here what exactly you guys told me you had booked, or will be booking, later in the year, as well as where we hope to travel in 2020.
2020 the year of the staycation
The media have been stating this for a little while, but in your responses it really was confirmed to me that 2020 will be the year of the staycation. The majority of respondents not only said they plan to travel solely in the UK for the rest of the year, but they plan to do so on at least two occasions and in some cases up to 4 or 5 times throughout the rest of the year.
Although it’s not confirmed yet if domestic tourism will reopen in the UK on July 4th, most of us have made flexible bookings for the Summer and Autumn. Of those that have booked holidays already, your reservations are quite a mixed bag of hotels, AirBnbs, holiday lets and glamping/caravaning. (In that order of popularity).
I was quite surprised by this as I thought people would be searching for solely self-contained accommodation (we sort of have to with a toddler!) but my friends in the hotel industry might be happy to know that hotel bookings are the clear winner amongst this group. I must say that from speaking to people in the hotel industry, they are certainly very prepared to deal with the new health and safety requirements of this pandemic.
A few people do still have flights booked, for mostly September and beyond, that they would be willing to take if travel was permitted and they could take the relevant precautions. Both New York and Greece were mentioned a couple of times.
Those with young children or vulnerable family members have accepted the fact they won’t travel overseas until next year at least.
Expats are still on the move
By virtue of blogging about my experience of living in Australia, I have quite a few expats amongst my readership and it’s this group that I think will be the first to fly when it’s safe/permitted to do so. I had quite a few replies from people that were planning to move back home for personal or financial reasons (again, when it’s safe to do so) as well as others who are desperate to see family when borders open and quarantines are lifted.
(I recently followed TriplePassport as she flew from London to the US for a family funeral and shared the experience on social media. Anyone planning to fly in the immediate future might find her experience insightful.)
I can’t tell you how grateful I am we got to take Miles to see his relatives in Australia before this pandemic hit. Not having made it out there might have made the last few months even tougher for our family.
Our travel plans
Which brings me to our tentative travel plans. At the moment I have 2 UK holidays booked for mid-July and late August/early September. Due to owning an unpredictable toddler who is fast on his feet and very disrespectful of social distancing, I’ve deliberately booked remote self-contained cabins (one in Dorset and one in Cornwall) that have space Miles can run around without bumping into other people. (You can read more about both places here.)
Both are cancellable up until the week of travel, so if lockdown is extended we won’t lose any money.
Conversely, I’m also hoping that the opposite doesn’t happen and certain areas get overrun with tourists. I’ll be keeping our itineraries flexible so we can hopefully seek out quieter places in these beautiful counties, if necessary.
Based on some of the plans you guys shared with me, I might try to squeeze in some short getaways to Rye, the Lake District and I’d love, love, love to see the Scottish Highlands one day but that’s not a short trip from Berkshire!
To avoid disappointment, I’ve started telling myself we won’t travel overseas until next year. Unless the situation changes drastically, I personally worry that flying with a toddler during a pandemic might be a little TOO MUCH. (I might change my mind again but that’s my feeling at the minute.) Miles will be 2 in January and then he’ll have his own seat and hopefully keeping him in it will get a bit easier.
Saying that, if the opportunity to travel alone for work comes up I will definitely explore it!
What you can expect to read here
So, in terms of blog content, I will definitely write about any UK trips we get to do, as well as continue to research and share ideas and tips for domestic travel in the UK and Australia. (For the Aussie readership – I haven’t forgotten you!)
Travel was always going to be different for us this year now that Miles moves but it will probably be even more challenging now. I’ll keep it real on here as always. I mean, I *think* I’ve booked toddler-friendly holidays in the UK – but, really, what do I know!?!
I’ll also start covering a few more day trips – like this one we did to West Wittering Beach that a couple of you have already recreated.
As I know you’re looking at overseas destinations for late 2020 and early 2021 I’ll keep some ideas coming for those trips too. First up, I’ve got some cool content on Singapore that I’m currently writing.
Not only is it the last country we travelled to, but it’s one of my favourite green cities and is a great family-friendly destination. Plus, I’m really excited to tell you, I’m teaming up with Singapore Tourism for the next few weeks to tell you more about what Singapore has to offer in 2021, as well as how they are making it safe for tourists to visit.
Give Them A Break
And finally, I’m super aware that travel is a luxury not all of us can afford right now and wanted to share this touching initiative some volunteers in the travel industry have put together called Give Them A Break.
Give Them A Break was set up to recognise the enormous contribution of key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to give something back to them.
The campaign consists of 2 strands:
- The Give Them A Break Directory – a range of exclusive deals and discounted offers for the UK’s key workers from a selection of travel brands
- The Give Them A Break Fund – a public find you can donate to if you’d like to contribute towards a holiday for a key worker family that could not otherwise afford a break
I’m not associated with this campaign in any way but I wanted to lend my support to it and give them a shout out in case you, or someone you know, are a key worker who may benefit, or you’d just like to say thanks to our key workers in this way.
I hope you’re all keeping safe, well and sane as can be and thanks for all the conversations you’ve been having with me. Even if we can’t travel right now, at least we can talk, think, dream and plan it, hey!
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Featured image of St Agnes in Cornwall thanks to Ian Woolcock/Shutterstock.com
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