Updated: Jan 15
By Shania Roper, CEO & Founder of Shade & Travel
The holidays are here and nothing screams “holiday scaries” like taking a so-called vacation to your parents basement where you’ll spend one week doing nothing but listening to Aunt Susan ask about your love life. We are far from the glowing bliss of relaxation that we used to spend all year pining over. In today’s new world, the holiday scaries are working overtime by forcing people to deal with the crippling anxiety and deafening boredom they developed since the onset of the pandemic. As if that’s not enough, we are entering yet another year celebrating the holidays with COVID-19 still lingering in the air.
So...what is it that is holding everyone back from taking some much needed R&R for themselves?
For some reason, we’ve convinced ourselves that we can’t afford to reunite with our besties on that sun-soaked beach and that we have to continue fooling our Instagram followers that we are indeed thriving.
Don’t worry, this blog entry isn’t meant to be another slap in the face with the stone cold truth. I’m here to help anyone who is dreaming of a getaway this holiday season. Where your scaries end, my expertise begins and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.
As of November 8th, the US re-opened to all international vaccinated travelers. Popular travel sites including Expedia, Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Hopper, and Skyscanner received substantial spikes in sales after the announcement. Why am I mentioning this under the domestic travel section? Keep reading!
If you live in any major city or in the Metropolitan Area, you can definitely expect an influx of tourists causing lines at stores to be out the door and snagging dinner reservations at fancy restaurants to be nearly impossible. Since the pandemic, people have preferred road trips and local destinations in lieu of hopping on a plane. There is nothing wrong with personal preference but BOTH airfare and car rental services have increased their pricing in the last year. In fact, car rentals in the US are already up 229% compared to 2019 and 224% compared to 2020.
Let’s talk COVID-19 protocols: one minute masks are required indoors, the next minute it's at the individual's discretion... Restrictions were easing up and starting to lift at the beginning of summer. Now, with COVID cases rising again due to the Delta variant, major destinations retracted previous statements (New York, Florida, California, & Louisiana, to name a few), and have enforced vaccine mandates.
Popular US cities with vaccine or negativetest mandates in place:
New York City
Because of this back and forth with vaccine mandates, mandatory quarantines, whether or not you need a test from 3 days ago or yesterday, traveling abroad might not be all that realistic for some people. The stress of spending HOURS trying to do the research might dissuade you from wanting to travel across the country, but that’s where I come in. Give me your top 3 domestic travel locations and budget – or take my own personal recommendations – and I’ll do the research for you. I’ve spent the past decade planning my trips on a broke, debt-ridden, 20-something-living-in-New-York-City budget. I can assure you that I can help you escape Aunt Susan this holiday season.
As stated above, as of November 8th, the United States opened its doors to all vaccinated international travelers. So.. what does that mean for US citizens who wish to travel abroad? Will popular foreign destinations be less crowded since their locals will be occupying our cities?
We can only dream.. Popular foreign hotels & resorts are already booked for the season including destinations in Mexico, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Turks & Caicos. What can you do if you want to travel abroad to any of these places or somewhere else? Have an open mind and let me think outside the box for you. The travel and hospitality industries came to a hard halt last year, but they have finally gotten their groove back.
Be prepared for limited services, last minute cancellations, and restrictions. This isn't meant to be discouraging, but simply to put things into perspective for you. The world has shifted and we are entering a “new normal” so that means we are all adapating together. Remember to be kind, patient and respectful when traveling abroad.
Estimated busiest holiday travel days in 2021:
Keep in mind
If you are a United States citizen you are required to present a negative COVID-19 test regardless of vaccination status after traveling abroad. To stay ahead of any uncertainties, I recommend scheduling your COVID test before doing any activity/excursion with a confirmed crowd. With this, you can enjoy the remainder of your vacation stress free (if you’ve received a negative test).
Where I come in
Now, you’re probably wondering what exactly I can do for you after digesting all of that information. At Shade & Travel Consultancy, we take over your travel needs completely. That means we work with you to create a custom curated itinerary best-suited for your specific needs that also aligns within your budget.
In addition, we specialize in luxury experiences. Besides hosting events, Shade & Travel provides assistance with event planning, corporate bonding retreats and more! As seasoned professionals in the Travel & Hospitality industries, we provide top tier recommendations while bringing your vision to life.
Regardless if you are staying local or traveling abroad, start planning now. As much as we all love our families, sometimes we need a damn break from staring at the same ceiling we stared at as 15 year olds who were binge watching Jersey Shore for the 5th time. Yes, money might be tight but don’t we deserve to spoil ourselves after the year we had? Plan the trip. Take the jump. Remember, it is always best to leave enough room and time for any last minute changes that can occur. As transportation ticket prices are only estimated to increase, the time for being passive is over – get active and enjoy the view.