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Saturday, April 25, 2020

When Can We Start Traveling Again?

So much is uncertain in the world right now, but things will slowly return to a new normal as time goes on. People are cancelling trips left and right or, even better, postponing until later, but how much later should we postpone? Right now, it's just a lot of speculation and hope, but all signs point to being able to get back on planes and taking those put off trips by September.

Disney parks are expecting for crowds to be lower when they actually do reopen, and we still don't have firm dates for that, though reservations for their properties are open for June 1 and after. Bob Iger has speculated that parks won't be reopening until there are mass testing options available, but that's also not set in stone.

Summer visits may be much smaller than usual, between folks rescheduling their spring and summer trips to fall when they can go and parents who have had their children home for months and can't take more time off for the summer or don't want to expose them to potential virus still hanging around. Tons of park-goers plan their trips close to a year ahead of time. Next summer may be cray-zy, but this summer and fall are probably going to be a lot emptier than you'd normally see, especially if you visit on weekdays. 

I'm hoping that parks reopen by this fall, even if I have to wear a mask, because I have a trip planned for late September. If not, I guess we'll be putting it off until the beginning of 2021, or maybe Christmas 2020.

Studies are showing that people may not even want to chance traveling for at least three months after travel bans are lifted, and even if that is mid-May, means a lot of people staying put until late August a the earliest. If schools welcome kids back in September, parents won't be taking them out for travels, since they didn't go for half of this school year, so the fall will be even sparser with tourists than usual. 

Half of travelers in a study said that they wouldn't feel comfortable traveling at all this year, but many who will travel also won't be traveling internationally. What does this mean for you if you want to get out and explore the world in the last quarter of this year? Really affordable airfare for one, deep discounts on accommodations to entice guests for two, and for three, much laxer rules for cancelling and rescheduling both. 

If you're seeing great deals, be it for a whole bundled vacation, or for separate portions of a trip for later in the year, and you don't want to pass it up. Don't! Save where you can in order to take advantage of an awesome trip, and if travel restrictions don't let up before then (though, I'd be surprised if they didn't), you can always get a refund or change your travel dates. Travel companies are hurting right now, and they're going to do everything they can to keep their businesses afloat. 

Worried about traveling too soon? You're definitely not the only one. That doesn't mean you can't take advantage of rock bottom prices, too. Start planning trips for a year out. You'll also be seeing great deals for then as well, because airlines and hotels need money now and are willing to put out awesome sales right now to keep capital coming in. If you wait until closer to those travel dates, you'll have to pay more, because other people will start getting ready to go on trips again, creating more demand. 

What this all means for you is that no matter where you want to go and when, if you start planning and booking now, you'll be able to snatch up some fantastic prices, where otherwise you might have to save up longer and not get to do as much or stay in as nice of a hotel. 

Where would you travel if you could get the best deal possible?

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