With the pent up demand for travel, there may be disappointment for some people who decide to travel last minute. Gone are the days of the cheap all-inclusive package deals. Yes, there may be some out there on “those websites”, but they are few and far between, and often lead to disappointing vacations and really aren’t beneficial to the communities being visited. Prices may not be as budget-friendly as they once used to be, so you’ll need to expect to pay a little more for your first vacation after COVID. Hopefully, you were able to save a little extra during the last two years.
Aside from the bigger hit on your pocket book that your vacation may cost you now, and of course, the fact that it’s a really good idea to use a travel advisor to plan your trip, there are a few other things to consider when planning your first post-COVID trip.
So, as you start thinking about travelling again, I wanted to share some travel tips that will hopefully help with your travel plans for 2022 and into 2023. Not only may they help alleviate some disappointment, they’ll also help you travel more sustainably and safely.
Here are my top 10 travel tips for 2022
Many popular vacation destinations and tourist attractions are starting to book up fast, especially during the peak season. Prices tend to increase closer to the departure date, so plan ahead and book all your travel arrangements as early as possible so you don’t miss out. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance!
Travel In the Off Season
As well as being cheaper than peak season, you’ll encounter fewer tourists at your destination. As well, travelling in the off season puts less stress on the environment and community you’re visiting. Travelling in mid-spring or early fall after school resumes, the weather may even be warm enough for t-shirts and shorts, but be sure to wear layers as the mornings and evenings could be cold, and take a waterproof jacket for wet spells.
Go Off The Beaten Path
Not only will you find fewer tourists, you’ll discover hidden gems, not yet impacted by over-tourism, and smaller, off-the-beaten-track communities that may need your travel dollars. Discover my top 12 off-the-beaten track sustainable destinations here. Two to consider are Safe & Sustainable Slovenia and the region of Abruzzo in Italy.
Travel service providers and tour operators are still impacted by the effects of the pandemic. In addition to the sudden rise in demand, there may be reduced staffing levels or new staff who are still in training. Expect long call holds and waits in line.
Respect the Culture
Having done your research before you travel, respect the regional culture and abide by the local laws (especially as they apply to females and your safety). Communicate with locals whenever possible and learn even more about their customs, traditions and practices.
Many airlines, especially in Europe, charge extra for hold luggage and have limits on cabin baggage. Only pack essential items and clothes appropriate for the destination. Pack light-weight, eco-friendly toiletries to reduce your impact on the environment, baggage weight and your budget. Don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle, reef safe sunscreen, hand sanitizer and appropriate face masks. Read 5 good reasons to travel light here.
Be sure to take some local currency on your trip and carry some cash with you (safely hidden, of course) when you explore the region. Visit markets and small stores and purchase locally made products and/or home grown produce. Eat at small family-run restaurants and cafés and tip the staff with cash as generously as your budget allows. Learn how to travel sustainably in the Caribbean here.
Know where you’re going and let someone you trust know your plans, especially if venturing out alone. Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t leave drinks, food or bags unattended. Try not to look like a tourist, keep valuables at home, cash hidden and your cell phone charged and out of view/reach. If driving, plan your route, keep your fuel tank filled, and follow road safety signs. You can find more safety tips here.
Many destinations have fragile ecosystems and endangered wildlife. Stay on designated trails and foot paths, don’t pick wild flora, keep your distance from wild animals, especially nesting areas, and don’t take anything from the land you’re visiting. You can find 7 Steps to Roam Responsibly here.