After months of crafts, bread baking, emptying old boxes, and organizing stuffed closets, we are finally planning our end-of-2021 and ready-for-2022 travels. Some cruises are already fully booked for the end of the year, and because of historically low deposits, tours are already maxing out. Delta and United recently announced that they expect to break even as early as April 2021. Now is the time to plan and book your next trips!
These days, women are traveling more than men, especially older women. What’s even more exciting is that the percentage of solo women travelers is growing annually. With that in mind, here are our suggestions of where Prime Women will be traveling in the next year.
Hungry for open spaces, travelers are seeking more time in the countryside. City tours with rural days are more popular than trips that are 100% urban. Examples of this trend include Paris and the Loire Valley with its chateaux, wineries, and ancient towns; London and Cotswolds or Downton Abbey Villages; and Florence with wine-filled walled Tuscan Hill Towns. Women should still consider the top three of London, Paris, and Rome for the following reason: the pandemic has temporarily reduced the overcrowding of these capitals.
Florence + Venice, Dubrovnik, Kyoto, Amsterdam, Machu Picchu, Barcelona, and other excessively crowded places are accessible again. Port cities like Barcelona and Dubrovnik should be visited before the cruise crowds invade again.
A subset of the new Bucket List includes those countries like Israel, which are way ahead in vaccinations, and safari countries like Kenya, which, early on, flattened its curve. Many travelers mention Jerusalem and a safari as being at the top of their lists today.
Women should also consider some of the areas that have lower prices. New York City remains the most expensive city in the country, but things are changing. An average night’s stay of $275++ keeps New York pricey. However, Airbnb’s presence pushed down costs, and hotels are re-opening with more rooms to fill. There are also lifestyle changes in New York. Outdoor eating makes a coffee shop burger feel like an en plein Paris treat. Freebies like Big Apple Greeter, which allows for tourists to experience a decent guided neighborhood tour, continue to operate. The City Council plans for more free outdoor entertainment, and the NY City Ballet is planning more outside performances. On top of all of that, public transportation has undergone a deep cleaning, museums are open and wonderfully empty, and parks hold free events even now.
At this time, the US dollar is holding strong vs. the Euro. Even if your hotel price doesn’t change dollar rates online, you can fax and try to pay in local currency. Daily cash spending for food, transportation, and gifts will be lower. Smarter Travel tells us the dollar is strongest in Chile, UK, India, Egypt, Canada, Turkey, New Zealand, Hungary, and Brazil. Obviously, keep checking on ongoing health warnings or border closings before you book. Industry professionals are expecting the need for new identification passes for future travels. A vaccination passport is being considered in many countries, and if you don’t know what a QR code is on your smartphone, learn it (more about this in the next section).
First and foremost, where will we be allowed to go as US residents? At this time, Canada is still closed to us, but Mexico is open. Even if the pandemic eases, anticipate new rules and new border regulations, and expect that rules will vary from one country to the next.
Some governments are looking into requiring ‘The Common Pass,’ which is a QR code on your phone with details about your health. Basically, your doctor uploads your vaccination history and other information, and it appears as a QR code to be read globally. Multi-country trips might get complicated if each country has different rules and, worse, rules that change. For the time being, we suggest a trip to only one country or only one zone (an example of a zone would be the European Union, which would have consistent rules).
So dust off your passport, or get it renewed with a new fabulous photograph. Stay safe and start your travel research!
This article was submitted by The Women’s Travel Group.