Here's some things we're thinking about right now - April 2021 - with respect to travel.
Vaccinations. The US is steadily making progress in vaccinating the population. It would seem that by summer, most people that want a vaccine will be able to get one. That's good news if you want to travel. It means people are starting to plan next year's vacations.
COVID variants. As variants proliferate, it gives us caution. Europe is struggling with COVID variants right now. When will they be a safe place to travel to? We are planning our first post pandemic trip to Europe in October. We think it will happen, but it may be a closer call than we'd like
Ocean cruise ships. Several including Norwegian (NCL) and Silversea are now requiring all passengers to be vaccinated prior to boarding. Others (RCL and Carnival) are moving ships out of US waters and starting trips in the Caribbean to get around CDC restrictions. Most are starting to offer Mediterranean trips. Bookings are very strong.
River Cruises operate mostly in Europe. Which as noted above is basically shut down for Americans. AmaWaterways is operating within Germany (German citizens only) so at least they have some cash flow coming in and practice with pandemic protocols.
Survivors. It seems that most of the major travel players will survive financially. We've only heard of a few casualties of the pandemic and they were very small entities.
Pent up demand. Nearly everyone we know can't wait to travel again. So pent up demand seems real and seems robust. Interest and bookings for 2022 and 2023 are strong.
Last week, I mentioned domestic travel. But a lot of our clients are thinking the opposite. They want to start ticking off more of their exotic bucket lists - be that Australia / New Zealand, French Polynesia, Antarctica, Africa or where ever.
Flexibility. The key to planning travel now is to be flexible. We all know how conditions can change quickly. Most of the travel suppliers we deal with have been really great and accommodative. Cancellation terms have liberalized and most are quite willing to work with you. Many are offering insurance like products that help mitigate risk.