Making Travel in 2021 a BIG part of your LIFE!Mar 02, 2021
As we all have unfortunately experienced, 2020 and the COVID pandemic erased millions of travel plans. It’s likely that you too have had to make some unhappy cancellations. However, as humans are wont to do, they have continued exploring throughout the pandemic, albeit oftentimes in their own backyard. But, as the pandemic comes to some version of a close we are able to reflect on what pandemic travel looked like and make plans for bigger travels in 2021.
Destinations ranging from local vineyards to national parks have established themselves as a safe way to relax and get away. In a country as big as the U.S., domestic tourism can be diverse enough to satisfy any travelers’ palette. For many, a simple change of scenery — even if only for a weekend — can be quite reinvigorating.
Flights are readily available within the U.S. and COVID-19 tests are not required prior to travel "At this time, CDC is not recommending required point of departure testing for domestic travel," the agency said according to a CDC statement sent to CNN.
National parks are a perfect way for families with children to beat cabin fever and explore the great outdoors. The National Park Service is encouraging social distancing, but says “people can visit parks, trails, and open spaces as a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air and vitamin D, stay active, and safely connect with members of their household.”
When parks reopened in May 2020, crowds flocked to the trails and campgrounds, placing unprecedented demand on parks nationwide. According to National Geographic, an NPS employee lamented that parks were operating with skeleton crews.
Road trips have also become the perfect way for families to explore with minimal risk. A November survey from the U.S. Travel Association said 68% of people felt safest when traveling by personal vehicle during the pandemic while cases were still rising. A road trip by its very nature is built for flexibility. You’re at the wheel—literally—so let yourself enjoy being in charge of your own destiny.
For those who aren’t fans of long car rides, it’s not hard to find beautiful destinations closer to your hometown. For inspiration, check out these road trip ideas from Phoenix, Charlotte, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Industries like cruises and international tourism have suffered as people choose to stay closer to home. According to a report by Cruise Lines International Association, the U.S. cruise industry faced an estimated $32 billion loss in 2020. The industry contributed about half of what it did compared to previous years. The families choosing to stay closer to home are the same families who, in previous years, would be taking these cruises and traveling to tourist destinations like Disney parks.
Cruises aren’t the only industry that has been losing out to domestic tourism. Large resorts are also feeling a shift. Disney alone reported a $2.4 billion loss in 2020. “Businesses are connecting with their customers virtually and leisure travelers are discovering the joys of staying local," said Chekitan Dev, professor of management at Cornell University's SC Johnson College of Business in the School of Hotel Administration in an interview with NBC News.
Domestic tourism is likely to stay a popular option for American travelers as the pandemic comes to a close. Many destinations and hotels in the U.S. have limited capacity, meaning travelers can visit without fear of overcrowding. Hotels and tourist attractions list their COVID accommodations on their websites, so you’ll know wherever you’re going is taking your safety seriously.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on communities across the U.S. Beyond the Nest’s domestic retreats help to reinvest capital into the communities and towns that we love. As we start to see more international travel, especially to Mexico, the local communities there are also eager to see the return of tourist dollars.
And our Fall 2021 domestic destination is sure to be a fill fast, as most of the adult population will be vaccinated, schools will re-open and all that pent-up wanderlust will be freed in some exciting locations.