Travel Tuesday: What I Hope for in 2021 Travelwise
This past week, with each Zoom call we had with friends and family, it seemed everyone had one question for my wife and me: what’s your next big trip? Well, as of this moment, I still don’t have that answer. Sure, the recent vaccine news makes it seem as though we could soon see a return to (some) normalcy, but I’ve long been over the idea of trying to make plans, thus cutting down on disappointment.
Despite this, I am still slightly hopeful for what 2021 could bring in terms of travel. So what am I wishing for on that front? Here are four things I’m looking forward to — even if I’m not holding my breath just yet:
A chance to use my Disneyland Paris annual pass again
In September of 2019, I decided to purchase an Annual Pass (or Pass Annuel, as it were) for Disneyland Paris since my wife already had one and because we had been visiting with some frequency. Sure enough, we went back just a couple of months later and even attended an event exclusive to Passholders. However, since then my pass has been growing mighty lonely.
To their credit, Disneyland Paris (which is currently closed once again after reopening for a few months) does keep extending the validity of my pass. Still, it remains unclear if I’ll be able to make it back before it expires. Let the record show that I’m not actually complaining here — I’d just like to make use of and see the gorgeous park I’ve been missing once it’s safe to do so. Meanwhile, we still have a free flight to Paris courtesy of Delta that we have banked from two previously canceled trips, so hopefully France will be on our list of 2021 destinations.
Explore some more domestic cities
Admittedly, it seems like international travel in 2021 may still be a stretch. Even if borders manage to reopen as vaccines roll-out, I do wonder if foreign travelers will be welcomed back so quickly. With that in mind, perhaps I’ll take the opportunity to explore more American cities once inoculated.
Although I’ve spent time in or at least driven through plenty of states in the union, there are still plenty of places I’d like to experience. I’ve also been surprised by our stays in places like Chicago, Dallas, and Washington D.C. — all of which I ended up enjoying more than I was anticipating. Also on my still-technically-domestic travel list is Hawaii, as I’ve somehow still never been — despite the fact that my dad owns a timeshare there and there’s a Disney property. It’s really inexplicable, isn’t it?
My first award travel redemption
Just as I invested in a Disneyland Paris annual pass in September of last year, foreseeing many travels in my future, I also ponied up for an American Express Platinum card. Whoops. Luckily, I still managed to get plenty of value out of our my card despite the circumstances, but I’m still itching to try one of its feature: redeeming the points.
Since opening my card, I’ve only used a literal couple of points to trigger Amazon deals and that’s it. Granted, I don’t yet have a huge number of Membership Rewards points, but my balance is growing — especially since I also added the American Express Gold Card to my wallet and am closing in on earning my welcome bonus. So, hopefully by time 2021 is over, I’ll have either taken my first award travel trip or at least booked one for 2022.
A real vacation
Last but not least, the lack of travel in the past year has really made me anxious for a different kind of trip. Namely, one where I don’t have to do any work. As I’ve expressed before, I actually don’t mind taking my work on the road most of the time as it allows me to travel more without impacting my income — not to mention that a number of our excursions are actually business trips to cover the Disney Parks. Nevertheless, I’m starting to think it may be nice to try a real vacation on for size.
The hard part is actually deciding where we want to go for such a vacation. On the one hand, I might want to go somewhere that speaks English just so that we can relax a bit and not worry about things such as language barriers. But, on the other hand, maybe it would make more sense to immerse ourselves in a foreign culture given the absence of work and, thus, an abundance of time. Alas, this is all a bit “cart before the horse” for now, but it’s definitely something that’s been on my mind as we look to the future.
Honestly, I have no idea if travel will return in earnest next year. Plus, given the repeated twists and turns that 2020 has brought, I’m stopping myself from getting too excited. That said, instead of wallowing in the realities of today, I think it’s about time to start at least thinking about a brighter tomorrow. With that, I’m hoping that at least some of these travel dreams will come true sooner rather than later — but, more importantly, I’m hoping that this worldwide nightmare of a health crisis comes to an end ASAP.
Also published on Medium.