10 Trips You Should be Planning During Coronavirus Lockdown

With airlines offering deeply discounted tickets, waiving change fees, and extending expiration dates for waivers it’s hard to resist the travel urge. Combine that with potentially discounted accommodations and an entire travel industry that needs our business to bounce back from this pandemic, it makes a good case to start planning adventures now for when travel bans are lifted. But, where should you go? When it comes to post coronavirus travel all destinations are not created equal.

Bear Grass at Hornet Lookout - Montana

If you are in good health and able/willing to travel as soon as bans are lifted you can score some amazing deals and enjoy less tourists in some very touristy areas. Because of this, my list will focus on these two major factors. 

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When making plans, I highly recommend carefully reading fine print and observing cancellation policies. Currently, most major airlines are waiving change fees (typically $200 per ticket) on flights booked within a designated time period and extending travel credits for up to two years. These exceptions are unprecedented and worth capitalizing on. However, remember that some countries require your passport to be good for up to 6 months after departing their country. Be sure to research all travel requirements when choosing a destination as well. US Passport services are currently limited due to Covid-19 so if your passport expires soon or you don’t already have one you will need to choose a destination within the country or plan your trip farther out. While this will allow you the necessary time to obtain the proper paperwork it may affect the deals you’re able to score during this time.

I've included links within the top 10 list to correlating blogs providing more information on each destination.

Tabletop Mountain - Cape Town, South Africa

#10 - Staycation

I realize everyone isn’t quite as uninhibited and adventurous as I am, so this one's for you. Plan a 2-4 day trip to a destination within 5 hours of your home. Hopefully, you can snag a great deal on accommodations, and visit a hot spot with less tourists than normal while supporting local businesses and eateries. 

Enjoying the attractions at Nickelodeon Universe, Mall of America - Minnesota

#9 - New Zealand

New Zealand has topped travel bucket lists for years. Mountain vistas, ocean views, unique wildlife, volcanoes, rainforests, and more lure visitors from around the globe. I personally haven't been yet, but several of my airline coworkers loved it so much they are already planning their return. If you live in the U.S. this is a long haul flight, but what better time to get a great deal on this airfare than now? 

New Zealand Beach - Photo Provided by my Coworker Jennifer

#8 - Montana

OK, so I’m definitely partial to this destination. But, Glacier National Park had over 3 million visitors in 2019. As a local, I must admit that I’m pretty excited about the prospect of having the park to ourselves this Summer. However, flight deals into Glacier Park International Airport are incredible right now. Tickets that typically range from $500 - $1200 roundtrip are a mere $300 roundtrip. Combine that with the prospect of far less tourists snagging up camp sites and parking spaces and this destination is a definite win. Read more about Montana here.

Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park - Montana

#7 South Africa

South Africa is another huge bucket list item. This diverse country boasts gorgeous beaches, beautiful wineries, self drive and guided safaris with plenty of big game sightings, rugged cliffs, memorable gardens, and wildlife galore. The country itself is quite affordable due to the exchange rate from U.S. dollars to South African Rands (ZAR) However, it’s typically the flight cost and time that gives potential visitors pause and the reason it comes in at #7 on my list of trips to plan during Coronavirus lockdown. Start researching flight deals and book your ticket with the added benefits of waived change fees and extensions for waivers. Remember however, that if you need to change dates you will still need to pay any difference in fare for the new tickets. This fare difference could be substantial depending on the new day chosen and seat availability so take your best guess when booking originally to avoid possible cost increases. 

Elephants in Kruger National Park - South Africa - Self Drive Safari

#6 Venice, Italy

Yes, I know Italy was hard hit with Coronavirus. And, I realize you may have definite inhibitions about visiting this country so soon. However, in 2019 alone the city of Venice welcomed nearly 36 million visitors. Imagine visiting this floating city with a fraction of the tourists normally found in it. Combine that with small business owners welcoming your tourist dollars with open arms as they try to recover from this pandemic and it could be a magical experience indeed.

Resting Gondolier - Venice Italy

#5 Rome, Italy

Similar to Venice, Rome is typically packed with tourists vying for position at famous landmarks and museums. When we visited the Vatican Museums 2 years ago, they were so crowded that I wanted nothing more than to get back outside where I could move about freely without hordes of tourists on every side. However, if you are able to time your trip perfectly when travel bans are lifted, you may just get to enjoy a side of Rome that very few people will ever see.

The Colosseum at Sunrise - Rome Italy

#4 Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast has a distinct reputation, and while many locations fail to uphold their hype, this is one that did not disappoint. However, like so many popular destinations in Italy it too can get overrun with so many visitors that it can be hard to enjoy the beauty you came to soak in. Enter the year 2020. Time this visit well and you may just be soaking up golden rays on the coast with plenty of space to spare. 

La Sibilla Boat Tour - Amalfi Coast Italy

#3 Hawaii

Hawaii, like so many other destinations, is currently quarantining arriving passengers for 14 days. However, this too shall pass, and when it does you should be in flight to at least one of the many lush Hawaiian archipelago islands. Not sure which island to choose? Check out flight deals into each one and select the best savings!

Grand Wailea Resort Beach - Maui, Hawaii

#2 Amsterdam

Amsterdam is often referred to as the Venice of the North. Maybe that’s why we love it so much. Regardless of the reason it is a family favorite. Great food, friendly locals, storybook cities and countrysides, incredible history, and more. Score an amazing deal on flights and spend a week in this city and its surroundings soaking up all it has to offer.

Canal with House Boats - Amsterdam, Netherlands

#1 Bora Bora or your top bucket list destination

And, the very first trip you should be planning right now is your dream trip. You know the one I’m talking about. Your 25th anniversary trip, graduation trip, empty nester trip, etc. I realize it may not be the designated year for it, but sometimes plans change. Bora Bora was my dream trip. I hoped we could make it happen for our 25th wedding anniversary, but everything aligned last year so we went for our 20th. I’m so glad we did, because that’s the thing about life, it’s hard to know what the future holds. We stayed in an overwater bungalow, went on a private half day snorkel trip, and biked around the resort soaking up the sunshine before returning to our hut and crashing into our overwater hammock. Bora Bora (and I’m sure your dream destination) are typically very pricey destinations so now is the time to take advantage of discounts and book your dream getaway!

Conrad Bora Bora Nui Infinity Pool - Bora Bora, French Polynesia

If you are extremely daring and adventurous go ahead and add a dream cruise to this list. Cruise companies have been hit hard and many people will be nervous to get on a ship again for quite some time when this is over. Expect steep discounts and stellar incentives. 

Norwegian Encore - Norwegian Cruise Line

Which destination are you dreaming about? Would you book a cruise, international travel, domestic travel, or prefer a staycation? Leave a comment below with your bucket list plans or any questions you may have. 

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