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Should You Make Travel Plans for the Holidays?

Do you realize that the holidays are soon upon us? Perhaps you'd rather remain in denial until Jan 2 of next year? After all the @#*% that 2020 has put us through, I am happy to celebrate its departure. Perhaps a better question than the one posed above is "Are there options for making holiday travel plans that will keep the family safe from you-know-what?" The answer is yes.

Keep in mind it isn't too early to make holiday travel arrangements. Whether you are staying in-country or venturing further afield, your travel plans and reservations are best initiated now, even though you are probably distracted by whatever is currently on your too-small plate. If you haven't yet discussed this with the family, it is time.

There is much to decide: 1) Will folks be arriving to visit you, or are you going to them? 2) Will families be intermingled in a single home, and is this the ideal choice for either family? 3) How many people need to be accommodated? 4) And the big question...where? 5) Will there be airplane flights or a road trip ? 6) If the latter, is that solely for the purpose of avoiding flying? 7) And what about flying?

Perhaps your family is used to making these decision every year, or maybe you have a routine of taking turns doing the traveling or hosting. Does COVID-19 complicate things? Is this the year to do something completely different, with maybe just the people from your household in a place that has four walls that don't look the same as yours? Maybe you can't say "don't come here" without hurting feelings, but you could say "we're going away this year, for a change of pace". I'm just throwing it out there in case you need ideas. If you're feeling adventurous you could add, "Why don't you come with us?" Read on and I'll explain.

Whether at home or away for the holidays, an exceptionally smart choice for gathering with extended family and friends is a luxury private villa. If the word 'luxury' sends you into a tailspin, take a deep breath. Here's the thing about 'luxury' - it doesn't necessarily signify an uber-costly proposition. Luxury is a feeling. Being in a new location with the housework taken care of, and the celebratory holiday meal prepared by someone else, all the personalized amenities you want and none of the work, with the cost split among many means a lot more luxury than you might have thought possible. Happy holidays to you! The best part? The house can be sized for physical distancing if the family needs that, customized with staff and amenities to suit the group, and you're not in a public hotel space if that makes you uncomfortable.

Have you considered taking the family holiday overseas? It might seem like a daunting step these days, but it's possible. That's what we're doing this year. If a person flies to another state, is it that different from flying to another country right now? The countries that are open to US tourists have standards that you are expected to meet, but so do many states. Yes, several still have quarantines in effect, even if you aren't hearing much about that. And cruising!! It's (almost) a thing (again!). Cruise itineraries that originate in Japan, the South Pacific, Australia/NewZealand and Asian markets are available for November sailings. Journeys with domestic origination sail in December. Book 'em Danno!

If your family has been stuck in a holiday rut for years this is a good year to shake things up, considering the rut that 2020 has been. Yes you have family members that look forward to seeing you during the holidays, so how about doing things a little differently this year, and make the reunion even sweeter? You could enjoy your holiday seeing how another culture commemorates Christmas; perhaps visiting the Holy Land for the High Holy days; maybe celebrate the New Year in a Caribbean or South Pacific location.

Think of the stress and holiday angst you might avoid this year by getting away. If you are blessed with relatives you'd like to travel with, then how about enjoying a family cruise, or a reunion in the birthplace of your ancestors? Why wait until summertime (and mosquitoes) to have the family picnic? Since many of us will be chilly at year's end, a warm destination might be the way to break up the wintertime shivers.

If you're determined to spend the holidays with the your tribe, and your mind won't be swayed to try something different (yet smart and safe!), remember that 2021 is fast approaching, and specially-priced offers for travel are already hitting my (and every other travel advisor's) mailbox: dream big, beyond the horizon - if you don't have ideas, I'll help.

'til next week.


I create expertly designed vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you’re too busy to take time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are longing to make lifelong memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.

-Juliet Weller, Founder

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