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Travel Updates and Other Timely Bits

Here we are on the verge of fall. 'Twas a mere 6 months ago that many aspects of daily life came to a grinding halt - it was almost spring, and now, almost fall. Unless you have been under your favorite rock (and no one would blame you), you are aware of the wildfires in the west...Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Washington and California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. If you have never visited the website, do so to see a US map showing the fires; there are too many to count. We have been showered with ash and soot, and choked by the smoke. Locally, our neighbors have had to evacuate their beloved mountain homes, which urges me to share this:

"Do not forget that the ashes falling from the sky are all that remains of the pine and grass and thistle, they are also someones loved ones, cherished belongings, irreplaceable items, beloved animals, wild animals, bears, coyotes, deer, and mice & so many other creatures that could not escape. Scoop some up in a sacred manner. Offer prayers for these beings. Honor their death. Pray for life. Call in rain. Remind Fire that it is full, has gobbled enough, and can rest. May all beings be safe. May all beings be loved. May all beings be remembered. May all beings be mourned. Sadie Whip, Washington

Thanks for your kind indulgence. On to business... The desire to be surrounded by other than the walls of your home is strong, I know. Those walls have kept you safe and cocooned, yes, but your tired psyche awaits a welcome break. It could happen sooner than you think if I can help you make safe, smart choices. Here are some new developments to keep in mind. - Southwest Airlines has just re-launched its well-known "Wanna Get Away" campaign for fall and winter travel. Seats, days and markets are limited, and blackout dates and advance purchase requirements apply. You'll probably notice a new look when you sign into your online account, apparently redesigned with customer input, so maybe you had a hand in it.

- The northern region of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, which includes the destinations of Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres, Costa Mujeres, Puerto Morelos and Holbox has advanced to 'yellow'. To clarify, Mexico uses a 'traffic light' color system to indicate Covid-19 recovery conditions. A yellow 'light' indicates the decrease in active cases of COVID-19 and the region’s medical and hospital capacity, and allows for more re-opening of public spaces: up to 60 percent in hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, theme parks, spas and golf courses, among other travel services and public spaces. Archaeological sites and public beaches will also reopen. Safety protocols are in place so i'll review those with you before you depart, and make sure you have met the entry requirements

- Virtuoso recently did a survey of consumers, and the results show that the months of social distancing, sheltering in place and limiting of our movements have taken a toll (surprise!). Remote working and kids' distance-learning can occur anywhere with reliable Wi-Fi, so U.S. travelers are hitting the road and taking weeks- or and even months-long getaways and multi-family vacations; and they're still dreaming of distant destinations, of course. Those destinations are longing for our return as deeply as we are - Virtuoso’s travel agency members' bookings are increasing and the forecast is for leisure travel bookings to stabilize in six months to a year. Other insights: across all regions of the U.S., domestic beach or island destinations as well as ocean cruises make up the majority of new bookings; flexible cancellation or rebooking policies are by far the most important factor for clients when booking international trips, followed by cleaning and safety protocols and the COVID-19 infection rate in the destination. Destinations and experiences travelers are most anticipating in the future are: Global: 1) Italy, 2) South Africa, 3) Australia; 4) France, 5) Japan. Domestic: 1) Washington, 2) Hawaii, 3) California, 4) Alaska, 5) Montana

'til next week.


Let's talk. 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 feeling the pressure to make lifelong memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day.

-Juliet Weller, Founder

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