January 27, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

‘Having a trip on the books gives us something to look forward to’

It’s a crazy time in the travel industry, that’s for sure. While some news tends to lean towards the doom and gloom, other news is leaving travelers booked and awaiting their next vacation! 

Hotels and resorts are selling out as soon as they make the announcement of their opening. They have put sanitizing practices in place, much like grocery stores and hospitals, encouraging online check-in and check-out.

Cruise Lines and Tour operators are offering “no risk” booking practices, with reduced deposits and new travel assurance policies that invite you to plan for 2020 without worry of penalty if you need to cancel. 

Current promotions such as Steal of a Deal are for travelers who refuse to let go of that escape, and want to travel just as soon as possible. Steal of the Deal rate reductions offer the most unbeatable deals ever! For a limited-time, rock-bottom pricing is available to inspire would-be travelers to take action now in planning their future getaways. Let’s face it, life is going to look different for awhile, but wouldn’t you like to look at it through a palm tree vs. a television screen? 

One of the most sought after efforts in the travel industry is the WE CARE movement. With this initiative, the travel industry is absolutely delighted to have an opportunity to show commitment to essential workers. Our guests can support the program by booking a future air-inclusive stay of six nights or more at participating properties in the Caribbean or Mexico by June 30, 2020. Each reservation made generates a room-night that will be banked (maximum 500) and distributed to eligible medical professionals, who will be able to use them toward future stays at participating hotel properties. Learn more about the BOGO program here

What will travel look like? Some airlines are swabbing for COVID at check-in; it takes 10 minutes for the results. Other airlines and resorts are taking temperature scans at multiple checkpoints. Resorts are upgrading their medical facilities to include quarantine accommodations. Buffets as we know them are being completely eliminated in resorts and on cruise ships. Taking place of the buffet are cafeteria style service.

When are resorts accepting travelers? It varies; resorts in the same destination and same family of hotels may be opening in shifts such as Resort #1 opening June 1, Resort #2 opening July 2 and Resort #3 opening on August 3. This allows hotels to open with full service and hospitality, welcoming guests and reassuring their vacation expectations are met. 

We know that not everyone agrees, but people are traveling; they always were. It’s likely the safest time to travel, yet the loneliest. When walking through the airports and sitting at that gate, people are social distancing; there are few friendly conversations and all of them are centered around “where are you going and why do you have to get there?” We hear stories of “going home”, “getting home”, some essential work business”, and a lot of “sheltering at home in a more “desirable” place”, like Florida.

We are hopeful but we all know that once the non-essential travel ban is lifted, there will still be the fear. Some are saying there are two pandemics here; the Coronavirus and Fear. Some will hold off for a cure, others will travel to “go somewhere, anywhere, but here.” 

We have become accustomed to traveling when and where we wish. Having a trip on the books gives us something to look forward to. If someone you know is talking about the “need for travel’, please don’t judge. Perhaps this isn’t simply a physical need, but a psychological need. Perhaps the healthiest option is to travel but with the healthiest of measures. 

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