January 29, 2021

How Has Covid Affected Your Retirement Travel Plans?



Travel is one of the joys of retirement. The chance to see new sights, explore new cultures, even just to shake up your day-to-day routine helps add spice to life. And, travel doesn't have to be exotic, or long distance to make a difference. A long weekend at a local resort, a short drive to the coast or mountains or desert can be just as therapeutic.

Covid has killed and sickened so many. It has destroyed businesses, harmed our youth's education, put unbelievable stress on relationships, even further divided us between mask wearers and those who see this precaution as part of a plot to steal our freedoms.

So, when I write about how travel has been disrupted, maybe even changed for good, understand in the grand scheme of things, the cancellation of a cruise or a week-long stay at your favorite cottage by the sea is inconvenient and disheartening for you, but when considering the big picture, not all that important.

Yet, in one sense, it really is. Millions of jobs are tied to travel. Many local economies are dependent on tourism, both in this country and around the world. Airlines lay off tens of thousands because so few people are flying. Massive cruise ships remain tied up at docks, crews, and those who supply those floating cities tied up in debt and a ruined career.

Heavens, even the most American of places, Disneyland, remains shuttered, while Disney World is open, but to only a fragment of the crowds, it used to welcome. Nearly 30,000 Disney employees at these two parks and the company's cruise line have joined the unemployed.

What is going to happen to all the jobs connected to the travel industry? Estimates range from 150-200 million jobs related to travel will vanish because of the pandemic. Even when travel starts to return, most of them will be gone for years, many permanently.

So, what does all this mean to us? If we can afford travel, what will be our choices? When will we start booking our next great adventure? Assuming the Covid vaccine has made everything feel a little safer, what will our options be?

For our part, Betty and I are likely done with cruising. Not only Covid, but all sorts of intestinal bugs have caused havoc on these 3-4,000 passenger behemoths. Maybe lockdown has caused this mental change, but being with large groups of people is a turnoff. Our month-long cruise to the South Pacific and New Zealand didn't happen last year; at least for now, we have no intention of trying it again.

Going back to England, Scotland, and Ireland is high on our list. We made some friends on our river cruise three years ago who we'd like to see again. They live an hour or two outside London and would be a real treat to spend time with. 

We both love small English and Irish towns, a complete change from our normal desert environment. Betty has done enough ancestry work to want to visit some ancestral castles and gravesites from her side of the family. In our dreams, this could happen by next fall.

Betty has never been to Quebec City or Montreal. I know she would love the foreign feel and cafe culture. Those destinations are less than 5 hours by plane from home, which is also attractive. Next summer?

We have some very dear friends in the Portland area that we haven't seen in three years. We are overdue for some hugs and good meals together, though that city needs to settle down before we'd feel totally safe. For whatever reason Portland seems to attract some rather upset people. 

A train trip is on my list. Amtrak is not particularly attractive now, and there is word they will eliminate all sleeper cars and long-distance travel over the next several years. Luckily, Canada continues to support, maintain, and encourage train travel. Some routes begin in Vancouver and head east, which excites me.

Oh, I must add Disneyland. Our family has several serious Disney fanatics. When the park in L.A. safely reopens, we will be there!

Unfortunately, all the trips and hopes listed above will be on hold until Covid is no longer a factor. At the moment, the vaccines are being distributed in the U.S. at a rate that will push safe travel back to at least late 2021.

The rollout and availability of shots are so slow that some officials are suggesting everyone receive just a half dose to make what we have go further. How's that for a dumb idea? Only give us half the protection we need just to make things look better. Heavens, I hope that isn't a serious proposal. I have been encouraged by the new administration's full-throated support for attacking the virus head-on with money and a large purchase of more vaccines.

For many reasons, 2021 will be better than 2020. But, travel remains a big question mark. We know where we want to go. What we do not have is a clue about when.

What are your thoughts?

56 comments:

  1. Coincidently, it was just yesterday that Alan and I had the "Well, what are we going to do?" conversation about our 2021 travel plans that has come up every month or so since the middle of last year. In 2019, our spring cruise in Alaska and our fall cross-country RVing trip to the Oregon coast were canceled. We did get out camping for a total of about six weeks in our State Parks which had excellent COVID protocols in place allowing us to feel safe during our outings. (Had we not been self-contained with our own bathroom and shower, we would not have gone as neither one of us would have felt comfortable using the campground facilities.) Like you and Betty, we've taken cruises off the table for the foreseeable future. The debate right now revolves around whether or not to re-schedule the Oregon trip for later this year. I did hedge our bets by booking stays at State Park campgrounds in our state again for spring, summer and fall, but we'd love to get back out on the road as soon as we feel it's safe to do so. I totally agree that the impact COVID-19 has had on our personal travel plans is inconsequential compared to the incredible loss of life, jobs and economic stability the virus has caused. But travel is the area of our personal lives that has been hit the hardest during the pandemic. We remain connected with family and friends even though we haven't seen most of them, and we both have plenty of projects at home to keep us busy. It's the travel that we miss and are eager to get back to. I'm in such desperate need of a road trip that Alan (oh so helpfully and with tongue in cheek) suggested that I take a drive up and down the interstate. But, so far, we've remained safe and healthy and that's the important thing.

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    1. Sounds eerily familiar! We have talked about going to places within the state that we've been to multiple times, but at least there is a shakeup of the day-to-day sameness.

      Arizona is a major Covid hotspot at the moment, so even if we went somewhere, what could we do? No restaurants, clubs, even movie theaters would feel safe. So, for now, we sit.

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  2. Yes, our travel was cancelled for all of 2020 (we had a hiking trip to Italy planned) and I think 2021 is going to be off the list as well. We are so glad we went to Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 2019.

    That said we are at our house in Mexico for the winter (this morning it is 10F back home) though I don't really think of it as travel but rather that we are living somewhere else. Our flight down was uneventful and we had acquired some N95 masks for the trip which at least made us feel a bit better about getting on the plane.

    We are in the mountains of central Mexico rather that at a costal beach resort so it's a whole different vibe, no booze fueled beach parties here! Our main reason for coming is that as we now own a house here (which we closed on just a month before the pandemic hit) and felt we just couldn't leave it sit abandoned for a year or more. Houses need maintenance and the exterior needed painting last year, this year it REALLY needs painting. You know how houses are, there's always something to do and that goes double for houses left empty.

    The governor of Mexican state we are in has implemented a lockdown with a full "stay at home order" for us over 60s so it's pretty much the same as back in Ontario just with better weather. At least we can get outside on our property and my wife can do her gardening. When we do go outside here it is at least a little reassuring that 99% of people here, locals and gringos, are wearing masks everywhere including outside on the street.

    Returning to Canada may be a challenge. With the emergence of the more transmissible versions of the virus it is looking more and more like the Canadian government will be instituting a 2 week quarantine in a government facility at our own expense. We knew when we left we'd need to quarantine at home for 2 weeks which wouldn't be great though bearable but being stuck in a room in a facility somewhere is a whole different thing. I think essentially the government doesn't want you to travel and they are making it as painful as possible.

    I had hoped that things would ease up in 2021 but the vaccine rollout in Canada is even slower than in the US so I don't expect any travel until at least 2022. I think the main issue back home is that Canada does not have any facilities able to manufacture the currently approved vaccines (Pfizer Biontech & Moderna) and trying to get vaccines exported from the places where it is manufactured, primarily the US and EU, is not easy. Eventually we'll get there but count yourself lucky you have a domestic US supply of vaccines.

    When it comes to travel it's a whole different world now and I think it will be at least 2022 before leisure travel is back if not longer.

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    1. Going into quarantine for 2 weeks in a government facility instead of your own home sounds miserable.

      Betty and I get our 1st shots in 2 weeks and the booster either late February or early March. Three weeks after that we will feel much safer about life in general, though travel will remain iffy until at least summer.

      Hawaii will likely be our fist long trip. They have been quite rigorous with safety protocols.

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    2. An update to the Canada travel restrictions for returning citizens. Today the Prime Minister announced that Canadians arriving by air from foreign destinations, including the US, must pay $2,000 (per person?) have a PCR Covid test on arrival, not the rapid antigen test that the US accepts, and isolate at a government approved facility until the test results come back. If the results are negative then we can finish the rest of your 14 day quarantine at home, if positive we will be moved to a medically secure facility to wait out your quarantine period, which I have no issue with.

      Interestingly land border crossings with the US are essentially untouched (too many snowbirds driving back I guess) though they want a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours as is required for air travel anyway. I think they are really worried about uninhibited spring breakers flying off for a week of fun-in-the-sun and are making it difficult to do that. As it stands, it seems to me that I might find it beneficial to fly into Buffalo NY instead of Toronto, take a taxi from the Buffalo airport to Niagara Falls and walk across the bridge to Canada. My sister lives near Niagara Falls Canada, perhaps I can persuade her to bring my car down to the border from our house about an hour away.

      Our travel date is near the end of April so I'll have to see what the rules are at that time but it's not getting any easier.

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  3. Because of COVID taking foreign travel off the table for the foreseeable future, we upgraded our travel trailer, and we have already booked all of our reservations for an extended 10 week trip around the Pacific Northwest. Even if things remain closed, we know we'll still be able to enjoy beautiful views, go hiking and biking, do some kayaking and boat touring, and enjoy terrific and varied meals via takeout. Anything else that has reopened by then will be gravy.

    I try hard not to give in to thoughts of what we can't do. There is still plenty we can do, and that's where I try and keep my head pointed.

    Now that California is no longer an emergency stay at home order, and with my husband soon receiving his second vaccine shot, we are planning on several close-to-home RV trips over the next few months to break up the monotony of being at home for such an extended period of time.

    It's my nature to keep moving forward and not look backward too much, and if nothing else COVID has been a reminder that if I focus on what is possible instead of what is not, life can still be stimulating. More work for sure, but still stimulating.

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    1. Wow...2 1/2 month RV trip...I hope that happens. You and Mike need the open road before you.

      As noted in a previous commemt, places like Tucson, Prescott, and Greer will become more doable after our shots and others begin to get vaccinated.

      Safe journeys!

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  4. I feel badly for people want to travel because with Covid-19 it's just not going to be the same and could even turn into a disaster if you get stuck on a cruise ship or hotel in quarantine or can't get back into the country. I saw a report that RV sales are through the roof this year with people planning to do America and National Parks in 2021/2 Makes the most sense to me if I had wanderlust.

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    1. We played with the idea of getting another RV. In the end we decided we have done that so there wasn't a burning desire to repeat the experience.

      The RV market was so hot last year, prices and availability were problems.

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  5. We are still traveling, because where there is a will, there is a way. However, we also do not own a home, and of course everyone has to be somewhere. And, like someone else said, we don't really think of it as travel, we are simply living somewhere else. We don't like what's going on in Canada, and think that there are better, safer places to spend the winter. Besides, we don't really plan on spending much time there for the foreseeable future. In any event, we are believers that life must go on.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Not owning a home does open up lots of options!

      RV travel is probably the safest way to travel in this environment, but it certainly isn't for everyone.

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  6. Our travel plans are on hold as well, Bob. We had a Mediterranean cruise planned for 2021 which has been postponed. Cruise lines put a hold on it which we would have done anyway had they not. We both like cruising, but I can't disagree with what you said about the illness. I'm just disappointed because it's the first time in our lives that we have been able to afford to start to travel and were looking forward to it in retirement, which is also on hold. We are self-employed, so we can go whenever. But since we can't go anywhere, we just keep working. First world problems, I know. And by no means do I want to sound petty and ignorant of the many problems and loss of life out there. I am beyond grateful for the many blessings in my life. I can remember my youth when money was often a struggle, so I try to focus on the future and dream of when this will be over. I'm certainly not alone. When we feel it's safe, we'll start with some visits to family and then perhaps plan some kind of vacation.

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    1. You make the important point that any travel problems pale in comparison to the devastation to hundreds of millions of lives around the globe. Anyone able to read this blog has so much more than so many..

      Still, when you have prepared for something and have it snatched away, if even temporarily, there is a very natural reaction of disappointment and frustration.

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  7. Completely cancelled. I retired July 2019 and promised myself to do nothing until 2020. Relax, learn to sleep, learn to "be" and be still after a grueling 39 years in healthcare. I had 3 trips and 4 concerts planned to celebrate retirement. The first event was to occur just days after the initial lockdown.

    Sigh..........I have friendships around the country and miss seeing them.

    First world problem? Yes. Missing out on what I worked my ass off to save/pay for? Yup! :-(

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    1. The fact that Betty and I have our first shots scheduled is the glimmer of hope we both really needed. Everything seems to be problems on top of problems - we feel a load is starting to lift.

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  8. We go to Hawaii every year with our granddaughter. Canceled last year, of course. And we have one more big trip in our lives that we would like to take, a cruise up the coast of Norway to the Arctic circle. We would like to take it this summer, but who knows?

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    1. We have said no more cruises. But, maybe all the precautions triggered by Covid will result in better overall health practices, so the outbreaks of various flus and other intestinal problems on large ships will become less of a regular occurrence. If so, we might go one more time.

      Hawaii does beckon. Being part of the U.S. makes us feel safer about not getting stuck when a border suddenly closes!

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    2. I certainly understand your precautions about health issues on cruise ships, but my husband and I are in our 70s and want to see some places without changing hotel rooms every night or two. That's just exhausting. We also don't want to drive a car anywhere outside the U.S., nor have to look for restaurants three times a day.

      With all of its drawbacks, we like the idea of having our hotel room travel with us and the cities move. :D

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  9. Well, as a Nurse, half a dose sounds pretty dumb.Half doses of penicillin don’t work at all and in fact make things worse.Hope that’s an idea that dies on the vine!!!! I want the whole dose please! Travel: I have a dear friend who has made her living as a travel writer (yes it is a dream job)— and now has absolutely NO WORK>Her husband was a 20 year veteran of American Airlines and was laid off in September. They had moved from Arizona to Dallas for his work, 3 years ago and now need to come back here and are having a rough go of things as you can imagine.No jobs, and family is HERE.. Travel for me and Ken: I don’t believe it is going to be safe on a plane for quite some time.. maybe not till 2022. The new S. African variant is decreasing efficacy of the vaccine,i just read today. So, even vaccinated,who knows????? We want to go to Bucerias Mexico for a month as soon as it is safe.. a quick flight to MExico.. maybe 2022??? Before that if things improve some, maybe this summer we can do some of our favorite local trips: Bisbee,LA Posada in Winslow,Sedona for swimming at our secret swimming hole and hiking the red rocks..that’s all pretty safe and easy via airbnb and driving. We enjoy the shops, the music, the hiking and the views from mountain top house rentals. I get annoyed with all the travel ads I get in my email now.. newsletters I used to enjoy just make me feel badly now.. yes,I am privileged, I do know that. I live in extreme gratitude. I can’t be planning 2022 just yet..I am still needing to go day to day and get the vaccine and get through the surge that is coming form the new variants.. it’s just a rough time. Focusing on day to day pleasures is what feels best. We hiked the Veterans Oasis park today and got take out breakfast burritos on way home..Now ,these days, that feels like a vacation! LOL

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    1. The walk around the lake at Veteran's Park is pretty. The waterfall is especially calming during this stressful time. I had mentioned Bisbee to Betty yesterday. It is an easy trip and fun, but only when things are open enough to enjoy.

      I read this morning that the major airlines have lost a combined 12 billion dollars since last March. How do they ever make up that kind of shortfall?

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  10. Our vacation to Machu Picchu for June of last year was canceled and I don’t think we will reschedule. My other half has health issues and it was going to be difficult as is to do the Inca Trail. Our thinking as it stands now, is to hopefully travel in the Fall to visit friends and family, namely PA, TX and FL. Maybe do some camping in state parks. Once things open up more, we want to explore local towns, within a 2-3 hour drive and spend some overnights. Flying is out until at least 2022. We, as many have said, know we are blessed and practice gratitude. Oh, and like many others, we have enjoyed many cruises but this Pandemic has turned us off to cruising in the future. Maybe some day.

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    1. I can't imagine anything more horrible (that's hyperbole but you get the point) than being locked into your stateroom for weeks on end, trying to find a port that will allow the ship to dock.

      We will fly to Hawaii later this year if things feel safe enough. But, our trip to England won't happen until at least mid 2022, especially with the U.K. really struggling to contain the pandemic.

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  11. I had to laugh because my reaction to your title was: What travel plans?!? But that being said, we're hoping to get to Wisconsin this summer to see our new grandchild. We hope... we hope... we hope.

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    1. Yes, the title was just a bit sardonic! I can't anyone has not had some sort of planning devastated by the flu.

      Fingers crossed for Wisconsin. A new grandchild is a precious gift.

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  12. I'm in the same boat as Tom. Haven't been able to see our first grandchild in WA, who was born in August. We should be 2 weeks past our 2nd Moderna shot by mid March, i.e. full protection as far as it goes currently, and then the travel plans can take shape again.

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    1. Something to look forward to! Like you, we should be fully vaccinated and as safe as we can be by mid-March. We will still wear masks and take normal precautions, but the feeling of doom and gloom will not be hanging over our heads.

      Good luck on your trip to Washington State.

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  13. We devoted much time to finding a vaccination slot for my husband, snagging it on my third try yesterday with a site at which he preregistered weeks ago. I would get up in the middle of the night to sign in. He'll get his first shot this afternoon. However, my rheumatologist and an immunologist consulted and, because of a prior life-changing reaction to the H1N1 vaccination, I've been told in quite stern terms that I am not a candidate. It was crushing news. I think it lucky that I live within a mile's walk of a nature preserve, as I think my masked walk to the entrance and through the preserve will likely be the only traveling I do for the foreseeable future. My brother lives in Mexico but collects his needed medications from a low-cost clinic in the states. The logistics of getting back to collect his medications every three months are proving overwhelming. I know I'm lucky, but the same problem that keeps me from being vaccinated impacts a daughter and granddaughter, too, and I don't know when family gatherings can be anything but outside and distanced. Travel is nothing: that is a grief that's hard to bear.

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    1. I am so sorry about your situation. That is a real blow. I guess your hope is that enough people do get vaccinated to allow for herd immunity over time.

      Your brother's situation isn't one I had considered, but that makes sense. I know several folks who used to travel to Mexico for medical procedures and medications. I assume those trips have stopped.

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  14. We've had so many plans that just will not come to fruition. Being in San Diego at least gives us a chance to walk to the beach, & pretend we're on vacation! Even talking about a day trip up the freeway doesn't sound inviting any longer. Too many people NOT wearing masks where we would have to gas up, get something to eat on a take out basis, etc. We're still not able to get the vaccines, so alot of frustration, but home safely. Kids live within 40 min, so get to see them with masks on, for a short period.

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    1. For various reasons, we have put a halt on seeing our grandkids and family for the last month, and probably into March. They live only 5 minutes away, so it has not been easy.

      Since it is only 6 hours away, we thought of driving to San Diego. But with the constant lockdowns and knowing very little is open, what would be the point?

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  15. The bucket list is upended or re-prioritized. Only refundable reservations are being made.
    The new guessing game is - what part of 2021 or 2022 will be safe, and where ? What is the season? Where to go at that time of the year?

    Don't put things off - when it is safe - you want to go.

    It is unfortunate that the cruise lines seem to be selling off the smaller ships (at least Holland America + another). I never had any desire to go on a big ship with 3,000+ people, and the pandemic is yet another reason.

    I went on a 2 month cruise in Nov-Dec 2019 and am so glad I did. It proved that you do it when you can and don't put it off. It wasn't exactly in budget for that year - well, perhaps I didn't have a budget after all! I also did a 2.5 month trip to Australia + NZ in 2019 - people I met always said they wanted more time than their tour - so I put it together myself and spent a lot more time than a tour. I'd like to go back but obviously that will wait.

    For 2020 multiple trips to Hawaii were cancelled but I'm hoping to make it in May. I will have both doses of Moderna by end of Feb hopefully.

    A trip to Croatia was rescheduled for Sept of 2020 to 2021 - don't know if that will happen as the EU is having trouble with vaccine deliveries and apparently older Germans don't want the vaccine (?) It may be pushed to 2022.

    Hawaii + Palm Springs may be the places for 2021 as I'm in San Diego.

    I can say for me - it's really hard NOT to make plans.

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    1. It is hard not to know when and where. I hadn't thought of Palm Springs, but it is only 4+ hours from us.

      You were lucky to get so many trips taken care of in 2019!

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  16. Hi Bob! Like so many others our plans for 2020 were all cancelled. BUT...travel planner that I am I am making airbnb reservations for monthlong stays in here in the U.S. in early summer and then Canada in later summer. We hope to have the vaccine by then and will still practice precautions. Then if all goes well we hope to take our first (short) flight in December. Of course everything can be cancelled as we learned in 2020 and it makes me feel good to at least have something to imagine. ~Kathy

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    1. Yes...there has to be a goal and a timetable to look forward to. Obviously, you and Thom enjoyefd your month in the mountains last summer. It will be nice if you can repeat that experience.

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  17. My husband and I just got our first vaccines so we are cautiously optimistic. Although I understand that just because you get the two vaccines, it doesn't mean that all is good, I still feel that there could be light at the end of the tunnel. We've made some tentative long distance plans (reservations with good cancelation policies) and we hope to do some local travel in a few months. Our main focus right now is staying safe so we'll do what we have to do to maintain mental and physical health.

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    1. Even with 90%-95% effectiveness that means millions of people could still get Covid even with the shots. So safety first.

      I imagine travel insurance with cancellation options will be pretty much SOP going forward.

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  18. Another year for staycations here in the UK but that means that all the beauty spots will probably be even more hectic than last year. A good summer to finally sell our family tent and tend to the garden again, perhaps?

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    1. From what I read, the vaccination rollout is picking up steam in the U.K. You might find yourself in a better position sooner than expected!

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  19. We really want to travel by car and see some of the Western National Parks. Since we lost our dog, we've pretty much decided to do some travel before getting another. BUT. For sure not yet. And, of course, I really want to see my new granddaughter again.

    I got the first vaccination shot as a hospice volunteer and am scheduled for the second next week. DH has registered on every website and location we have and cannot get an appointment. Which is super frustrating given he is in the correct age group, etc. We know many people who have gotten an appointment and there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. Hopefully getting more vaccine sent out will help. Until then, we continue our virus lifestyle. Boring but safe.

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    1. We made a similar decision, though the pandemic is not allowing us to follow through. Before we replace our dog, who died in October, we hoped to take advantage of the simpler arrangements when not traveling with a pet. But, it still is not nearly safe enough to go anywhere. We are holding off getting another pet for a while longer and hope against hope we can do some traveling during this period.

      There seems to be no rhyme or reason for much of the country concerning shot distribution. So far, we have known two couples, only one of whom had an appointment, get shots for both. When they get to the facility, the person with the assigned shot asks if the other person in the car can get one. So far, the answer has been, yes.

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  20. Covid cancelled my family reunion in Phoenix 2020 and several other road/air trips. So I have not seen my kids or grandkids since 2019. Zoom calls help but no hugs or hikes or sports and other fun activities. Also no air travel or cruises or long road trips last year and none planned. We are lucky we have already done lots of traveling since retiring, UK, Scotland, Spain, 3 cross country months long road trips, etc.. Plus we did Hawaii and Canada and Europe when we were younger. And we have a summer home in the mountains to go to and cool off from the Phoenix heat. SO we are really OK. Just grumpy from staying home too much.

    We are scheduled for our first vaccinations in mid February. But I am not optimistic this will open up things a lot. By late summer it may allow car travel and some restaurants and music venues to open up. But big sports and music will remain closed, just too much risk for now. I also see long distance air travel and cruises as very high risk through all of 2021 and maybe longer. Too many foreign people will not be vaccinated so I expect a new international infection peak to come up in summer or fall 2021. Maybe things will get better in 2022 but this thing could mutate like is already happening and get worse. Who knows???

    I am just thankful my family has not gotten it bad or been hospitalized. Some were sick but so far all are OK.

    Good Luck to everyone.

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    1. All my immediate and close relatives have been Covid-free so far. With grandkids going to school or sporting events twice a week we keep our fingers crossed and our distance until we have our shots.

      2021 will be only marginally better than last year in terms of travel and activities. But, with the new administration's push to make more shots available, I believe the Covid picture will look much better by summer.

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  21. I am sad to read your post about Amtrak eliminating sleeper cars. I have traveled multiple times across country, enjoyed the sleeper cars, the observations car, and the sinning car so much. Train travel is a very civilized way to travel, and so fun. I loathe flying now. Plane travel is no where near as nice as it was in the 70’s and 80’s.

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    1. So far, elimination of the sleeping cars is a proposal, not a fact. With President Biden being a big Amtrak fan, there might be better news ahead.

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    2. I just loved the "sinning car" typo and was trying to picture it. Perhaps like a Victorian era bordello? :D

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  23. Boy has it ever changed out travel plans. Two spring trips to Oregon to see kids were cancelled, including the one with an Amtrak return trip (which I was looking forward to).

    The summer "vacation" was by camper and we did not stop and see family (other than the one stop in Oregon) this year. Normally we visit family in Montana and Wyoming most summers. While hanging out in the mountains was wonderful, a couple of the family are getting up there in years and who knows how many more times we will get to visit.

    We normally visit the Oregon kids/grands two and sometimes three or even four times a year. 2020 it was just the one summer trip (they had been quarantining ahead of the visit as we had).

    The cruise to Tahiti this fall was cancelled and the one with my cousin to Europe in April is also cancelled.

    Right now we only have two trips planned. This summer (or at least in warmer weather) we will take the camper and quad out. In 2022 we have a cruise on the books, so we will see as we get closer to the time.

    Hubby should get his vaccine next week. My cousin got her first one. I am still waiting, but hopefully it won't be too much longer.

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    1. The toughest part of all of this is the effect on family gatherings. For those who live some distance from loved ones, the enforced separation must feel like it will never end.

      We live just 5 minutes away, but are going almost 2 months without seeing each other because the grandkids are exposed to other kids at school and our daughter is worried about our health risk.

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  24. That is an easy question for me since I stopped traveling long before Covid. I have been fortunate to see much of the world. And now there is no place I'd rather be than home. And while I would definitely like to see some faraway folks, I'm hoping that when things open up, they will come to see me!

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    1. Once safe, Portland is on our list!

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    2. Yay! Something I will definitely look forward to.

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  25. Art and I get our second shot on February 17. We have a timeshare in Sedona for the first week in March and at least one of our kids (a nurse, had both shots) will be joining us. I'm sure our bike-and-barge trip between Amsterdam and Bruges, postponed from last May to this June, will not happen. The only trip we have planned is in May, when we go back to our home in Seattle for six months. That's the plan, anyway, but who knows?

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    1. The Sedona trip should be safe, but, yes, the barge trip is shaky. The EU seems to be having problems managing shot distribution and variants popping up too frequently. June is too soon for any type of herd immunity.

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  26. I'm looking forward to doing some close-to-home traveling by car. When it is safe to do so, I will travel to southern New England to visit family that I haven't seen since Christmas 2019. I hope to do some short-term rental stays in coastal Maine and, if the Canadian border opens up by fall, to some favorite places in the maritimes (including "Tea with Eleanor" on Campobello Island, just over the border from Lubec, Maine). I'd love to do some train travel further afield, but I think that will have to wait until 2022.

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    1. We were talking about a simple road trip: driving on the parts of Route 66 that are open and available in Arizona and New Mexico. But, then we realized that means motels, restaurants, and closed stores along the way, so why bother.

      It wasn't until a few months ago that I learned Campobello Island (FDR's retreat) is actually in Canada. Why a U.S. President chose to leave the country every time he vacationed there was a surprise.

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