We have travel ideas for 2021, ranging from staying at home to traveling the world, depending on the current situation
Let's be real: we missed a lot of opportunities to travel in 2020 because times were uncertain. At first, we thought lockdown is only going to last a couple of weeks, so we can wait. After that, we were unsure about how far to venture because so many people got stranded abroad during the first lockdown.
In late summer we slowly started to get the hang of it. We figured out for ourselves how to travel reasonably safe and responsible (and yes, that's a very personal decision and you will realize this article is not for the brave and the risk-takers amongst us). We started with some smaller travels within our own country and even ventured abroad once.
And then the second lockdown hit. We had to cancel all of our bookings again (fortunately all but one were refundable) and decided to stay put until the end of the year. Hence we have a lot of time to think about and prepare for different scenarios. We plan for four different "magnitudes" of travel, depending on what is allowed and sensible.
Hiking is an excellent way to get to know our hometown. We'll have some fresh air, get in some exercise, and are able to reach areas we can't reach via car or public transport. Additionally, once the weather and the rules allow for it again, we can stay at a hotel or camp for a night or two to have a little staycation.
Think: Are there any experiences in your hometown which you haven't tried yet? How about skydiving? Or renting out a boat? Have a private SPA experience? For us there are many, we just need to get creative. We can also be a tourist in our own city and visit all the sites which are significantly less crowded nowadays.
If everything else fails, we order or cook some foreign food and watch a corresponding movie - dream ourselves away. This year we had some Greek food and watched Alexis Sorbas (do not recommend), some French Food, and watched Sink or Swim (do recommend) and we plan to have some Tibetan food and watch Seven Years in Tibet. The possibilities are endless, it's always possible, cheap, and extremely Covid friendly.
Travels in our home country
In 2020 we realized that there are quite a few regions in our home country that we did not know yet, some of them - with their different scenery and food and accents - almost feel like a journey much further away. There are still so many unexplored regions in our own backyard that this alone could keep us covered in 2021.
There are many experiences, which in our head we always linked with travel abroad, but which can easily be achieved in our own country. Next year we want to try out rock climbing (on real rock, not in a hall) and go diving in a lake. You can also rent out amazing accommodations like Yurts or treehouses or houseboats or castles...
2021 might also provide an excellent opportunity to visit friends in other cities, who we haven't seen for a while. If you're anything like us, you are likely to skip a visit in favor of spending your vacation time on a "real holiday". 2020 showed us the importance of human contact so let us all change that in 2021!
Longer journeys within Europe
The next level would be to venture into neighboring countries. In this case, we plan to chose countries, which we can reach overland (yes, I know our central European location is very convenient) because we don't want to get stuck if flights get canceled again. Additionally, our European health insurance does cover us in other EU countries which provides a little more peace of mind.
We plan to stay longer in one country to accommodate for quarantine times or potential lockdowns. For the same reason, we plan to rent AirBNBs so that we can be independent and cook our own food in case restaurants close. Who knows - maybe 2021 is the year we manage to live a couple of months as digital nomads?
Travel the world
If 2021 goes exceptionally well we still have our original plan for our world travel up our sleeve, ready to be used. We probably have to accommodate for tests and quarantine time. Additionally, we probably have to change some countries because a) they won't let us in or b) they are just too unsafe to travel to at the moment.
In general, we learned from our mistakes. We are going to book all of our adventures last minute and, most importantly, refundable. Next year we are going to be super flexible - we are going to hope for the best but we are also going to be prepared for the worst.
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