Let’s face it, 2020 hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Between cancelled trips, border restrictions and working from home, we’ve all been left craving a little (or a lot) of wanderlust this year. Sinking our toes into Cancun’s beaches or exploring the quaint villages of Santorini now feel like distant dreams, as we’ve had to shift our travel agendas in 2020.
In fact, our annual Vacation Deprivation study reveals the vacation deprivation levels were already on in some countries even pre-COVID. So, to combat this, we’re asking you to dream: If we said, “imagine the places you could go”, where would your mind take you?
We know Canadians love Vegas; however, with travellers staying close to home, you can get your dose of bright lights and the outdoor wonders of the world with a visit to Niagara Falls. This is a local charm that is always a wonderful site to see time and time again.
One of the best-known spots in Canada to experience European charm, is Quebec City and Old Montreal. Both will offer visitors cobble stone streets and quaint local shops and cafes that will be sure to make you feel as though you are ‘away’ from home.
For those keen on a staycation op in a big city, Toronto has much to offer here. Consider walking and exploring the diverse neighbourhoods of the city and even grabbing take out from one of the many food options based on whatever culinary experience you’re feeling in the moment—there is so much to choose from.
Consider tapping into local resorts across Canada with great pools this year to get a similar experience to what you may have when heading down south. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler for example has an outdoor heated pool that is open all year round, though needs to be booked in advance, so the perfect spot to relax after a day on the slopes.
If you are ready to stop dreaming and start doing, it’s important to note that travel will be a lot different to what we’re used to. To help you prepare for and navigate travel in a ‘new normal’, here are some tips for those planning to travel.
- As a first step, always check the latest travel advisories for your origin and destination before booking and departing. With things changing every day, check if the destination is accepting travellers and if there are any entry requirements or quarantine periods required, this includes entry back into your province.
- Find flexible stays on Expedia.ca by filtering for “free cancellation” or “reserve now, pay later”, and make sure to choose a refundable room type. While the non-refundable options usually offer the most attractive deal, it’s better to be safe and have the options there in case any changes need to be made.
- Make note of any deadlines to cancel for a full refund. In many instances you can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in but for some vacation homes, the deadline could be two weeks prior
- Try to avoid restrictive airfares that prohibit changes or non-refundable rates. Any savings you might see in the short term won’t be worth it if you end up needing to change your plans.
- Do some research around the local attractions, activities and restaurants of your chosen destination. With each region moving at its own pace, it’s good to double check what places and activities might still be closed or what safety requirements are in place.
- For travellers concerned with health and cleanliness, you can now use the use the “Enhanced Cleaning” filter on Expedia.ca to narrow search results on properties implementing enhanced health and safety policies.
- For those jumping on a plane, we recommend you arrive at the airport earlier than normal to account for the new social distancing measures and processes being implemented.