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I Can't Find

The Words

· Travel,Cruises

I'm sitting here with a travel company to my name, and all I can think about is how to put the last week's events into some sort of meaningful context, and I'm struggling.

I avoid any political comment as a matter of course. It's just not my thing, and I have issues with all sides. Perhaps that's because I have my UK background where collaboration is a more common part of the process.

What I will state this week is that J5Travel stands united against hate, violence, and racism.

Our video country quiz series running on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube is called 'Where Are We? ' which seems to me a very appropriate question to be asking ourselves right now.

"The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

J5Travel are proponents of love, kindness and connection here in the USA and throughout the world. Doing right, and standing for what's right are essential steps to finding the solutions we need both personally and community-wide to forge a better world for us all to live in.

I'm going to move on to a subject that has been brewing for a few weeks, and that is potentially looking at your 2021 travel planning. I do not wish to be in any way insensitive to those who cannot yet contemplate future travel, but it's my job and mission to give you honest and accurate information on all things travel related. With all we have seen in the last couple of months, the overwhelming majority of 2020 planned bucket-list trips, have been moved to 2021, rather than cancelled. If any sort of demand returns before the end of this year for these type of destinations, availability is going to be an issue. I kid you not.
There is a distinct possibility that if you leave 2021 planning for a special trip until all is perfectly clear again, then you may not be taking that trip until 2022. I know a lot of imponderables need to be surmounted before international travel is back in our comfort zones but here are the Top 5 destinations that could easily sell out for Summer 2021.

Top 5 - 2021 Travel to Plan Early For

1. Africa (above and below)

All of J5Travel's 2020 African safaris for clients are either successfully rebooked for 2021 or are in that process. Even now, there are already availability issues and any new trip for next year really needs to be looked at soon. All of our favorite suppliers such as Hills of Africa, Abercrombie & Kent and G Adventures are reporting the same. Whether it's for a honeymoon, a multi-generational family, or a group of friends who want to visit the continent that will change your lives, consider making contact with us soon for 2021.

2. Peru (below)
I do tend to wheel Peru out quite often (see last week) as one of the top bucket-list destinations and I assure you it's justified. With Machu Picchu the goal in most travelers minds, you have to bear in mind that visitors are limited in numbers on a daily basis now, and permits to actually hike the Inca Trail sell out in regular times. Again, most clients are rebooking for 2021 so there is not going to be much room left if you decide this amazing country is for you next year.

3. Alaska (below)

While Alaska land tours are still possible for Summer 2020, every cruise line has had its complete schedule wiped out for the entire season, with the one exception of UnCruise who offer ships small enough to be exempt from the CDC no-sail order. Cruise lines have bent over backwards to lure passengers to rebook rather than cancel and have had strong success. This is leading to a healthy book of business already for 2021, and any sign of consumer confidence returning to the cruising segment is going to mean possible availability issues, especially in Alaska. Remember it is likely, though not yet set in stone, that cruise ships are going to be directed to sail at less than full capacity.

4. Australia and New Zealand (above and below)
With summer being at the opposite end of the year to that of the Northern hemisphere, not that many trips have been pushed forward a year, relatively speaking. Instead, I believe that these 2 countries have done such a good job in locking down early and preventing COVID-19, that they are going to be perceived as some of the safest trips to take for a reasonable amount of time. Demand could therefore be very strong for the summer season that runs from October 2021 to February 2022. I assure you it is not too early to be looking at that now.

5. Small Ship Cruises
Soapbox time! Cruising is going to be as safe as it gets when it comes to travel post COVID. Hygiene and health protocols for both pre-boarding and on the ship will be at levels that mimic hospitals, such is the work being done to ensure this industry makes its comeback. On top of that the trend that we were seeing towards small ship cruises with 100 to 500 passengers maximum is likely to accelerate. Our favorite suppliers such as Seabourn (above), Silversea, Scenic, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Ritz Carlton Yachts (below) and Crystal will all be offering amazing experiences globally and Summer 2021 could see a huge rebound for them. I should also include the river cruise lines in this segment as with only 150 passengers, and likely new protocols that will even reduce that number, they will be very popular indeed with travelers wishing to avoid crowds.

If you need any travel advice in the current travel environment or you're ready to plan we're here for you. Click here to let us know.

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