It’s hard to believe that the last time I stepped foot on the plane was more than a year ago. Considering that I spent 147.03 hours flying (over 6 days!) in 2019, it is weird to stay grounded for this long.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has turned the travel and hospitality industry upside down. People who work in the industry have suffered and I feel bad for these folks, many of whom have been without a job for an extended period.
With the roll-out of vaccines, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. I have noticed more and more Americans travel domestically for summer vacation. Here in Canada, most people are staying put within their own provinces. Once restrictions ease throughout the summer, I believe Canada-wide travels will slowly pick up.
According to the recent federal government announcement, fully vaccinated Americans can enter Canada starting August 9 and other fully vaccinated nationals starting September 7. This is the first step to going back to the old normal.
However, for overseas international travels, who knows when they will go back to the pre-COVID level. I certainly won’t be travelling for business or for leisure anytime soon.
We had plans to head back to Denmark this summer. But this travel plan has been put on hold indefinitely. We won’t be going back to Denmark if any quarantines are required. It simply makes no sense to quarantine for two weeks in Denmark, then another two weeks once we’re back in Canada. I’d spend all my vacation time in quarantine!
I am optimistic that these travel restrictions and quarantines will slowly go away, especially travelling between Canada and the US. Unrestricted overseas travels hopefully will come back, eventually.
With that in mind, I thought I’d look at some potential travel plans for 2022.
I originally planned to attend FinCon 2020 in Long Beach, California. Due to COVID-19, FinCon 2020 was cancelled and the conference was held virtually. This year, FinCon is in Austin, Texas. I have no plan to attend since I believe some travel restrictions will still be in place by then.
By November next year, I’m hopeful that there will be no travel restrictions between the US and Canada. Currently, I plan to attend FinCon 2022 in Long Beach. I had a lot of fun at the previous two FinCons that I attended so I’m looking forward to attending FinCon 2022 and socializing and networking with like-minded people.
Originally, we planned to visit Disneyland after FinCon 2020. We even went as far as purchasing the four-day park pass and booking our flights. Fortunately, we got a full refund for the passes and the airfare.
Since FinCon 2022 will be in Long Beach again, it may make sense to go visit Disneyland with Mrs. T, Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 afterward. We’d consider spending a week in Disneyland and the surrounding area.
Throughout the pandemic, I have been showing Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 Disneyland rides on Youtube and pretending that we’re riding them. So both of them are very excited to experience these rides in person.
We had tons of fun spending 12 days in Maui a few years ago. The kids still talk about how much fun they had digging in the sand and playing in the ocean all day. Best of all, thanks to travel hacking, the cost of the trip was much lower.
We have heard from friends that Kauai is the greenest Hawaii island and the most remote of all the islands. Since none of us have been to Kauai before, it would be amazing to visit in 2022.
Just like Maui, we probably will end up relying on using the Marriott Bonvoy points for accommodation and either the Aeroplan or WestJet points for airfare. We may also use the travel points that we have been collecting with the HSBC Elite MasterCard over the last year.
We have not done much research on Kauai so we are not sure when it is the best time to visit Kauai. If any readers have been to Kauai before, I’d love to hear some suggestions.
The last time we went back to Denmark was for Christmas in 2019. Both kids have grown so much since then. The Danish side of the family would love to spend more time with the kids, especially the grandparents.
The biggest challenge we face is dealing with all the different travel rules and restrictions. As of writing, it is not possible for us to go to Denmark. There are also limited flight options.
Travelling to Denmark requires at least one stopover between Vancouver and Copenhagen. The easiest stopover is flying with Air Canada and stopping in Toronto before continuing to Copenhagen. This means dealing with travel rules with two countries only. But this option has the longest flight time and it’s not preferred.
The shortest flight time option is flying with IcelandAir, stopping in Reykjavík, before landing in Copenhagen. However, this option would mean dealing with travel rules from three countries and we need to be careful with any restrictions. If we miss anything, there may be significant complications like unexpected costs with tests and or quarantines.
Similarly, there are flight options stopping in London and Frankfurt. But just like stopping in Reykjavik, it’d mean dealing with travel rules from three different countries. It’d further complicate things if we stop over in different countries for inbound and outbound of the trip.
Vaccinations for adults like me and Mrs. T shouldn’t be a concern, but there are no vaccinations for kids younger than 12 currently, so even if there are no travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people, these rules aren’t applicable for our kids.
Ultimately, we may not be able to go back to Denmark until all COVID-19 related travel restrictions are lifted. Who knows if “normal” travels will ever come back. It is also anyone’s guess on when normal travel would come back.
Whether we end up going to the US and Denmark next year or not will depend on all the different travel rules and restrictions. If the pandemic travel restrictions remain in place next year, we may have to explore different travel options within Canada.
The one thing we need to plan is how to use the airfare refund from WestJet when we cancelled our planned Disneyland trip. The refund must be used up by next summer. This means we have to book a trip somewhere with WestJet by next summer at the latest. While we can extend the refund expiration by paying some fees, that’s not preferred.
So if the international travel restrictions remain in place, we most likely will just stick around in Canada, travel domestically, and use up the WestJet refund. I have enjoyed visiting Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, Halifax, and Charlottetown so I would love to visit some of them with my family. Maybe an Eastern Canada tour, visiting the likes of Ottawa, Quebec City, and Montreal?
For now, we remain optimistic that international travel will be possible by next year. We also keep reminding ourselves to be flexible.
Dear readers, do you have any travel plans for next year?