Planning Summer Travel in 2021

Not so long ago in 2019, the unofficial beginning of summer was the beginning of summer travel season. COVID-19 put a stop to that last year, but now that the United States is (mostly) vaccinated against the deadly disease, pent-up demand is fueling summer trips large and small.

Air travel is at almost 90% of prepandemic numbers, and with more countries overseas easing lockdowns, international travel is starting to creep upward. But as you plan your summer trips, don’t expect the fine-tuned machine that served travelers in ’19.

For one thing, you may not be able to rent a car — or afford one in your chosen vacation spot. Auto rental companies slashed fleet inventories during the pandemic to stay solvent, the Washington Post says, and may not replenish them until next year at the earliest.

Business travel is expected to rebound late, leaving the leisure traveler with plenty of options in hotels and accommodations. Rooms may be somewhat more expensive in popular locations, USA Today says, but change and cancellation fees have largely disappeared during the panemic.

For travelers who are still wary of crowded indoor environments, the great outdoors beckons. Roadtrippers.com suggests booking campsites now to avoid disappointment as pretty much everyone tries to get safely back to a new normal, travel-wise.

The road trip is still perhaps the best option for summer travel in 2021. Pack the car and take off to visit the friends and family you couldn’t last year; gas prices are up due to the Colonial Pipeline hack and other supply issues, but it remains a great way to see the sights.

Roadtripper’s planning tools allow you to build an itinerary that will suit your budget and checklist, whether your ideal trip is city or country, active or 100% R&R. The Organizing Blog can offer advice on keeping your vehicle #neat, #clean and #organized during long stretches on the road.

If you pick up any #tchotchkes or #souvenirs on your summer trips, make sure they are things that you want to use every day; otherwise, they will quickly turn into #clutter. If you are already overburdened with #stuff, take only pictures to remember your travels.

As you pack, set aside any stuff you don’t use and contact ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free, contactless #donation #pickup. It will clear your head before you take off on a leisurely weekend or bucket-list trip — and make your home a welcoming place to come back to.

Keeping the Spring Travel Bug at Bay

It has now been a full year since #lockdowns against the novel #coronavirus went into effect worldwide, shutting down in-person gatherings such as concerts, conventions, school and sporting events. People canceled their trips due to travel restrictions, and most haven’t boarded a plane since.

A year later, the prospect of taking a pleasure trip has improved. With three COVID-19 vaccines being administered nationwide, many of the most vulnerable segments of the population are starting to get some protection against the disease. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and you may still want to hold off on planning that jaunt.

Spring fever, of course, is an affliction that worsens with the rising temperatures. You probably want to go out and do something — anything — that involves fresh air, sun, scenery and social interactions. For the next few months, however, the safest bet is to get creative while breaking the routine.

One safe way to shake up the routine is to take a “staycation,” Everyday Health says. Just set aside time to create your own spa experience, meditate or explore parts of your own hometown on foot. You can also try bring one of your dream destinations home for a night; if you can’t go to Italy, for example, make some fresh pasta and cue up a Fellini film.

If you absolutely must get out of town to preserve your sanity, consider taking a camping trip with the people in your family or “pod,” says the Washington Post. If you observe masking and social distancing rules with anyone unfamiliar, camping is one of the safest ways to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the spread of the virus.

One thing the Organizing Blog advises doing in the spring is a thorough #cleaning and #decluttering. Throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air as you scour; once you sort out extra stuff you don’t need and #donate it to ClothingDonations.org, your home will be much more livable.

One more way to keep the travel bug at bay is to plan your dream trip(s) for the future. Experts say that domestic travel could return to normal once most people are vaccinated, and that is currently targeted to happen by the start of summer. International travel may have to wait a while longer, depending on the destination.

When you decide to travel again, you’ll have that much more pent-up anticipation for your trip — and maybe enjoy it more thoroughly as a result. But wherever you go, stay safe: Wear a mask, wash your hands and observe social distancing. Travel is fantastic food for the soul, but you don’t want to gamble with your health.

Pack Sensibly for Your Summer Vacation

Summer is the best time of the year to take a long, relaxing trip to see old friends, explore new sights and go to the beach. To make your leisure time even more carefree, remember that a little bit of #organizing can play a substantial role in your relaxation while on vacation.

In other words, it pays to pack sensibly and as light as possible. You probably don’t need all of that #stuff on your trip anyway, and if you forget something, chances are that you’ll be able to buy whatever it is just as easily once you get to your destination.

If you take a plane, most major airlines now charge substantial baggage fees and/or offer special no-frills fares that permit only a small carryon. Depending on the destination, you can often save hundreds of dollars by reducing the amount of stuff you take along.

To keep within airline baggage limits, decide what you’ll need to bring before getting the suitcase out, says Land of the Traveler. Make a list of the essentials — socks, underwear, deodorant, etc. — and set them aside.

Be practical about the clothing you bring. Choose versatile garments that mix and match easily to create new outfits. Stick to a simple color palette and choose items that can be dressed up or down with accessories. Then, lay out what you’ve picked and eliminate half of it.

If you’re aren’t flying, you’ll have more room available and likely more to pack, too. Successful summer road trips have special accoutrements such as coolers full of refreshing beverages, extra chargers, sunscreen, sporting goods and beach gear.

But even on a road trip, packing clothing that does double-duty can pay off, says What to Pack. When the sun goes down or the A/C is full-blast, you’ll need a blanket or hoodie. “In addition, especially for long-haul drives, pillows are crucial,” the blog says.

Whatever mode of travel you choose for your summer vacation, stick to the essentials. There will be less to keep track of, misplace or lose, and as a result, more time to enjoy your leisure time with complete peace of mind.

#Clutter doesn’t only exist in the home; it can follow you wherever you go, complicating the good times with excess stuff. This summer, pack only what you need — and take advantage of all of the freedom that your vacation affords.

Summer Vacation Organization

As personal organizer Helena Alkhas says, “summer vacations require planning and organization.” Make notes on what you want to do and who’s coming along, then pick and research a destination. Make a folder of important documents — reservations, maps, passports, etc. — as you collect them. Then, figure out what to wear; some locales will require layers even in the warmest months. Finally, pack essentials such as prescription drugs, eyewear and power cords in your carry-on, just in case your luggage is lost or delayed.