“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

2021… Year of Travel?

Going to look forward with this one.

Christopher Elliott writes at Forbes.com about travel among other things. He’s someone I often turn to for travel news and trends. His latest article attempts to give us a handle on 2021. Here’s the bottom line:

“Many signs point to a quick rebound for travel in 2021. That’s because people will be making up for the travel they missed in 2020 and trying to use their travel vouchers, which expire soon.”

A travel recovery in 2021 looks pretty certain. Americans reportedly plan to take more leisure trips than in 2019, let alone 2020. It seems the great majority of us are feeling confident about traveling by the first half of 2021 both to domestic and foreign destinations.

Of course, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to watch out for curve balls. Much depends on how quickly a vaccine becomes available and peoples’ willingness to accept it, leading to a decline in COVID-19 cases. When that happens, travel experts expect a very quick recovery in travel.

Timing is everything, starting now. Virus resurgence could prompt new economic downturns and destination restrictions. On the other hand, transport and accommodation refund policies make delay a rather precarious alternative.

A travel professional can help navigate post-COVID travel. But many have left or are leaving the profession, unable to weather the pandemic-caused travel drought. So it’s probably best to start working with someone sooner rather than later.

So, like most times, this is a period of opportunity and uncertainty. There will be deals ahead, but soon enough, there will be crowds again. Then prices will climb, until the pandemic is all behind us. We hope.

If you want to look back on how we got here, Chris also wrote an earlier column looking at 2020 and the lost year of travel. Here it is