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We are living in unprecedented times. Airlines have slashed flight schedules; national borders have shut down and non-essential travel restrictions are in place. There is no telling how long these measures will continue or if more will be added.
Most travel plans have gone out the window and many people who were planning trips are reconsidering or have put their plans on hold. Even if the worst is still ahead of us, there will come a day when we turn the corner and the situation improves. While by no means our biggest concern in today’s atmosphere, the travel lockdown will undoubtedly lead to some cabin fever among travelers. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your time during the travel lockdown and get yourself excited for that next trip.
1. Make a Wish List of Destinations
Most everyone has a “wish list” of places to go, but now is the time to dig a little deeper. When is the best time of year? What area of the country or countries do you want to visit? Where are the neighborhoods that are best for what you want to do? What sights are around and worthwhile to visit?
Ask friends and family what their wish list would include. Get a list of your top 5-10 destinations. While most airlines have cut capacity down to the bone now, they will eventually ramp back up. There may also be some incredible deals as they look to ramp up consumer demand. If you have a list of desired destinations and what you will do when you get there, you will be better positioned to take advantage of any offers that arise. Given the inevitable large drop in tourism, your future trip can also help create jobs for people who will be affected by this decline.
2. Download and Use a Language Learning App
Aren’t trips always better when you can communicate with the locals? With travel on a moratorium now is a great time to start practicing that language that you always wanted to learn. Download one of the language learning apps (We use Duolingo) and practice a little bit every day. It is a good distraction from the daily news cycle and will make your eventual excursion that much more of an enjoyable experience.
3. Research Credit Cards and Welcome Bonuses
Now is the time to accumulate points so that your next journey will be more affordable. Unless you are a heavy user of a specific airline or hotel, it’s probably best to sign up for cards that offer transferable points as this will give you maximum flexibility for redemptions and transfer options in the future. It can help to sign up for CreditKarma.com and look at where you stand in the Chase 5/24 hierarchy and to get a better overview of your credit. Just remember that it only makes sense to sign up for new cards if you are able to pay them off every month. Follow the PWaC Card Madness 2020 posts to see what cards our readers like best!
4. Order Locally from an Ethnic Restaurant
Lots of people travel to enjoy the culture and food of their destination. While ordering from a local Thai restaurant might not be exactly like getting food from a street cart in Bangkok it has other benefits. You can “adventure” a bit by trying a new dish at one of your favorite restaurants or ordering from an ethnic restaurant that you have never visited. This has the added benefit of helping a likely small business that is probably in need of patronage during these difficult times.
5. Find a Local Park or Trail
While most people equate “travel” with leaving the city or state in which they live, a big draw for most of us is trying new things. It may be more difficult than normal to make this happen, but it provides an opportunity to look for new experiences nearby. Look on Google Maps or research local parks or trails that you may have overlooked in the past. Use the spring weather to get some fresh air and enjoy the beauty that is near to you. Just remember to keep your distance from others!
I understand that many people worldwide have been affected by this virus and offering ways to ride out a travel lockdown may seem trivial. However, it is a good way to provide some hope and excitement for the future and can help you focus on the positive.
What are you doing to stay busy and what destinations are on your wish list and why? Let us know in the comments below and stay safe!
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I also think this is a great time to reduce any cards you have held over one year and it is not paying its way. Also a good time to work on getting below 5/24.
Great idea Byron! Makes sense to save on annual fees if you are not taking advantage of a specific card’s benefits.