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Goldring Travel Blog – Making Waves

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Happy New Year! A Quick Look Back…and Forward

New Year’s at Midnight – Antarctica 2020

This isn’t your normal Happy New Year message. Heck, nothing about 2020 has been normal.  So I thought I would take a moment to look back, Thank You and to also set some realistic (hopefully) expectations for what will be a very “interesting” start to 2021.

We all know that 2020 has been a year like no other.  In fact, I have seen a meme that says, “Just remember next year is 2020 Won“. However, I don’t think this past year has beaten us, but rather has challenged us. Science has certainly met that challenge with vaccines having been created in record time and, hopefully, a more efficient method of getting them into our arms as quickly as possible coming soon.  

Despite all the frustrations and disappointments, for most of us we have – so far – also met the challenge and look forward to returning to exploring the world and, if nothing else, simply relaxing and comfortably socializing with friends and family.  (I would be remiss if I did not sorrowfully acknowledge that so many have become ill or passed away during the pandemic and our dutiful obligation to be vigilant over the next months by masking up and socially distance so that we can both protect ourselves and those we may come in contact with.) 

Thank You!

Through it all one thing I have had reinforced is that it is in my DNA to do the absolute best for my clients no matter how long and how frustrating the ordeal of processing all of your canceled bookings, booking or rebooking many of you, obtaining your correct Future Cruise Credits and/or Refunds, modifying your travel insurance, obtaining air refunds, canceling hotel reservations, following the accountings for each booking and, of course, dealing with the uncertainty of the cruise and land operators…and, well assisting you navigate the future of travel (an important part of life) generally.  

I also appreciate that you have understood that I have tried to provide the best information regarding COVID-19 at each turn, but that the best information has changed due to a number of factors from the scientists not fully understanding the virus (an ongoing process), to the politicization of it, to the intentional distribution of misinformation…even from what had been trusted sources.  In short, knowing that I have always had, and will have, your best interests at heart.  And the maxim, “If I knew then what I know now” rings in my ears every day.

In return, I have been honored with your loyalty, your patience, and your willingness to endure.   It has been remarkable, rewarding, and sincerely appreciated.  THANK YOU!

Looking forward we know there not only is a light at the end of the tunnel, but that the light is not an oncoming train! By Spring 2021 the experts say the worst will be behind us, many of us will be vaccinated and the return to a “kinda-sorta” normalcy will be underway.  Yes, there are reasons to be optimistic and to look forward to traveling in the near future. 

But…and it is a big “But”: Goldring Travel will always honor, respect, and guide you based upon your own personal criteria and level of comfort. 

  • I have seen people say, “I won’t travel until there is testing and protocols.” 
  • I have seen people later say, “I won’t travel until I have a vaccination”, while others remain comfortable with testing and protocols.  In part that is because initially nobody really thought a vaccine would be developed so soon and we would just have to learn to live with COVID-19.
  • I have seen people later say, “I won’t travel until there is a vaccination requirement”, while others remain in one of the two other groups.  In part that is because nobody really knows how long these new vaccines will last.
  • I have also seen people say, “I am just not going to travel until I feel comfortable…and I don’t know when that will be.” Heck, with all the uncertainty and changes we have endured over 2020, this sort of risk avoidance is totally understandable. 

OK, all that said, cruise lines and tour operators are desperate – in a good way – to get you back traveling and are well and truly are fixated more on not screwing it up than booking any and everyone on whatever trip they can.  Because of this, coupled with mandated reduced capacities on ships, many potential travelers being in the third or fourth groups described above plus those folks who have taken a terrible financial hit and cannot travel even if they wanted to, the suppliers are keeping 2021 inventory low in many respects. 

On the luxury side of things, I am seeing significant demand; especially in the latter part of 2021, as well as 2022 and even into 2023 (with Goldring Travel’s 2023 Culinary & Cultural Cruise on the Seabourn Venture almost sold out, as just one example.) My advice is – especially with the liberal cancellation and rebooking options that most suppliers have in place for 2021 and even some for 2022 – take some time and, if you think you may travel in 2021 or 2022 BOOK IT NOW. If you decide you don’t, won’t or can’t make that journey, cancel or change it (Goldring Travel never charges a change or cancellation fee). If you wait, there may not be availability or only availability in a category or date that you are not your preference or, keep this in mind, at a higher rate as inventory sells out.

Also, I have been working hard during the past months to expand my discussion of new travel companies and experiences (such as Atlas Ocean Voyages), improved travel companies (such as Silversea and Windstar), and ones that I feel might be of interest (such as African safaris). So if during your pondering of travel there is a company or an experience you would like me to write about, please let me know!

Yes, I am optimistic and enthusiastic. 

Yes, I am looking forward to the coming year…OK the coming second quarter of the coming year! 

Yes, Goldring Travel will be here for you and truly appreciates you.

Happy New Year!

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