Cabin Fever: Americans (of Means) Keen to Travel. How Many Will Play it Safe?

Europe is in the midst of a Covid surge. The Qantas CEO is talking up vaccination passports, and the EU is planning on one for within the bloc, although the WHO is not on board. New variants are spreading abroad in the US. Yet with infection rates merely down to where they were five months ago, and only about 10% of the population fully vaccinated (and no solid data on whether/how much having been vaccinated reduces spread), American are sick of being cooped up. Many people want back to some semblance of the old normal and don’t want to hear that holding back another month would make a big difference. As the Wall Street Journal reports tonight, web searches and bookings show a keen desire to travel.

But there’s travel and there’s travel. Leaving town does not have to entail much in the way of Covid risks. The data indicates that flying is not too bad since planes circulate their air frequently and have high quality filtration; the big risk appears to crowding when getting on and off board, and being unlucky enough to have been seated near someone with Covid who is coughing. Wearing a N/KN95 mask and taking it off only very briefly (as in eat and drink in short intervals) ought to further cut the hazard level. Driving is even better.

But then there’s the wee question of what you plan to do when you arrive. I will confess to traveling pretty regularly under Covid for medical treatments, and no, I didn’t engage in side activities. And staying in hotels where service level have been cut to the bone isn’t very glam (no doorman or porter, when even a wheelie bag isn’t easy to manage with my injuries). By contrast, South Beach overrun by partiers and then put on curfew was the lead story of the Daily Mail last night. As of January, Carnival Cruise Lines ihad more bookings for 2022 than it had for 2019. Las Vegas is moving closer to an old-normal footing. From Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Room rates shot up over the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Hotel rooms at Palazzo, Linq and Planet Hollywood are available seven days a week again. Buffets and dayclubs — two major taboos at the height of the pandemic — are returning, albeit with amended operations. Fans are back at Golden Knights games again. Nearly 40 shows are performing on the Strip.

The list goes on.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill said the problem many entertainment venues are facing now is that to maintain social distancing, crowds are greatly reduced and many shows, including Cirque du Soleil performances, need a full house to be profitable.

“Elimination of social distancing will be key to filling entertainment venues,” Hill said….

Loosened restrictions have helped open the doors for returning visitors. Restaurants and casino floors are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, up from 25 percent a few weeks back, and certain large gatherings that had been capped at 20 percent can fill up to half of their capacity.

Conventions are coming back too. The World of Concrete booked the Las Vegas Convention Center for June 8-10, and three other trade shows were approved in the next 24 hours.

Now admittedly Maine did pretty well towards the end of last summer, but Maine is a particularly Covid-friendly destination: not bad driving distance from Boston (natives called “Massholes”), Rhode Island, and New York, most activities outdoors, many lodgings in the rental cottage/bread and breakfast/small hotel or motel format, so not a lot of crowding at peak times. Plus Mainiacs are naturally socially distant. That same format applies in areas where nature is the big draw (hiking, boating, camping). Not surprisingly, the Journal suggested that, for the most part, cities weren’t prime destinations this year:

Most home-rental bookings in the U.S. this year are along the coast, near lakes, mountains or in suburban areas—a sharp departure from the big cities that were the most frequented by travelers before the pandemic, AirDNA data show.

But that seems to be where the cheery news ends. And from even my own tiny circle, there was reckless behavior even during the bad phase. One of my brothers, within weeks of having gone to ski in Utah, spent Christmas and New Years driving up and down the east coast. By my count, he and his wife wound up in a bare minimum of seven different bubbles. And a ski trip planned for early in the new year!

Searches suggest there’s a lot of pent-up demand and as the examples of South Beach, Las Vegas, and my youngest brother attest, not everyone is big on prudence. Again from the Journal:

People are spending more time combing through airline and hotel websites, executives say. Traffic on Spirit Airlines Inc.’s website, for example, has roughly doubled since the holidays, Chief Executive Officer Ted Christie said.

Travel showed signs of a rebound in late 2020 before a virus surge reversed the trend. “This particular rebound definitely has more strength to it,” Mr. Christie said…

Travel companies are trying to help in decision-making. United Airlines Holdings Inc. launched a way for customers to search for flights with an interactive map that displays fares to dozens of destinations at once. Conceived before the pandemic and launched in September, it is proving to be popular now, the airline said.

United and other major carriers including American Airlines Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. also are deploying color-coded maps for would-be passengers to figure out travel rules for different destinations….

Henry McAdams was one of those seeking an Airbnb getaway. The 32-year-old engineer said a day after receiving his second vaccine dose, he spent hours browsing Airbnb’s suggested listings to plan a trip with close friends. “I didn’t care where, I just knew I wanted to travel with the boys—somewhere, anywhere,” he said.

The article didn’t mention family get-togethers, but in recent month, we’ve had some readers volunteer that relatives are already trying to organize family reunions, and they were leery about joining.

There’s plenty of pressure to open up international travel despite the surge in Europe and the US’s “less bad” not being all that good:

Some 61% out of 2,200 Americans surveyed by Vrbo’s parent Expedia Group Inc. said they were likely to make a long-distance trip in the next year, according to results released earlier this month. Many countries around the world have closed their borders to tourists or have onerous and costly quarantine requirements. More than half of international air routes have been closed or suspended, according to the International Air Transport Association….

On both sides of the Atlantic, airlines have spent months trying to persuade governments to lift bans on U.S.-European travel, but talks have been complicated by the rise of new virus variants, slow vaccine rollout and rising infection rates in some countries.

And the CDC is wringing its hands:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends against nonessential travel. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said rising airport passenger numbers are concerning and pleaded with people to wait.

“Every time that there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country,” she said at a press briefing this month.

In all the vaccine cheerleading, the CDC left out that “We don’t know how much vaccines will reduce contagion” and tellingly, the Journal was silent on that issue.

So have you made travel plans? Or are you close to making them? What do they look like? And what do you hear from friends, family, and work colleagues?

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  1. Larry

    My wife was ready to book a trip to Utah for mostly outdoor activities this summer. I convinced her not to do that given that we’re both not vaccinated and we don’t know if a surge will make that travel unpleasant. We’re slowly thawing out in New England and cabin fever is always most intense in March when Spring isn’t really here.

    My plan for the summer is to take many trips to beaches in RI that tend to not be as crowded as the Cape. Once we’re all vaccinated we’ll get together with a wider crew of family, but no travel outside of a car this summer or fall. My own company might start to open an office in August, but that’s a big maybe. I don’t I would travel for work again until late 2022 at the earliest.

    We have booked a trip for next winter though. February 2022 feels like an okay time to book with travel insurance to back stop any cancelations.

    I get the pent up demand though. It feels odd to be so local over the last year. I live close to Boston for example and haven’t been into the city for anything in over a year. Friends tell me it’s like a ghost town in the sections that are largely commercial. Boston used to be a routine trip for museums, restaurants, and entertainment.

    1. James O'Keefe

      A trip to Utah would certainly be lovely. Perhaps next year.

      There are a lot of good state parks available in Massachusetts to explore.

      Went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts a few weeks ago for the first time in a year. The MFA took Covid seriously. Was nice not to have the crowds, but that won’t last as things improve.

      Good luck with your RI beach trips.

  2. taunger

    I have tickets for an event in Portugal that was cancelled last year and was rescheduled within 1 year, which per a Portuguese law passed allowed the organizers to retain ticket sales. Last time the event occurred, there was a resale platform eventually. Not yet this time. It was an expensive ticket when I bought it, and if I’m vaccinated and allowed to travel, I will. The entire event takes place outside, and masking is advisible due to dust anyway. Buy I’m very skeptical the travel bans will lift in time for planning. This is a very international event, and I feel for the organizers, who must be waiting on baited breath for some sign on air travel plans.

  3. bassmule

    I live in western MA. We have old friends who live in a tiny village in southwest France. We’re talking about a visit in September, but we’re not making any reservations just yet, and there’s really no telling when the French might lift their ban on travel from the US. Beyond that, we’re going to a family event in Jacksonville, FL in November; we’ll probably drive. We are not likely to visit any tourist destinations, because we’ve become allergic to crowds over the past 12 months. I was fully vaccinated a week ago, but I’m definitely not giving up the mask any time soon. I find myself still avoiding walking around downtown.

  4. George

    Last August I booked our July 2021 travel (train from Chicago to west coast and back with stop-overs at national parks and Denver to see friends), based on early 2000 representations from neighbors who work at E.I. Lilly that the virus would be a force for about 18 months. We get our second Pfizer shot this morning. Reservations for first in-door dining is already made.

  5. Wukchumni

    I have cataract surgery tomorrow on the eye which had retinal tears and maybe 10 days later they’ll do the other one and i’ll be done with the saga hopefully, and about the only sure travel plans to a place of means is Mammoth for me, most every other place I go is free, or for a small fee.

    I sure picked a great year to not get a season pass, as this will be the first winter since the 70’s, I didn’t go skiing. Might have pulled it off if we had an everlasting gobstopper of a snowpack-but we don’t and spring skiing isn’t my favorite, sometimes feels like going through mashed potatoes with you being the gravy, add a chance of Covid for flavor.

    That said, i’m raring to go for next winter and our first trip is always in early January, and i’m hoping our group of over the hill types is all vaccinated by then, and we can go back to anywhere between 5 & 8 of us spread out somewhere slumbering in our circa 1972 rental condo we’ve been staying at for over 20 years, about 100 yards walk from the Eagle lift.

    Skiing wasn’t the vector I thought it would be and from what friends tell me its more of inconvenience on the slopes this year, and whereas previously, we’d all sit down to lunch @ McCoy’s midslope, and drag out lunch in assorted ziplock bags from pockets on your parka, go grab a few glasses of water, condiments and maybe buy a beverage or a glass of wine and about an hour and a half of bullshitting & eating, not necessarily in that order, we ski until the lifts stop @ 4 pm.

    This year you couldn’t go inside to eat and when its windy outside friends would retreat back to the condo for lunch, otherwise they’d just eat outside.

    As far as pent up demand, went on a sweet dayhike up behind Salt Creek falls on BLM land, spring is in full swing in the lower stretches, still a bit sleepy as you gain altitude though. The Redbud is weeks away from peaking.

    On the way back through town @ 3 pm, i’ve never seen cars parked all over the place in spots that required a certain desperation along the road, sometimes far away from the store or restaurants.

    Sequoia NP is going bonkers without the usual 40% of foreigners that make up its attendance in visitations, and the outdoors is in, so imagine the pent up demand building overseas?

    1. The Rev Kev

      In reading your comment, it occurred to me that everybody is really experiencing this pandemic differently. That people have lost things such as skiing trips & trips to Las Vegas and gained things like time to read more or not waste time in freeway traffic. And that when this starts to end, people may ask themselves if they gained more than they lost.

      Good luck with your cataract surgery tomorrow by the way. Hopefully in a few months time this eye surgery will only be an old memory.

    2. chuck roast

      Recommendation on your cataract surgery…make sure that they knock you out sufficiently so that you can’t see what they are doing. If you are still semi-conscious you may want to move your eye when they are operating…not good. It seems to me that their tendency is to under-sedate so that they can boot you out as soon as possible.
      Good luck!

  6. fresno dan

    I got my second vaccination (Pfizer) Saturday (no untoward reactions – very, very minor injection site soreness for a few hours) so I am looking forward to doing something. The zoo is open at least, and than I am going to see what is up with all these covid variants. If it is much ado about nothing, than I will do a driving trip to Paso Robles and do some wine tasting. I always go during the week, and even before covid I was usually the only taster or maybe a couple of others were present. Even before covid I didn’t like being in crowds, and not just because of cooties. So I am all for further distance between patrons at restaurants (at least at the bar)

  7. Louis Fyne

    fwiw, my area (where Biden won by >25 points), it feels that a big chunk of people have decided to return to normal life (aside from complying with the local mask mandate), which has been made a lot easier as the bars-restaurants are open at 50% capacity.

    Road traffic, but not public transport, is back to near normal—weekend traffic jams on the highways just like pre-covid.

    this isn’t a partisan thing—-young, old, all ethnicities, religious, non-religious, people are just fed up with being cooped up. (and I don’t blame them, given hypocritical-inconsistent-contradictory-lousy-condescending US public health messaging ever since March 2020)

    The one permanent change lots of people still work-from-home and plan to for the foreseeable future.

  8. chris

    Lots of friends and family in my circle want to travel, but they’re all holding back until they feel there won’t be risks. The risks they are most concerned about are getting stuck due to quarantine when they arrive, quarantine when they come back, or travel restrictions preventing them from returning at all. I don’t see our family or my friends traveling like we used to until 2022.

    1. Polar Donkey

      As someone who has just been through 2 weeks of spring break traveling diners at my restaurant. The answer would be none.

  9. Jeff N

    last October, I joined my parents for a week in a rental cabin near the Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula (Michigan) border; the three of us are planning the same trip in June. Parents already fully vaccinated; I’ll be fully vaccinated (second dose + 2 weeks) by May.
    We drive to get there, hit the grocery store, then pretty much stay in the cabin or its surrounding grounds the rest of the week.
    We went in separate cars (not for medical reason). On the way home I got Taco Bell drive-through, but I was too afraid to go inside to use their bathroom.
    I have four weeks of vacation time to burn before my IT job evaporates in August. My next job (likely trucking) may not provide a single paid day off for the first twelve months. That will be an adjustment.

  10. nick

    My family moved from New England to the South during the pandemic and we’ll be driving up to NE for 6 weeks or so this summer to see family. We might also do another drive to TX to see family in the next 6 months.

    I’m anticipating two in-person work meetings this fall that are each a few hours’ drive away. I have another work event in about a year that is likely to be my next flight. That one would be bigger so if it looks unsafe to fly then it would not be safe to attend at all.

    My wife traveled a lot for work, mostly internationally (and to countries that have managed Covid well), and she is very eager for that to start up again. She would typically have some leeway with time and so those trips often also served as vacations. I think it’s possible but unlikely that she’d be able to go in the next 6 months and that past that it’s more likely to be a year.

    I have necessary but not fixed-date travel to Latin America. Work and personal and probably separate trips. These ones will come down to authorization for vaccinating children in the USA and the timeline for vaccination in these countries. I’ve been able to see family, and I’m totally fine with doing local outdoors trips, but the delays and constraints on these ones are the most frustrating to me. And also the most upsetting. While state-to-state differences in vaccine administration here in USA seem arbitrary and oh so stupid, the international differences look likely to persist into this year and beyond and are clear instances of injustice.

  11. NoOneInParticular

    I have close friends in Europe and would normally visit regularly. During the pandemic I have been looking for cheap flights several months out. Once, the deal was too good to be true and the airline realized its mistake and canceled the ticket, in another case the airline canceled a flight. I have since bought another ticket for a flight five months from now. In all cases I wasn’t expecting the trip to happen, because of the pandemic. As long as the pandemic makes tickets changeable and refundable, there’s little risk financially. As long as I remind myself the odds are against being able to travel, there’s little risk of disappointment. Within the U.S., there’s family I’d like to see, about 250 miles away. The train is possible, but three hours in an enclosed space with strangers gives me pause. And car rental prices are through the roof. So, my radius of movement extends as far as public transit.

  12. upstater

    We all got vaccinated in January and again in mid-February. Dispensation was efficient, but scheduling was a pain requiring multiple visits to the NYS DOH website..

    I had 3 trips from upstate NY to New Orleans on AA between January and last week to visit mom, then hospice/passing and finally interment. The contrast between the travel times was quite remarkable — January things were very empty transferring in Charlotte and at the new white elephant airport in New Orleans. The rental car facility was a ghost garage. Last week, everything was like the “good” old days. Mask use was generally very good. We had to go to southern Mississippi and there wasn’t a make to be seen, except at the VA cemetery in Biloxi, when the guard insured everyone was masked. Jefferson Parish LA had very good mask compliance.

    Our daughter, grandson and son in law are moving from London to Paris (he is in the financial “industry”) in 4 weeks. They want my wife to come for 3 weeks — it ain’t gonna happen. The major carriers only have 1 transatlantic flight per day to the European capitals and France has some hoops to jump through for admittance. Fares can be quite high, even using points. Plus France seems to be doing an exceptionally poor job managing the virus and vaccinations. Plenty of poverty and who know what variants are stewing in the banlieues? We really have NO desire to visit a megacity, anywhere.

    Right now I have award tickets booked for Bonaire in December (snorkeling) and will book Switzerland for February 2022 (XC skiing). Hoping the daughter and crew can meet up with us. None of those are in densely trafficked areas.

    Spring is upon us in central NY state… bicycles have air and are lubricated. Plenty of quiet roads and bicycle only paths. We have a canoe and do wilderness camping in the Adirondacks. I have a friend in Montana that has a beautiful cabin and an open invitation, but probably wont go.

    With COVID we cancelled China last April, Perth in November and Switzerland last month… aside from CH, I can’t see those other trips happening before 2023 or later.

  13. Reify99

    Lockdown has actually agreed with us.
    (Except for the knuckleheads.)
    We’ll both be “fully” immunized in a couple of weeks and we’re starting to make in-person healthcare appointments, etc. That’s about it. (May keep the pandemic pony tail.) I foresee a drive in the country.

    We’re fortunate that lockdown has pushed us deeper into our arts practices and to have adequate means for a sudden, externally imposed retirement. So now we have lot’s of parallel play, and discussion around the politics of finance, pandemia, and who controls the narrative. (Thanks NC!)
    We’ve connected more deeply with our T’ai Chi community, including our 88 year old teacher who,
    pre-pandemic, was traveling 100 days out of the year to teach. We usually see these people a few times a year at most. Now it’s weekly, across time zones, countries. Our form has actually improved with Zoom. We miss actual physical contact with a partner.

    On the other hand, the grandchild in Great Britain may tire of kissing his mother’s phone during our video calls. But I doubt we’ll fly for another year.
    Too many knuckleheads and their knucklehead calls. And the virus “makes it’s own decisions.”

    We’re used to it now.

    1. ThinksHeIsSmart

      Can’t tell which of you I’m saying hi to, but hi from tai chi zoomland. it is very funny to read this comment and know it is from one of the two of you. 88 year old tai chi grandmaster and grandchild in the UK lock it up. Greetings from the mathematical end of Bloomington.

  14. juno mas

    No travel plans, here. Won’t get my second Moderna jab for three more weeks (+ two for full effect). That’s nearly the beginning of May. Will still maintain a cautious distance from the general public. Especially given the massive tourist influx into my coastal area that also harbors a major university and a community college that thrives on non-local (high fee paying) students. (New every semester.)

    While the breezy beaches are not likely to be high Covid transmission areas, the crammed, maskless , outdoor seating at restaurants for out-of-town visitors is sure to create an infection spike somewhere else in the state.

    In the words of the lucid Mr. Berra (Yogi): It ain’t over ’till it’s over.

  15. megrim

    I honestly have no plans for traveling any time soon, if ever. Unless a serious effort at zero-Covid is attempted in the US, I won’t be comfortable doing anything outside of my house/with others until I feel assured that I will not contract long-Covid. I feel absolutely no urge to meet with people I don’t live with–it’s just not worth it. Necessary medical/veterinary visits are about it for me. My family can come visit if we are all outside and don’t physically touch/stay very far away from each other and all wear masks. I’m 40 with no serious, chronic health conditions, which I would like to keep that way.

    1. James O'Keefe

      Certainly going to be so many grounded jets available that they will probably succeed.

      “FAFTACOINS” and “Being a member brings you into the effort to assure that your family’s natural health rights while traveling are protected from injurious regulation and discriminatory policy.” make me wonder if this is the intersection of cryptocurrencies and anti-vax sentiment, though.

      Thanks for mentioning them.

  16. antidlc

    The ONLY place I will be going is *maybe* to the dentist.

    That will depend upon # of cases in our county.

    Frankly, I don’t trust the pharma companies any farther than I can throw them.

  17. Tom Doak

    I am really wrestling with this, since a lot of my business is international, and that part has been cut off for a year now. I have multiple countries to visit for work when it’s safe to do so, but when will that be? I can’t even drive to Canada.

    With vaccination on the horizon, I went online last week to check out the rules for visiting other countries, and they are quite stringent almost everywhere: you have to produce a negative test within 72 hours of boarding the plane [not sure where I can get that turnaround in my small town of origin], and for most, you have to quarantine for 5 days / 2 weeks on arrival before you can go about your business. And it’s not at all clear if those rules will relax for people who have been vaccinated, since there is no proof that it prevents you from being a carrier.

    I figure New Zealand is the gold standard of keeping COVID out, and I don’t see them changing their rules for incoming passengers anytime soon. As of last week, there was a 3-month waiting list for a bed in one of the quarantine hotels near the airport.

    I have only flown once in the past 12 months; it went smoothly and I did not feel paranoid in transit. But when I think about traveling now, my thoughts are some variation of John Kerry’s famous line about being the last man to die for a mistake. I have thought a lot about the ethics of risking being a carrier of the virus [or now, variants] since I first learned what was up, and I still do not see any light at the end of that tunnel.

  18. David in Santa Cruz

    We’re having a home built on a temperate island near Canada. Haven’t flown there since March 2020, but we did drive the 800+ miles in September to check on our temporary on-site RV quarters. Overnighted en route at a location of IHG’s new “wellness” brand (individual ventilation, no carpet), and we traveled with our own food, only stopping for fuel wearing masks and gloves. Quarantined for 5 days before socializing with our builder or neighbors. Masking and hand-sanitizing were pretty universal in the places we visited.

    Will be traveling there for ground-breaking in July for sure; possibly for meetings in May. I’m a few months shy of the vaccine age cut-off. Hope to be vaccinated by May, but not at all confident in the distribution system getting it done, even if vaccine is putatively available. Unlikely to fly in 2021, even if vaccinated.

    Interestingly, we have several acquaintances who have traveled to Maui recently. All had been vaccinated.

  19. TheCatSaid

    Interview with Prof. Dolores Cahill and James Corbett on why and how she is setting up Freedom Airways.

    The economic perspective is eye-opening.
    The legal strategies she is putting in place are equally interesting.

    The membership approach lets people use their money to energize their values if this approach is one they support.

  20. vw

    We have taken 2 trips in the past few weeks in order to lock down prerequisites for our family’s emigration application to Canada, due next week. Miserable experiences, family freaking out, and money we didn’t want to spend, but the clock ticks down ever-louder in the background…

    Anyway, I can give a review of no fewer than 4 airports for the interested.

    SEA and SFO are very lightly trafficked – probably no more than 10% of “normal”. The atmosphere is relaxed at both.

    PDX is busier, but still an OK atmosphere.

    IAH is packed, and the employees hate their job, hate their life, and hate everyone in the airport.

    I won’t even consider travelling anywhere other than Canada in the near to medium-term future, but we’ll be waiting for the border to open, and that will likely be a while.

    Best of luck to other would-be travellers, and as they say, may the odds be ever in your favor.

  21. Cat Lady

    I guess I am an outlier. We had to cancel a trip to Nova Scotia in July 2020 and pushed back a trip to Scotland to October 2020 from May. No way was I going to cancel in October after not going anywhere since March 2020! The airplanes and airports in October were really empty and quiet. We stayed in vacation rental properties in Scotland and were very socially distant. No hotels. No contact with the owner. No public transportation other than the airplane. Scotland was just starting to restrict activities in some areas again, so during the second week we had a lot of late lunches – restaurants had to close by 6:00 pm. So it wasn’t ideal but it was so great to get away that it was worth it. Never saw any crowds. Empty golf courses. Gave me some nice memories to get through the winter.
    By January or late December I couldn’t take it anymore so we booked a condo on the beach in St Augustine Beach FL for the first week of February. Flew from Providence to Dulles to Jacksonville. Again planes quite empty. Restaurant in Dulles was a little busy but not crazy. In FL everyone wore masks in stores and restaurants. It wasn’t crowded in the restaurants and we went hiking in the GTM Reserve. Deserted. Walked on the empty beach. Really nice break from RI.
    I am now fully vaccinated and hubby is half vaccinated. His parents also are fully vaccinated so we are visiting them in Naples FL this week. Staying in a separate condo. Easy flight on empty plane from Providence to Ft Myers. Working remotely has its advantages. I have not spent two weeks in FL in my life before. Desperate to go anywhere.
    We also have a week in North Carolina scheduled for the last week of April. Another vacation rental property. I am guessing that the planes and airports will be busier then. But the flight is short and the air is filtered, every one wears a mask and on all the flights I have taken, there is hardly any talking. I think the masks discourage conversation.
    We have two weeks booked in the Devon area of England in mid-July, again at holiday rentals in the countryside. Fingers crossed on that one! Yeah, pent up demand for sure.

  22. Kurt Sperry

    I haven’t been more than 20 miles from my house in Western Washington State since this thing hit. I’ve hardly shared an indoor space with people outside my immediate household other than infrequent grocery runs. I know people who have traveled by choice during the pandemic and it’s difficult for me not to see them as being reckless, selfish, and irresponsible. But at the same time it’s hard to put yourself in their place and understand all the circumstances that might have led them to make those decisions. I also feel lucky to have been able to hunker down and maintain social distancing.

    I have a house, friends, and a town my family has been part of in Italy for many years that I ache to visit but I won’t until the situation has been brought under significant control, not only here in the US, but in Italy as well. I’ll probably be vaccinated within two months or so, but it does me almost no good until all the people I’m likely to come into contact with have been as well. I’m not looking forward to being vaccinated as much as looking for everyone to be vaccinated, or at least to have had the opportunity. The Italian government projects that won’t happen until—perhaps—October at the earliest. In the meantime, there’s nothing to do but wait and hope.

  23. Jen

    I spent 2 weeks at a lake house in Maine last year and will do so again this year. It’s basically the same hunkering down I’ve been doing since last march, but in a different location, with better amenities. Since I’m working remotely, I may extend my stay for another week.

    My niece is getting married in June. She’s out in Montana. I’d love to go, but this is not the year. My dad is 87, now fully vaccinated and he’s thinking of going.

    It’s a small thing, but I hope that maybe this summer I’ll be able to enjoy an outdoor meal at my favorite local restaurant, on the patio (no tents, sheds or enclosures of any kind!). That would be lovely.

  24. eg

    Cottage rental near Peterborough, Ontario for a week in August. Probably will have our first vaccine dose by July.

    Hoping to book a European river cruise for fall 2023.

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