This is no news that #2020 has been hell for #travellers and tourists. I don't think that this situation is going to any better till the end of the year.
Having said that, planning trips for 2021 has been something that keeps me and many others sane and grounded. I know, the idea that many have, is that once this lockdown opens up, everyone will immediately book a trip and just rush to that dream destination..... but please.... wait a minute and ask yourself why and where. In these dire times, can one travel yet be really responsible, thoughtful and supportive . Now is an good time to think about what value can you truly add to someone/something while pursuing what we love .
Yes, you really can help revive an almost dead industry in your own country. It's okay if you're not comfortable with public transport etc, staying at hostels and budget travel will also be quite different. Just be very aware what you do with that money that you want to spend and someone needs to keep themselves afloat.
A few pointers to think about :)
1. Find offbeat locations and drive/ride. Ride a cycle and join a group of aweome people. These locations and activities are so much more than just a spoiling resort stay.
2. When going to tourist places, use and buy local resources, may it be food, crafts, clothes, essentials etc. Book tours with some agencies that are local to the place, yet ensure that you get the best service.
3. Stick to your own country for a bit. I know how much you want to go to the Bolivia salt flats and do that #scuba at #Phiphi island, but consider pushing it for another year. It is much safer for you as well. Falling sick is a high possibility and staying in your own country could be an easier option and would help revive indian tourism industry..
4. Make new friendships, engage with locals, try to book homestay and delve into their culture. Trust me, you will emerge much more evolved and happy.
5. #slowtravel. With the onset of #wfh , you have the time.... so go to that place with a view and a good network and log on from there. Stay there for a while. Make friends, learn, teach something, learn about their cuisine, language etc. Visit all places, rent a bike or get an cycle...and explore every evening . Like #paris is not just the Eiffel Tower and #venice isn't a gondola ride, similarly, there is a lot to explore in every city or town.
6. When traveling with family, plan things yourself and spend some time on the location. I can promise you, it is rewarding and a lot of fun.
7. Forget tourism and checklists... to a small extent. Be open to changes, new aspects, skeptical people, strange policies and rules and plan changes. Incorporate those in your plan move forward.
8. Travel with buddies. I know, I know.... I am a solo traveler too, but as or now, with public transportation, couch surfing and hostels not being the best options, travelling with buddies can cushion the financial blow, keep your morale up and have someone to talk to and make/change plans with. You can always decide to give each other ample and more space .
I think this is a grand opportunity to change the way we travel, engage and look at our travel patterns. It's high time we stop thinking about ourselves and think about all of us, and reviving livelihoods, Morales and the economy. Gearing up and planning would be a good way to start.