Now that a vaccine is near, people are starting to dream about travel again –
It is amazing the effect of the announcement in November that we are just days away from getting access to at least two COVID vaccines for the travel industry, the stock market, and the world. Most people understand that even with a vaccine, travel will rebound slowly as it will take months for mass distribution. Last month I suggested you circle December 25 as the day the travel industry moved from its darkest days to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. That will be our biggest Christmas present, to actually have a vaccine being distributed for this COVID nightmare. From that day forward, dreaming about travel will be back in the minds of people around the world. CLICK HERE to read about how people are thinking about travel again.
Warning: Book your frequent flyer miles early in 2021 as billions of frequent flyer miles have been added to traveler’s wallets this year with no place to spend them- I am a frequent flyer mileage nerd that earns miles on multiple credit cards. This year I and millions of other frequent flyers (travelers) have earned billions of credit card miles (points) but had no way to spend them. This is why I sound the alarm bell now that a vaccine is on the horizon, those millions of frequent flyer miles will want to be used, and there won’t be enough empty frequent flyer seats available to use them. That is why this weekend, I booked a business class ticket using miles for a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, on April 17 to attend the Ambiente Trade Show with the hopes that it will still be held. If not, I can recapture my miles back into my account. You may want to plan your whole year of travel using your points as soon as possible as those half-empty planes will soon fill up.
5 of every 10 hotel rooms now go empty every night – The hotel industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Historically the hotels were enjoying an outstanding 5 year run of growth that was suddenly stopped in its tracks by the pandemic. Even in good years, the average occupancy rate for hotels in the U.S. is approximately 70%, which means 3 of every 10 hotel rooms goes empty every night. This year hotel occupancy rates are running around 50%, which means 5 of every 10 hotel rooms will go empty on average every night. This is why there is such a swing in hotel rates and why there are so many web sites that offer so many different hotel rates. The good news for consumers is that the average hotel rate has also fallen between 20% and 30% in the last six months. CLICK HERE to see a chart of hotel occupancy rates for the last 6 years.
American Airlines has a really cool map that shows you where you can travel with your frequent flyer miles – American Airlines has put together a really easy way for you to figure out how to use your frequent flyer miles. The map lets you put in how many miles you want to use and the dates you want to travel. It will show you all the cities you can travel to and then just select the city and the flights. It also allows you to check to see if business class seats are available in the advance search option—three cheers to AA for making it easier to use your frequent flyer miles. CLICK HERE to see the map.
Here are the top 6 international fun and sun destinations Americans flew to in October – One of my friends emailed me in desperation last week saying where can I go during Christmas to get out of town with no hassles. Basically, Mexico and the Dominican Republic do not require a 14-day quarantine or COVID testing to get into the countries, so they are getting most of the action. Here is the list of the top international fun and sun destinations flights by Americans in October.
- Cancun, Mexico
- Los Cabos, Mexico
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Domincan Republic
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
There are still some international countries you can travel to today without restrictions – United Airlines has come out with a great map that shows both domestic and international restrictions currently placed on travel. CLICK HERE to take a look at where you can travel today.