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I’m waiting until 2022 to plan my next big trip — and not just because of COVID-19

Aug. 01, 2021
4 min read
I’m waiting until 2022 to plan my next big trip — and not just because of COVID-19
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After being cooped up in my apartment for more than a year, I was perched at the edge of my seat for the first opportunity to travel. But now? I've decided to wait until next year to start planning my next big adventure.

I took a few personal trips last year — mostly small road trips near Charlotte, North Carolina. And when work travel returned, I jumped at the chance to visit Hawaii soon after it first opened, Mexico earlier this year and most recently Orlando to check out Disney World and Universal Studios.

For months, I've been mulling over where I wanted to go for my first big personal trip since the pandemic began. Greece? London? Italy? The Maldives?

But now, I'm planning on waiting a while before hopping back on the road for personal travel.

(Photo by Willie B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Yes, part of this decision is because of the continued risk of COVID-19. While I feel personally protected with the vaccine and indoor mask-wearing, I don't want to risk spreading it to others if I were to catch a breakthrough case.

The other reason, however, is over-tourism that the pent-up return to travel demand has caused in many popular destinations.

Take Hawaii, for example. Visitors have flocked there in recent months — hitting pre-pandemic 2019 numbers — and it's caused a strain on resources and local communities. So much so that Maui Mayor Michael Victorino even asked airlines to help curb the number of visitors to the island, according to a news conference in July.

Popular national parks have campgrounds booked through Labor Day, and many top hiking trails require a pre-dawn wake-up if you want to avoid massive crowds.

(Photo courtesy of Jake Garbelotti)

My recent trip to Orlando only solidified my decision to hold off on a large trip this year.

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Disney World was slammed with visitors and is now requiring guests to wear masks while indoors and throughout attractions regardless of vaccination status — which will hopefully make the experience safer. But even with mask mandates back in action, waiting in three hours lines for rides puts a damper on the Disney magic.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Even the experience to get from home to my next destination would quite possibly come with crowded airports and delayed flights.

American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights in the course of just one weekend in late June. Airlines and TSA are pulling desk workers to help with airport crowds. Jet fuel shortages in the western US could mean lengthy delays.

I love to travel — both for work and as a hobby. And after over a year spent only traveling for work, I'm excited at the prospect of taking my first big personal trip somewhere far away (and hopefully beachside). But that trip will have to wait.

When I plan my next adventure — whether it be to the Philippines to visit where my dad grew up, to Greece to lounge next to the Mediterranean, or maybe even to South Africa to cross "swimming with sharks" off my bucket list — I want to be able to experience my destination to the fullest. And I want the local community to be at a place where resources aren't stretched.

That means closing out my Notion planning tab and ramping up my earning strategy for the rest of 2021. Come 2022, I'll take the time to plan out my next grand trip (with the points and miles stash I will have accumulated over what will be two years at that point).

In the meantime, I'll continue traveling for work as needed and scratching that travel itch with smaller weekend getaways to nearby places — with my vaccine card and masks in tow.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
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Recommended Credit

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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees