I’m recalling memories of last year, during this anniversary of sorts. Right about this time in February 2020, we had a 1,300-person conference “postponed.” And we were starting to reschedule trips, for May or June, to be on the safe side in case this virus would require more than an unthinkable two-week shutdown. But then we started to get intel, which is what we do and why we’re good at our job here at Galavante, and had the “oh s—” moment. This was real. And we’d have to shore up quickly, to navigate the unknown. Luckily, that’s our specialty, whether it’s dropping into the dark night of Sierra Leone, uncertain what will meet us on the other side of rough waters, or flying into Kabul, and taking the harrowing 45 minute ride to our university through an active war zone. So yes, this year has been interesting to navigate, but that’s just another day here at Galavante.
So now we’re almost a year into this, and in steering this ship, we need to anticipate, what’s next? I have a few predictions, and note that I’m always an optimistic realist, so my glass is half full on this but it is brutally realistic. While most of us will be fully vaccinated by this summer, I think that the majority of Americans will stick to domestic and Caribbean travel as their way to ease back into things. I think that most of us are looking for something to do though, besides the Hamptons. If you have your heart set on St. Barths, Mustique, Anguilla and one of those fruity drinks with an umbrella, book your Christmas to New Year’s now, because by then, we’ll all be on a tear. For those with more palate to get back into it this summer, I think that countries like Italy, France, Ireland and Spain will be attractive, but it depends on what the vaccine situation is abroad. The vaccine in the US will not mean that we’ll flip a switch and travel will be back to business as usual. The rest of the world also needs the vaccine; we will need airlines to put flights back on schedules, companies to bring people back to the office and restaurants to reopen and get us all comfortable to pack the house again. It’s going to take time for people to come back to normal life, but we’re resilient; we’ll get there together.
Travel, in my expert opinion, will not return to full tilt until 2022. I think that the corporate world has realized facetime isn’t that important, though I do think that in lieu of keeping the lights on, employers are going to want to bring everyone back to really hard charge this fall. However I don’t see corporate travel ramping up again until 2022, albeit for domestic travel around September this year, and if you’re lucky, an international trip where they serve you champagne at takeoff and those warm nuts. It’s going to take time to ease back into things. With that said, I don’t think that unless you’re going to places that are further afield like South America, that there are going to be fire sales anytime soon. For those of you who have been traveling since the start of the pandemic, you know that the best spots may be offering a comp night here and there, but values have generally held.
Booking travel is what we do at Galavante, and we do it well, as you know. But it’s not who we are. At heart, we are still that best friend and insider who is obsessed with traveling the world, and who gives it to you straight. I think that’s why we’ve continued to be relevant, because as you know, we’re not a one trick pony here at Galavante. We’re a lifestyle company, so you’ve been reading our Weekly, cooking with us, following our travels, hiring our chefs to create restaurant experiences for you, and even picking up a vacation house or two, with our real estate advisory group. Yes, we can help you buy that dream home at Aman, Four Seasons, or even the Maldives. We’re the people who believe one size does not fit all, and we’re obsessed with finding out what makes you tick, so that we change your world through travel. It’s that desire to rock your world that we have been inspired to create a travel show, The 195. We are storytellers – we meet fascinating people all over the world, and we want to introduce you to them. Look out for our travel show, where we are locking all the complicated pieces of the puzzle together, but it’s happening. For those of you who want to be part of making the best travel show that TV will ever see, check out our GoFundMe, which is going to help us get this show on the road, literally. We’ve assembled the dream team, and we’re going for it. Because that’s what we do here at Galavante – we go for it. Thank you for being on the adventure.
All the Best,