What a few weeks we’ve had. Life has been really been flipped-turned upside down. (You’re singing Fresh Prince in your head now, aren’t you?). Although, this isn’t strictly a travel blog I hope it offers some hope or perspective to a few.
Our lives have been catapulted into so much uncertainty, livelihoods lost, family members forced into voluntarily house arrest to protect their health. Our minds and every part of our being is totally consumed by Covid-19. An invisible and silent assassination on our lives as we knew it.
But, that is not necessarily a bad thing! I’m a firm believer in perspective and how a situation can have two very different outcomes depending on how you are looking at it. We have an opportunity here, to really press that reset button and focus on what’s actually important and what’s not. And I don’t say that lightly, I mean I’ve 3 kids, 2 with additional needs I feel like someone is playing a sick and twisted version of Big Brother and I feel like I’m on Day 4345643 and not Day 7! We need to really examine and focus our minds on what important.
The hospitality and tourism industry has been once again hit one of the hardest. But this isn’t just about the airlines, tour operators and hotels and their thousands of staff. The ripples of this stretch so much farther can we could imagine.
The chefs, bakers, cleaners, food growers and producers, dairy farmers, printers, web designers, web support, accountants, florists, dress makers, drivers, warehouse staff, stationary designers, clothing manufacturers, shipping companies, musicians, electricians, plumbers, security personnel, all the little shops and cafes in a town that rely on the influx of tourists and many many more. The links of the chain are endless in how business works.
But, we have a choice.
We have a choice, to run around like Chicken Licken shouting “the sky is falling” while putting 500 rolls of toilet roll under the bed (I cannot fathom the obsession) or we can prepare to rebuild our lives for when this is all over. And IT WILL END.
I am travelling in October and the only thing I’ve done is to email my agent to tell him I’ll still be travelling and that I’ll still be booking for January too. If that’s not possible, we’ll cross that bridge then.
It’s times like this, that prove just how much travel agents are worth their weight in gold. They have an expertise that even the most experienced of travelers just don’t possess. But it’s times like this that are so stressful on agents. Not only have they to deal with and process all that is going on in the world themselves but they’ve also have to put hundreds or thousands of people’s interests ahead of their own. Your travel agent not only make your dreams reality, but they also soothe you through these nightmares and your safety is their utmost priority. They’ve to put your mind at ease all while following strict legislation and rules. The situation is constantly evolving therefore, so are the rules they have to adhere to.
So, my request to you, if you’re travelling in 3,4,5 months times please sit tight for a few weeks. Allow them the space to deal with those travelling within the next few weeks. Your agent will always have your best interests at heart but they can only do so much and in such short time frames and those travelling imminently have to come first. Please, be kind and understanding.
Right, so how can we help the hospitality and tourism industry and in turn all those others reliant on it?
Well, take this time to plan and research. Think about where you would like to go or what you would like to do. And research those places. My son has always wanted to go camping I half looked at it for a night or two a month or so ago but left it at that as the thought filled me with dread for a few reasons. But, as soon as I can I’m off. I’m going to look at a few of the recommendations I’ve received and as soon as the end is nigh I’ll be booking. I had also planned on visiting Clonakilty maybe over the Easter which of course is not happening but again I will maybe look at February half term or Easter next year.
I’ve decided to carry on with some of the blogs I had planned which will help you plan and prepare and once things improve I’ll bring you some recommendations and specials where I can.
Something you could add into your planning but will help with the kids get them to do a project on a destination. I made one for Calum this morning which he has until Wednesday to complete. I chose Pakistan as that’s where my husbands family is from but each week I am going to choose a new destination. As he’s only 8, I’ve set a list of topics he’s to cover such as bordering countries but I’ve also added in phrases he’s to learn. We may even cook a national dish once he’s done. You can print stuff off the internet, buy some magazines or drop into your local travel agent and grab a brochure.
Another way, is to make a booking right now. I have already booked my holiday for Christmas 2021, both myself and Khuram have big birthdays that December so I wanted to make sure we celebrated it well. If you have a holiday booked for this year and you’re advised you can no longer travel. Don’t cancel but postpone. This small gesture will have a huge impact on the tourism and hospitality trade.
Times are very uncertain and scary for a lot of us right now but there are things we can do to help our mindset. We may not be able to leave our homes very much right now but through the wonder of technology and with a bit of imagination we can travel the World from our fingertips.
Stay safe, stay home where possible.