Whew! This year of change has kept us on our toes and forced us to zero in on our most precious priorities, values and commitments. We find ourselves needing space to process, release and unwind more than ever.
The Altez Vacations team recently asked a group of Florida and California guests of 2020 to share general thoughts on how they believe vacations have changed over the last 9 months. The number one theme reported in addition to the obvious, "plans are canceled" comments, indicated "even a modified trip" was significant medicine for the spirit and soul. Specifically, guests concluded the definition of a "satisfying vacation" in and of itself had evolved with the progression of the pandemic. While travelers suggested continued interest in beautiful scenery and locale, they simultaneously confirmed the most important part of their trip was the moment-to-moment experience lived with, and amongst family members. To many in the travel industry, this is not striking news, yet a solid confirmation of the importance of specialized, curative quality service and standards.
Easy going and spontaneous staycations, local travel, day trips, and road trips, gave 2020 travelers places for simple respite and renewal in place of elaborate, long planned, and lengthy excursions. While travelers did report desires to plan for trips abroad and multi-stop vacations in the future, they also recognized the substantial benefits of a good old-fashioned family road trip or local staycation. Families also reported the change in desired vacation activities, noting the ambivalence toward "specific outings" and instead allowing themselves to "just be" in the moment. "People don't need definitive, organized days to fill their vacation time right now - they need to allow the days to unfold gently, in whatever way feels good for them. With regard to activities, we’ve had numerous inquiries for recommendations of local restaurants, shops and cultural businesses to support. Our guests want to be patrons of the community while they're here. You can witness the reciprocity happening between guests, locals, businesses and hospitality providers all across the region. It's one of the most positive elements of 2020 we've witnessed. We've also received a record number of requests for additional puzzles, board and backyard games this year – confirmation that a simple game night can be the backdrop for a perfect evening!” Kara Altice-Montes, CEO Altez Vacations.
"We modified our 2-week summer trip to a one-week local vacation this year. Time away (even so close to home) allowed us the opportunity to rest, reset, laugh and rejuvenate!"
- Samantha P., Altez Vacations Summer 2020 Guest
"2020 has been a good reminder that it doesn't always matter where you go - it's who you are with and how you spend your time. Our adventure carried us to the beach, a hundred miles away. We were able to tune for a while, forget about the world at large and recharge our own personal batteries. Dare I say the road-trip was even fun!"
- Paul R., Altez Vacations Summer 2020 Guest
"Just the one simple act of changing scenery for a short period can do wonders for the body, mind and spirit."
- Jennifer O., Altez Vacations Fall 2020 Guest
We're all hoping for the collective exhale in 2021. The release of restrictions, uncertainties, and distresses which have consumed so much shared energy this year will be widely and enthusiastically received, when it arrives. Keeping exquisite focus toward optimism until then is key. And, remembering vacations don’t have to be overly elaborate or complicated to result in quality nourishment for the soul. Vacations are yours for the making, in whatever way fills your cup!
When you decide it's time for the well planned and complex, or easy going and spontaneous, battery recharge, we are here and grateful to serve you.
Until then, here’s to board games, simple nights, beach walks, and the unfolding of special memories made with loved ones.
*Be sure to check out mustdo.com if you're planning a trip to Florida! They’ve got great tips, tricks and suggestions for all kinds of travelers.