It has been established that the demand for 2021 will continue to climb to all-time highs in many destinations, but what about 2022? As more travelers get vaccinated and more countries adjust their COVID requirements to open their borders, the pent-up desire for travel continues to rise to insatiable levels. Avid travelers are eager to get back out into the world and after over a year of extreme limitations, they are looking to take trips they had put off before the pandemic and make up for lost time. How will increased travel demand affect travel planning and what are the best ways to adapt your travel planning approach in 2022? Team Ourisman is here to offer advice on travel planning for 2022 to ensure you are able to go where you want and get the best value possible!
Appreciating Supply vs Demand
The pandemic was truly a shared global experience, impacting everyone’s lives in immeasurable ways. We experienced limitations we had never faced in the modern age and watched travel all but disappear. Now, as the world begins to reopen post-pandemic, is greeted with unprecedented eagerness making it crucial to manage expectations out of the gate. We are all adjusting to this new world post-pandemic and helping our clients understand that planning is not going to look the same as it did in the past has been a major theme in 2021. There has always been a finite number of hotel rooms in any destination and now the competition for those rooms is fierce! The key to successful travel planning in 2022 and beyond will be flexibility and appreciating that hundreds if not thousands of other people are looking to travel and considering the same destinations you are. This will naturally drive up the prices and might make it hard to find what you are looking for. Sifting through thousands of results populated by a quick Google search will take even more time as you try to understand rates, promotions, and cancelation policies alongside ever-changing travel requirements.
Understanding Hotel Rates
First things first, we need to acknowledge that hotel prices have surged and are at an all-time high for the summer of 2021. So what does this mean for the coming months and beyond? After taking huge losses due to the pandemic in 2020, the travel industry at large is doing everything it can to recuperate those financial losses and we are seeing that reflected in hotel rates. High-demand destinations like Hawaii are seeing prices increased by as much as 3 times what they were in years prior and while the rates might even out as summer 2021 draws to a close, higher rates are likely here to stay. We are advising our clients to book as far in advance as possible to secure what is likely to be the lowest rate a room will be listed for. Beyond securing a rate before it spikes, we can provide context into what the different rate options are and guide you to the rate with the best value. In the world of luxury travel, value is determined by several factors including the deposit required at booking, the cancellation policy, and the amenities, if any, that are included in the rate. Do yourself a favor and reach out to us before locking yourself into a reservation you can’t change at a rate with limited value!
Here’s a piece of insider info for you: hotel rates follow airlines’ publication schedules, becoming available about 330 days out. Sometimes advisors are able to access rates before they are published, which is a great advantage to working with a trusted advisor with great connections, like Team Ourisman.
Lean On An Advisor
With rates and demand steadily rising, having a wide planning window will be a must for anyone who considers themselves to be travel savvy. Another must as we enter this post-pandemic era of travel post will be having a trusted advisor on your side to help you navigate the ins and outs of planning, booking, and managing your travel. Advisors have access to more than just great value-added amenities and if you have not already been working with an advisor, now is the time to start! Beyond providing complimentary breakfast, resort credits, and priority for potential upgrades, Team Ourisman has spent the past 15 years developing close professional relationships all over the world to the benefit of our clients’ travels. Reaching out to us and asking for our advice can mean the difference between reaching your destination with ease and being stuck at the airport because you didn’t fully understand a country’s new entry requirements. We are here and happy to support you, whether it is your first or fiftieth trip with Ourisman Travel.
Appreciate The Adaptive Advisor & Their Value
Like hotels, airlines, and cruises, the travel advisor community has had to adapt to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and those of us that came out of 2020 did not come out unscathed. Our community was forced to learn tough lessons and for many of us, this meant changing the way we do business to ensure we are operating in a more sustainable way. For us at Ourisman Travel, and many of our colleagues, this meant trimming down our team, learning new skills to be as versatile as possible, and learning to place value on our expertise by adjusting our booking policies to ensure we are compensated for our work. There are tons of articles coming out these days applauding the work of the travel advisor and urging travelers to lean on them in the years to come. We have found that while most of these articles are right on the money with the why of using an advisor, many times they create false expectations in how advisors work, namely when they mention fees, specifically a lack thereof. The phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true in many circumstances, but particularly when it comes to travel planning. At the luxury level, advisors invest countless hours into research, communication, planning, and management of trips for their clients. Like any professional service, advisors are experts in their field and we believe it to be a good rule of thumb to expect some type of fee from your advisor for their hard work and time. Place value in their abilities and watch your travel planning experience improves!
Understand Services Available to You
We encourage you to take time to learn what your advisor has to offer and how each trip request might be best served by their expertise and the various services they may offer. At Ourisman Travel we have worked hard to create different service levels to accommodate a range of requests, making us one of the more flexible agencies in our luxury travel community. Our Hotel Only service, for example, provides hotel reservation services with no upfront fees provided the request is straightforward. If you find yourself in need of some consultation and extra assistance in finding the perfect place to stay or understanding travel guidelines, we are happy to provide that additional support tailored to you and your needs through our Hotel Plus service. Hotel Plus also includes assistance with concierge services ranging from dinner reservations, spa appointments, and airport transfer arrangements. As we look to the future of travel, we are finding that planning ahead for hotel stays is becoming the norm and advise that our clients arrange for dinners, spa experiences, and the like ahead of their arrival. If you are looking for a fully curated itinerary, we are able to assist with that as well! Our Tailored Luxury service is our top-tier planning service designed to manage trips from beginning to end, including all elements and fully personalized experiences.
In short, the demand for travel is not going anywhere and 2022 is shaping up to be a record-setting year in the travel industry. If getting back out there, anywhere, is on your list be sure to set yourself up for success by managing expectations, giving yourself an ample amount of time to plan and adjust as needed, and by leaning on a great travel advisor to help you navigate the post-pandemic travel landscape. If you don’t already have a great advisor in your corner, reach out to Team Ourisman to see if we are a good fit for your needs! We are always happy to schedule a phone call for you to get to know us better and learn how we work. Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a Travel Request Form!