As cities, states, and nations re-open, I promise this time will be different, this time I will appreciate what we’ve all been taking for granted.
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Taking Travel for Granted
I am guilty, perhaps more so than many of our readership, of taking travel for granted. I assumed the world would be as I had known it to have been since I began traveling internationally more than two decades ago.
I was wrong.
I didn’t take in enough of the local scene at times, opting for the comforts of my hotel instead. I didn’t fly often enough. I know that sounds ridiculous for a travel blogger and a business person that flies for work too, but I passed on trips to stay closer to home instead of finding a way to bring my family.
I didn’t try enough new countries out of a desire to revisit old favorites. I wasn’t bold enough.
One More Boom, I Promise Not to Waste It
In the oil and gas business, there is a bumper sticker that encapsulates my sentiments.
“Please God, give me just one more boom. I promise not to [waste it all] this time.”
The thought that I had millions of miles that I may not be able to spend because those airlines and hotels aren’t able to navigate this crisis is devastating. We were all awash with roundtrips to Europe for $200-300. Airlines were running tremendous capacity that I simply didn’t take advantage of enough.
I wasted it. But that was the last time. Give me just one more boom for easy miles, one more boom for cheap long-haul flights, one more boom that takes me around the world at whim.
I promise not to waste it this time.
Changes I Will Make
I’m going to get a little gutsier as the world re-opens. I was heartbroken by the thought that my daughter might have seen the last picture of an open world we had come to love. Here are the things that I will change going forward:
- Good Airfares – I am going to book great fares as they return more often
- Country Count – My wife and I used to aim for five new countries every year but backed off our goal as we wanted to return to favorite places. But there’s more we want to see and we will.
- Spending Miles – I accrued far too many miles and points to let them die on the vine. I will aim to spend out of my balances as opportunities return. There’s no use holding a million miles in an airline currency that may become defunct.
- Making More Time for Leisure Travel – Last year was busy at work, but I should and could have made more time for traveling with my family. This crisis was a wake-up call that I need to ensure I am not replacing family travel with work trips.
I took travel for granted but won’t in the future. I intend to spend the miles and points in my accounts, take advantage of good deals, take trips as they come with my family, and see more countries every year. All it took was a pandemic and nations closing their borders to get me to realize it.
What do you think? Did you take travel for granted? What changes are you making as the world re-opens?
I don’t think the opportunity to do so has completely disappeared – but I had strongly wanted to do a flight in Emirates or Etihad A380 First – for the experience and the shower – and had been researching and planning the various routes and prices using miles to get it for the last 18 months or so.
But I never pulled the trigger on it, despite having ways I could afford and could’ve fitted into my schedule if I had gone for it. So the regret is there.
Once the world is reopened, and service on board coming back to normal, I will be out there in a flash if the opportunities are back
While I’ve never taken travel for granted, here are three trips I especially wanted to take, but delayed doing so and lost the opportunity.
I wanted to fly the glamorous Concorde, but procrastinated – foolishly waiting for the fares to come down. Then the Paris crash happened and the supersonic jet – for me – lost its allure.
The sleek Caravelle was always one of my favorite planes. I flew lots of them within Europe, but the Caravelle flight I really wanted to take was Air France’s multi-stop hop from Miami down to Fort-de-France (I love Martinique), with en route stops at San Juan, Port-au-Prince, and Point-à-Pitre. It was a day-long trip that included breakfast, lunch, and plenty of Champagne. Then suddenly the flight was operated with a ho-hum 737. (Now it’s an A320.)
When she was taken out of service with almost no warning, I missed crossing in First Class from Rio and Buenos Aires to Naples aboard the very stylish Italian liner ‘Eugenio C’. – a perennial favorite with passenger ship lovers.
Kenneth, always enjoy your comments and look back at the golden age. I wish I could time travel back to experience it.
I did though (twice) get to experience the Concorde. On the “cheap” even. Back in the 90’s US Airways and BA were closely tied in and USAir offered Concorde flights on BA for like 140K miles r/t (or thereabouts). It was a steal. Flew it r/t on two occasions from IAD. Otherwise I never could have. My take? I am glad I did it. My review though would be that it was the most cramped seating I ever experienced in premium. Interesting to try it, but even with more chances until they stopped offering the miles for Concorde flights I chose a 747 premium flight in F as a much better overall product.
A REALLY inexpensive way to experience Concorde was with the Fly/Cruise packages offered by Cunard Line. You could cross the Atlantic one-way on ‘Queen Elizabeth 2’ and for $999 return on a British Airways Concorde. Total cost for a week on QE2 and the return Concorde flight was considerably less than the normal one-way Concorde fare!
I crossed the Atlantic a number of times aboard QE2 but never coughed-up the $999 for Concorde because I was airline crew and could fly my own airline in First – for free. I regret my penny-pinching now!
I never got to fly Concorde, but have fond recollections of the Caravelle…and of the Tristar, most particularly Cathay regional flights. They were times when each model had its own character: these days I can barely tell the difference between the A350 and the 787
I expect that we’ll see a dramatic and permanent reduction in business travel, particularly that involving major corporation and perhaps less so for individuals/ smaller concerns.
Personally, I’ll travel less but focus more on places I really love. I don’t have a “bucket list “. The 70 or so countries I’m yet to visit: most of them are likely horror shows, and I’m not going just for the sake of ticking them off.
Of all the lessons about what should be taken for granted or not, and we come up with credit card points? Not exactly the deepest dive.