Keep dreaming and make the best of your travel plans | Powell’s Travels

by W. Andrew Powell
Louisbourg Lighthouse

The last few months have been challenging, especially when you’re talking about travel. I have big plans for 2022 though, and I think I have a few great ideas to make sure I’ll be going somewhere, even if all my travel ideas don’t work out.

My family and I planned a few trips that didn’t work out in 2021, but we were fortunate that we had the chance to go on a few adventures. We had some day trips hiking at Ontario Parks and Ontario conservation areas, we went to New Brunswick for a few days, and best of all, we had an amazing trip to Nova Scotia that was incredible from start to finish.

We spent 10 days on our first big adventure in the province, and it’s a destination I’d highly recommend for anyone looking to experience more of Canada next year. The province is so beautiful, the people are so charming, and the food is amazing.

What I love about travel in Canada right now is that it’s so much easier than international travel, and most of us likely haven’t seen all that much of the country.

On the hopeful side of things, and looking outside of Canada, my wife and I are planning a long-awaited trip to Switzerland in the fall, and we have a Disney Cruise we can’t wait for, especially since we’ve already moved it twice. We’ll have to see how that works out, but right now those are our main plans.

What it all comes back to though is that travel plans for 2022 needs to be flexible. We really don’t know what the year has in store for us, and while many signs point to travel opening up again, I think the most important things to keep in mind will be having options to change or move any plans.

Keep your plans flexible

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia

To start with, when you book flights for any travel coming up, make sure the tickets can be changed, or that you can cancel them entirely. With Air Canada, for instance, their Flex rate can be changed even on the same day you’re booked to fly, but Air Canada is also offering one free change right now too with that rate. That policy may change though, so it’s worth making sure you know what your options are when you book.

For hotel stays, depending on where you book, you can usually cancel right up until a few days before you travel. I’d recommend making a note in advance of any specific cancellation dates or requirements, so you don’t end up paying for a stay you can no longer make. When in doubt, be sure to read the fine print before you book your hotel stay, or reach out to the hotel to confirm their rules.

I usually add important dates like this to my calendar, so I get reminders on those key days.

Finally, when you’re planning a great itinerary, you can always keep those notes and schedule it down the road if you can’t take that trip when you planned. I love planning trips, so it’s a fun way to stay hopeful and prep for the days when you get to travel again.

Use a notebook to write out your notes on each trip you want to take, or write down all your notes in a Word or Excel document so you can always update them when it’s time to book.

Plan a few alternatives

Arrowhead Provincial Park in Ontario
Arrowhead Provincial Park in Ontario

The other part of being flexible is coming up with alternative ideas just in case things don’t work out. For 2022 my wife and I are planning a few backup ideas that we can explore if we can’t or don’t want to fly outside of Canada.

Within Ontario, we’re going to book a camping trip that we can easily cancel, and I’d like to look at trip ideas for Quebec, and possibly even Alberta or British Columbia, if we need some other Canadian destinations. There’s a conference in Nova Scotia that I’m looking at too, so I’ll hopefully end up back in Nova Scotia for a while too.

If travel to the U.S. will work out, we have a lot of ideas for road trips that would be wonderful around Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Pennsylvania. We also have potential plans for flying to Florida, or maybe California, but time will tell.

What I love about it is that we’re often overwhelmed trying to decide what countries or places we want to explore next, and we don’t always think about great trip ideas nearby. This is an amazing time to take that road trip and explore in your own back yard, or somewhere nearby.

Keep dreaming

Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico

Here’s what I think is ultimately the most important part: planning travel ideas, and being hopeful about the future. In other words, keep dreaming!

I’m a hopeful person, so perhaps it comes easier, but dreaming about travel makes me happy. I love thinking ahead and coming up with ideas.

Planning ahead for trips is a wonderful thing, and it’s a great way to stay positive when the future is so uncertain. My wife and I often watch YouTube travel videos for inspiration. Kara and Nate have some amazing videos, and for Canadian inspiration, Arienne and SeeYouSoonTravel shares some great ideas. And of course I share some travel videos too.

Just remember that nothing is going to be set in stone for a while, so plan your trips, get some backup plans ready, and when you’re on your way, savour every minute of it.

Need some travel ideas? Here are a few of my favourites:

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