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Top 5 Reasons You Should Plan Now for 2021

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Porto Timoni, the secluded double beach near Afionas village, on the west coast of Corfu island in Greece.

Porto Timoni, the secluded double beach near Afionas village, on the west coast of Corfu island in Greece.

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to close its doors, our collective travel dreams for 2020 were closed as well. Whether we had dreamed of visiting the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat, the beaches of Greece or the savanna of Africa, the postponements and cancellations of our trips have only intensified our anticipation for our next adventure. The thought of our next trip inspires us with endless promises of intimate moments, unexpected experiences, adventurous excursions, and a lifetime’s worth of memories, whether on a postponed honeymoon or your first international family vacation. To ensure your ideal trip design and opportunities for customization, there are five reasons that you should start planning now.

1. Trips not taken in 2020 are happening in 2021

Makanyane Safari Lodge located on privately-owned land, within the renowned Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Photo © Sanctuary Retreats

Makanyane Safari Lodge located on privately-owned land, within the renowned Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Photo © Sanctuary Retreats

Our current pause on travel has given us a chance to reflect on how we wish to travel. Many travelers have reconsidered where they wanted to go in 2020, either with trips they had already booked or wished to have planned with their eyes on the future. Our Zicasso travel specialists find that most travelers are postponing, rather than canceling, making 2021 booked more than future travelers might imagine.

“It is certainly true that many travelers who booked for 2020 have now postponed their trips to 2021 rather than canceling,” Rachel, a Zicasso travel planner for South Africa, says. “Therefore, some of the smaller safari lodges are filling up much earlier for next year than they would normally.” But Rachel also says that “the increase in postponements to 2021 dates will not be a barrier to new bookings achieving your dreams.”  Your decision to work with a destination expert will ensure optimum choices, as the value of a local expert during this time cannot be overstated.

2. Travel has changed, and you will want to have options

Sailing yacht mored in the bay at Assos on Kefalonia island, Greece.

Sailing yacht mored in the bay at Assos on Kefalonia island, Greece.

The act of planning promotes exploration, creativity, and cultural empathy as well as mental and physical rejuvenation. As the realities of travel have shifted, the logistics of how we travel must adapt to ensure our comfort and safety.  “It is natural for travelers to want to ensure they will enjoy a safe and carefree vacation,” Anthia, a Greece travel specialist, says. “What is changing in the way of travel is our guests are turning more and more towards private services and boutique hotels or private villas or chartering private yachts. We also see a rise in demand for self-driven trips, which is a great option to travel safely and a wonderful way to explore Greece.”

When we think of trips taken in the past and our journeys ahead, we all look at the discovery of new cultures and the chance to look at our lives through the perspective of those around us as the best part of travel. Safely enjoying these experiences is essential, though travel is inherently an adventure. “Independent travel and small group tours will probably become more popular versus big group tours and cruises because they fit better with what we feel will be the expectations and requirements of post-COVID-19 travel,” Italy travel expert Daniela says. Smaller hotel properties and private guides will see an increase in demand, as travelers are willing to invest more to ensure health and safety. “We strongly encourage people to book 2021 trips earlier, for example, in September 2020. We expect to start to experience an increase in bookings in the last quarter of 2020,” Daniela confirms.

3. There will probably not be deals, just higher prices when you book late

Sunset view from the Villa at Lizard Island Resort, on Queensland's pristine World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.  Photo © Tourism Australia.

Sunset view from the Villa at Lizard Island Resort, on Queensland's pristine World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Photo © Tourism Australia.

With the number of travelers postponing their trips and those booking early for 2021, travel deals moving into the next year are unlikely for those who book late. Two of our Australia travel experts, Dick and Penny, point to a number of factors that can impact your options. “Adding in the new domestic market focus, availability around unique experiences and accommodation are already filling fast. You need to plan your 2021 now to secure your spot.” Dick and Penny also mention how travel in Australia will remain as before the pandemic with one major exception, “Tour operators are reducing the numbers of people per experience as they implement the best Covid safety measures and practices.”

Tour operators, accommodations, museums, and historical sites may limit the number of visitors while the demand to experience these destinations remains high. As we move forward, this dynamic may result in a sustained--if not increased--price for 2021 travel depending on where you wish to go. “To make the postponements easier and to entice travelers back to Africa, many safari lodges & camps have frozen their 2020 rates into 2021,” Rachel says. “Normally there would have been a 10-15% increase. Lodges and camps have also introduced new specials, such as early bird booking, complimentary nights, and so on, meaning that a luxurious safari in 2021 can now be booked and experienced for the greatest value in many years.”

4. Booking early ensures that your ideal trip is possible, and safe

Rock formations in Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat nestled in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains on South Africa's dramatic lesser-known west coast. Photo © The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

Rock formations in Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat nestled in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains on South Africa's dramatic lesser-known west coast. Photo © The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

Where have you planned on traveling in the distant future? What has kept you from taking that trip sooner? Or were you about to take your ultimate trip, but your plans were spoiled? With travel experts affirming the importance of booking early for 2021, you might want to reconsider booking your dream trip come true sooner rather than later. “For travelers wishing to visit Greece in 2021 and especially for trips between May and September, I would suggest contacting a travel advisor as early as possible to at least secure pre-bookings for your priority destinations. I would definitely suggest doing so before October--before the busy booking season starts,” confirms Anthia, a Greece travel specialist for Zicasso.

There is no better time to take your dream trip than in 2021 and take advantage of what the world offers, especially for regions that allow you to move away from cities and crowds. “We envisage an increased desire amongst travelers for the more wild and untouched destinations, where one can experience wide-open spaces and the natural world at its finest, away from the crowds, which Africa as a whole is perfectly set up for,” says Rachel.

With many countries taking impressive action to ensure travelers can safely explore and discover new experiences, having the support of a travel specialist brings 24/7 personalized assistance for a relaxed and worry-free experience. With private trips or limited-size group tours, off the beaten path destinations, small boutique hotels with limited rooms to avoid exposure to high guest volumes, an expert travel planner can ensure the highest safety standards and make travel in 2021 a possibility.

5. Plan now, and book for 2021 with flexibility

The landscape surrounding Castelvetro di Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Itlay

The landscape surrounding Castelvetro di Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Itlay

The charming Italian countryside and the secrets of the Greek mainland will reveal new visions of European icons. Nature’s beauty will unfold at faraway nature reserves in South Africa and the starry skies of the Australian outback. Traveling in 2021 offers the unique opportunity to make new discoveries when you take advantage of Zicasso’s destination specialist recommendations on these locations.

“The pandemic’s impact on travel is evolving rapidly. To help you plan and book your trips with confidence, Zicasso is continually working with our travel partners to offer more flexible booking and postponement terms to protect your travel investment. These terms will be communicated clearly prior to your booking,” says Brian Tan, Zicasso’s Founder and CEO.

Our Zicasso travel experts from around the globe have recommendations for your tailored travel experience. In the hands of local experts, your dream trip is brought to life with your health and safety at the forefront. Now more than ever, a local expert can guide you off-the-beaten path for an adventure customized perfectly for you. Leverage the intimate knowledge that the Zicasso team has to connect you with the right travel specialist, and book with confidence that you are working with the top tier of destination experts in the world.

The Time to Plan is Now

Night sky in Queensland, Australia. Photo © Tourism Australia

Night sky in Queensland, Australia. Photo © Tourism Australia

Whether you wish to travel through the Greek mainland or under the star-studded sky of Central Queensland, our travel specialists are ready to answer your questions as you consider your next trip. As the ways we travel will continue to evolve rapidly, it is essential to have a destination expert in your corner. Your travel specialist will underscore the significance of human connection and will ensure personal support throughout your travel experience. You can start planning your next Zicasso trip by submitting a Trip Request, or by calling our team at 1-888-205-9768.

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