You’ve been cooped up inside for months. You haven’t been able to travel like before, and perhaps you haven’t even seen loved ones face-to-face for months. To top it off, summer is winding down fast. Is there anything you can do about this sad state of affairs?
The United States Travel Association has a smart suggestion: Start planning a future trip—today. On Sept. 8 U.S. Travel launched “Let’s Go There, Soon,” a nationwide campaign that encourages consumers to get inspired, save a date, and book a trip.
“The ‘Let’s Go There, Soon’ campaign is critical to get people inspired to think about traveling again,” said Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California. “Visit California has a wealth of planning resources perfect for today's travelers — our Guide to the California Road Trip Republic, know-before-you-go articles, the California Responsible Travel Code, and much more. We want people to Dream Big about their next trip to California and start planning accordingly.”
Rediscover the Joys of Travel Planning
Dreaming up your next adventure, it’s worth noting, can be a lot of fun. New York Times travel writer Stephanie Rosenbloom certainly thinks so.
She acknowledged the pleasures of trip planning in her acclaimed travel memoir, Alone Time. “The very act of researching and planning a vacation can boost happiness because it's a way of fostering anticipation,” she notes, adding that “the further off the trip, the more time you have to immerse yourself in that process through things like books, films, and photos about your destination.”
Nathan Lump, VP of Customer Marketing for Expedia, feels the same way.
“While many people often talk of the hassle or anxiety associated with trip planning, for many of us it is a pleasurable pastime—dreaming of where we could go, poking around online to find the most exciting options, talking to friends and family or a travel agent about our ideas,” Lump said. “I’ve always found that the anticipation that builds in this process is part of the joy of travel and gets me even more excited for the main event itself when the day comes.”
Because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, planning a trip may seem like a futile endeavor Resist that mindset. Even if circumstances change, the mere process of leafing through guidebooks or scrolling through websites brings ancillary benefits.
“Even if your travel might ultimately be far off in the future, dreaming of planning that getaway will immerse you in the feeling of the experience now,” added Lump, the former editor in chief of Travel + Leisure magazine. “And you’ll have something tangible to look forward to. I think that’s got to be good for both the mind and the soul.”
Put Trusted Resources to Use
With the mind and soul accounted for, the next factor to consider is the body. Health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus remain very real, but you can minimize risks by researching—and following—safety guidelines in the destinations you plan to visit.
Visit California’s Responsible Travel Hub is a great place to begin this aspect of your trip-planning process, and we encourage all prospective travelers to read and respect the California Responsible Travel Code. These seven tenets were created to ensure that the Golden State remains a beautiful and viable destination over the long haul.
You’ll also find a treasure trove of articles detailing how the California hospitality industry is addressing the pandemic, including innovations and insights about staying in hotels, accessing airports, renting vehicles, and more. If you’re thinking about visiting a Golden State beach, a state or national park, or even a winery, Visit California’s safety and sanitization updates that will give you comfort.
Let Us Inspire You
Ready to roll but can’t decide where you want to go? We can help. Here are a few quick suggestions that should help you get in gear.
Thanks to its remarkable abundance and variety, California is the premier road trip destination in the United States and perhaps even the world. Check out the Road Trip Republic hub to find all of the inspiration and information you’ll need to plan a coastal drive, a mountain adventure, or perhaps an urban escape.
Whether you’re a local looking to stay close to home or a repeat visitor seeking a fresh take on a familiar destination, take a look at our “So You Think You Know…?” articles. This content series showcases hidden gems in places like San Diego, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Francisco—attractions and experiences that even many longtime residents don’t know about.
If focusing on outdoor activities is a priority, we get it—and we’ve got you covered. The California Now blog features dozens of timely and topical suggestions that emphasize fresh-air fun, al fresco dining, ways to explore outdoor spaces in urban centers, and much more.
There’s also a new Pinterest board with trip-planning tools that will point you in the right direction.