What a Difference a Year Makes

My daughter sent me the date count. March 13, 2020-December 8, 2022 was 1000 days.

We’ve survived and endured 1000 days of CoVid.

I was remembering the head space I was in this time last year. My eldest daughter had just come down with CoVid – this was just prior to Omnicron changing how everyone thought of the pandemic. I was worried about her in Toronto, 5 hours driving away, and was planning to travel to her to try and cook meals, etc., My mom was in Newfoundland, about 6 hours flying away, and had been hospitalized with pneumonia, but Newfoundland shut down to visitors again before I could go visit her. After a wonderfully free summer of 2021, with travel resuming, cautiously, no one in travel wanted more lockdowns last December. But Omnicron brought them.

Newfoundland remained closed until the end of March. As did many other spots around the world. And this time in December last year, I was undergoing another dizzying round of trip cancellations, refunds, future travel credits, and rebookings for clients – working desperately hard to protect my clients’ travel investments (all with no revenue coming in) – all after working terribly hard to get holidays booked for late 2021 and enduring changing country entry and testing requirements that seemed to change every 5 minutes.

Last December, we wondered if we’d ever get over this hump, and have the world start travelling reliably again. Vaccines, boosters, changing rules and government entry and testing requirements, changing mindsets, etc. – and we all started.

1000 days after the initial shock hit us (at least with Canada shutting down to travel), we’re travelling again – and making up for lost time.

I have scores of clients in Europe right now.

The Christmas markets are hot!
I’m just back from my AMA Waterways Rhine river cruise, and I can share that it was definitely wonderful to be at the Christmas Markets again.
I sailed from Basel to Amsterdam on the AMA Certo, and thoroughly enjoyed my cruise, and being amongst the crowds of the markets again.
And there were so many locals milling about too – especially in Cologne, which had its Christmas markets closed down in 2020 and 2021.
Everyone was happy – there were families, and young couples – I saw wedding proposals and wedding parties – and everyone was having a great time.
I have at least 7 couples and family member taking an AMA Waterways Christmas markets river cruises over the next couple of weeks doing both directions of Basel-Amsterdam and Amsterdam-Basel; as well as Nuremburg-Budapest and Budapest-Vilshofen. I have another several couples and families doing Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Christmas markets river cruises from Budapest- Passau, and Franfurt-Nuremburg, and a few other couples and families doing Avalon Waterways Christmas markets river cruises from Nuremburg-Vienna. Many folks are adding pre and post cruise stays in anchoring cities of Basel, Amsterdam, Budapest, and Prague.
Of course, a pre-cruise night is always highly recommended with air travel still experiencing delays and schedule changes. And neither hotels nor air are inexpensive this year. But no matter the inconveniences and the prices, travel is still worth it.
Canadians and Americans are clamoring to get back to Europe; and enjoy the wonderful markets in Basel, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Cologne, Nuremburg, Prague, Rothenburg, Vienna, Budapest, and more.
Gluehwein, chocolate, and yummy pastries. Christmas ornaments, crafts, and Santa. It’s so great to see the markets back in full swing!
I was contacted by Travelweek, a Canadian travel publication, to ask if Canadians were still travelling, despite limited space and higher prices this year. And, I was happy to share some feedback – while I was onboard my Rhine river cruise. As I’d shared from my AmaWaterways river cruise, the Christmas markets are hot!
As I’d noted in the article, my clients are ‘“EAGER TO GET GOING AGAIN.”
Europe is popular. But so is the Caribbean. And the Med. And Egypt. And Malaysia. And New Zealand and Australia.
Canadians and Americans are eager to go.
What a difference a year makes.
Where would you like to travel?