Good morning. 

If you are anything like me, you’re ready to travel again.  But because we’re not through with the pandemic, we need to be careful with where we go and what we do.

The CDC still has a No Sail Order in place that’s affecting all cruise lines.  It’s been extended to the end of this month.  The American Society of Travel Advisors is trying to get that lifted, but most cruise lines have extended their voluntary closing through the end of the year.  That includes Carnival, the largest cruise line with brands that include Carnival, Princess, and Holland America, and Disney Cruise Line.

I have a cruise booked for January and I’m not confident at all that it will sail.

So where can you go?

Marriott International just inked a partnership with the National Parks Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the National Parks Service.  They are offering discounted rates at their properties near National Parks – they have 406 properties that fit that description.  They are also allowing members of their frequent stayer program, Marriott Bonvoy, to redeem points to purchase a National Parks Annual Pass or to donate to the National Parks Foundation.

There’s a National Park in every state, so you don’t even have to go far.  Go out and enjoy a trail and breathe in some clean, clear air, as long as you’re away from the wildfires out west.  Please keep those firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.  They need all the help they can get.

You can also go to Mexico.  The state department lifted its travel ban to Mexico this week.  To be clear, they went from a Level 4 warning which says “do not travel” to a Level 3 warning which says “reconsider travel”.  I’m getting plenty of ads from resorts in Mexico who are desperate for tourism revenue as you can imagine.

You can also visit Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, technically, but even traveling between states, there are certain restrictions.  I’m going to Massachusetts next week, but since I’m coming from Ohio (or any state where the infection rate is over 4% – which is a bunch of states) I have to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel.  The trick is, in Ohio, the test results take up to 72-hours to come back.  So I’m working with that.

Experts are saying that it will likely be 4 years before the travel industry is back.  I’m keeping a close eye on this because I want to take a few groups to a few places in the coming years as part of a Lean Leaders’ Mastermind Program I’m pulling together with Norman Bodek and a few others.  Please use a travel agent.  They’re usually free and they’ve taken a worse beating through the pandemic than most.

If you get out of the house, stay safe.  Wear your mask.  Keep your distance.  Wash your hands.  Quit arguing with the good scientists who’ve studied and studied and have empirically determined that wearing a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of this very real virus that is still killing way too many people.

If I can help, please send me a message or give me a call.

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.