Campervan rentals in the UK have been given a big boost by travellers seeking private accommodation that allows open-road freedom between lockdowns.
Joining the established car hire players in the market, a number of boutique operators now offer revamped retro rides, and several van-sharing websites have a wide choice of privately owned vehicles. Rentals run the gamut from all-mod-cons family-size motorhomes to rustic 1960s VWs. Companies include Barell of Monkeys, Bunk Campers, Quirky Campers, YEscapa and van sharing communities such as Camplify and Camptoo.
Bear in mind that while you’ll have the freedom of the road, you can’t just park up and camp anywhere. Given the current popularity of camper trips, and domestic travel dominating this summer, you’d be advised to book pitches well in advance via such resources as The Camping and Caravanning Club, or Pitchup.
Founded in 2019, Indie Campers is now one of Europe’s largest campervan rental companies, and its top tip for planning any trip is to be flexible. “Estimate the route you want to take, and book campsites in advance to be safe,” a spokesperson says. “Nevertheless, don’t forget to leave room for impromptu activities, and enjoy each moment as it comes.”
The company recommends a tour of the beaches and villages of Devon’s 22-mile ‘English Riviera’: “You can explore the historic island of Bigbury-on-Sea, the three-mile-long beach at Torcross and sandy coves at Salcomb. Or a bit further north, the Jurassic Coast is perfect for a few days of relaxation with coastal walks, endless clifftop views and charming villages. Don’t miss the old town of Corfe castle, cliff walks at Old Harry Rock, as well as Durdle Door and Lulworth cove.”
Further north, the Fife coast just beyond Edinburgh is both Scotland’s sunniest spot and home to its longest continuous coastal path, a superlative 117-mile option to do more than stretch your legs between drives. “Stop at the quintessential Scottish village of Culross, the castles at Aberdour, and the beaches at St Andrew’s West Sands and Kinghorn — all highly recommended, particularly for family adventures.”
One advisor started her career in the best of times, albeit at the very tail end. One started her agency in what many would consider the worst of times. But both are optimistic about what the future holds.
Lawson Rothgeb, owner of Lawson Luxury Travel in Fort Lauderdale, began her career as a travel advisor by joining Brownell Travel’s 22nd Mentee Class, which launched Feb. 21, 2020. Most in the travel industry were coming off their best year in 2019 and poised for even more success in 2020.
Alli Cole, owner of Alli Cole Travel in Denver, is a member of the current Mentee Class, No. 23, which launched Feb. 22 this year. The industry was still in something of a standstill due to the pandemic, especially with cruise ships still not permitted to sail in the U.S., but there were some signs of hope ahead.
Brownell’s Mentoring Program is open to a select few applicants (its acceptance rate hovers around 2%), but it offers future advisors a path to success in the industry after a yearlong process. It kick-starts with an in-person class at Brownell headquarters in Birmingham, Ala., and continues with homework, support calls, training and more once the class members return home and begin booking travel.
Rothgeb and Cole were each drawn to Brownell specifically for the mentoring program, but they came from very different backgrounds.
Rothgeb graduated from business school and spent 10 years in the corporate world, marketing for luxury beauty brands. Then she fell in love with sailing and sailboat racing and took a year hiatus from her career to sail.
Lawson Rothgeb, owner of Lawson Luxury Travel in Fort Lauderdale.
From there, she found work as a concierge on super yachts. On the last super yacht she worked for, she would fly ahead of the owner in his travels and scope out hotels. After that position, she spent a few years working for a yacht management brokerage firm, often planning things like shore-based excursions; she was basically already working as a travel advisor, she said, and she didn’t even know it.
After she had her son in 2019, she was trying to decide her next career move. The word “Virtuoso” kept coming up, and among Virtuoso advisors who were friends of friends, the word “Brownell,” Rothgeb said. She contacted Brownell in January 2020 and was able to gain a seat in Mentee Class No. 22.
She left her in-person training session March 1, 2020. Covid-19 had already begun to spread in the U.S., and the pandemic would officially be declared a few weeks later.
Cole, on the other hand, started her career in the healthcare industry right out of college. It wasn’t the best fit for her, though, so she moved on to Extraordinary Journeys, a supplier focused on safaris. She worked there for three years until Covid derailed everything.
Alli Cole, owner of Alli Cole Travel in Denver.
“That gave me this moment of pause,” she said. “What do I really want to be doing? Is it staying in this very niche industry, or do I want to go out on my own and challenge myself?”
She has a family member who is an affiliate of Brownell, and Cole decided to jump in. Her class met for its in-person training earlier this year.
“It was a very strange time to make that decision, but at the same time, I was like, ‘Well, this is going to take a lot of time, effort, organization to get things going, so the lull might actually be an advantage for a bit,'” Cole recalled.
Cole is currently planning some trips for clients, she said. A number have been put on the back burner, but she continues to monitor border closings. She also believes she, and others in the travel agency community, will benefit from pent-up demand as travel returns.
“With people being cooped up for the last year, that is where I hope we will be key in coming in and swooping them up and sending them off,” she said.
For Rothgeb, the beginning of her career as a travel advisor happened in March and April 2020, when many were still hopeful travel would return in just a few months. Reality set in around May and June. And While she hoped the phone would start ringing off the hook Jan. 1, that wasn’t the case — but things did start picking up in February.
“The challenge is, where can we send them?” Rothgeb said.
She share’s Cole’s optimism about pent-up demand.
“I think people really want to travel,” Rothgeb said. “I think there’s still hesitation. I don’t think everyone is going to be on the beaches in the south of France and Amalfi Coast in June. But I think it will happen quickly when it does happen.”
Cole knew what she was getting into when she joined Brownell’s Mentee Class. But for Rothgeb, would she do anything differently if she knew in February 2020 what she knows now?
“I can honestly say I wouldn’t have,” she said. “I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and I’m happy.”
It’s the most wonderful (and chaotic) time of the year. As hordes of travelers descend upon airports nationwide to journey home for the holidays, the prospect of December travel strikes both excitement and anxiety in the hearts of many. We decided to consult the experts for travel advice for the upcoming season (including tips on how to make your economy ticket feel like business class.)
To that end, 15 travel writers shared their hard-earned wisdom on everything from travel rewards programs to appropriate-airport attire. (“Air travel is a horrific slog, it’s every man for himself, and you should wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable,” Todd Kingston Plummer offered on the latter.)
To check or not to check, that is the question. Or, one of the questions, at least. And while some writers we interviewed were vehemently against such profligate packing habits (“the cardinal sin of traveling,” according to Leila Najafi), there is something to be said for the mantra that more is more. Often, the things we’re likely to forget are those that are most obvious. (I surely am not the only one who has found myself in a foreign country sans passport… Twice.)
With that in mind, remember to stash your everyday essentials in a carry-on before boarding (preferably in a pre-packed travel case to minimize your likelihood of forgetting.) Offers Merissa Principe: “You never know when you might have to borrow your receptionist’s motorbike in the Thai jungle at 2AM to find some Advil.”
Read on for our list of the best travel tips, sourced by the ultimate industry experts, to avoid that same fate. But if you do encounter some (inevitable) mishaps: Fear not. In the words of Lesley Chen: “Boring trips don’t make for good stories anyway.”
I’m so sick and tired of people perpetuating this myth that airplane travel should somehow be glamorous, and that you should dress up for the plane. That is unequivocally false. I don’t care if you’re taking JetBlue to the Caribbean or flying in Singapore Airlines Suites Class—air travel is a horrific slog, it’s every man for himself, and you should wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable. If I’m flying to the tropics, you can bet that I’ll be wearing shorts. And if you think wearing pants somehow makes you immune to all the germs floating around on airplanes, you’re living a lie. Live your truth. Wear your comfiest shorts on the plane. Never apologize.
I hate creating expectations, but I like to be educated on a destination before a trip, so I do a certain level of pre-trip research. Part of this is to scope out popular attractions, restaurants, and bars, but more importantly, it’s to anticipate and understand a new culture’s customs. Additionally, I try to incorporate free time into my itinerary; the best way to discover a new place is to get lost, I’m overly curious, but always respectful.
I used to roll my clothes, but now I only roll wrinkle-resistant fabrics and fold anything that might wrinkle—I hate ironing, and I don’t like to travel with a steamer. The amount of space saved by rolling your clothes is not worth the wrinkles! My general rule for not overpacking is that your clothes should only take up half your suitcase. The rest should be free for shoes, toiletries, and everything else. This is where packing cubes come in handy, but they’re really not necessary if you’re using a clamshell-style suitcase (like every travel writer’s best friend, the Away bag).
Live your truth. Wear your comfiest shorts on the plane. Never apologize.
Gemma Price(Condé Nast Traveller, Departures, Wall Street Journal, etc.)
Ok, the thing I can’t live without is my plane pack. Flying long haul in economy every other week isn’t the most comfortable, so I have a selection of little pouches that contain everything I need for the journey. I pack Clorox sanitizing wipes for the armrests and table because they hardly ever clean those things. Plus, some medications against a dodgy tummy (loperamide, Pepto Bismol, etc.) because there’s nothing worse than getting the trots at several thousand feet… And having the cabin crew yelling at you to go back to your seat and put your seatbelt on when you just can’t.
I have a Cabeau eye mask and memory foam head pillow — it scrunches up quite small and is super comfortable — and some heavy-duty earplugs that shut out screaming and snoring equally well. To keep me from looking like the crypt-keeper on disembarkation, I also bring a sample pot of my favorite moisturizer (Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream), and a little bottle of Evian face spray that I swiped from a Maldives resort gym. Is it bougie? Absolutely, but it works.
Josh Laskin(Outside Magazine, The Points Guy, Travel & Leisure, etc.)
For me, I always make sure I don’t have to check a bag. It gives me one less thing to worry about — whether or not my belongings are going to make it where I need them to — while traveling. I always watch people pulling huge luggage bags behind them, trying to get them up and over curbs, tripping and falling in the process, and think to myself, “man, that’s really not for me.” I bought a large 65-liter backpack, which can fit as much — if not more — than a large suitcase, and bring it as a carry-on. It also allows me to walk around hands-free, which is a pretty liberating feeling when traveling long distances or for longer periods.
Some of the things that have helped me on my travels are writing out five or so common phrases that I may need to know if I’m chatting up locals and having pre-loaded webpages with important info on the sights I want to see or maps if I can’t get WiFi.
Another thing I try to do when I get to a new place is to jump on a free walking tour with a local! You get the lay of the land and, hopefully, some insider tips on what to see, do, and eat. When it comes to packing, I try to think worst-case scenario—physically. I bring meds for allergies, itch cream & bug repellent (mosquitos love me!), Advil, Neosporin just in case… you get it. And when it comes to airports, I make sure that the second I get off the plane, I make sure I know what the local time is (not just trusting my iPhone to recognize the different time zone)—especially when I have a tight connecting flight.
Fight attendants constantly comment on how I’ve turned my economy space into a pseudo-first class seat… Just minus the champagne.
I never check in a suitcase. It’s the cardinal sin of traveling in my book. Time is your currency when you’re traveling, so you want to be as efficient as possible. I’ve been able to go to Europe and Australia for three weeks with just a carry-on. You learn to get good at packing a wardrobe that you can mix and match, and if I’m staying at an Airbnb, I’ll do laundry.
International travel is much more comfortable when you take advantage of the perks of airline and hotel elite status like upgrades, early check-in or late checkout at hotels, and airline and hotel lounges. Even those that don’t travel as frequently can take advantage of special benefits like lounge access, priority boarding, and fee waivers through certain credit cards. It certainly takes the hassle out of constant travel, and actually, kind of makes it more fun!
If you want to travel like a travel writer, you need to have the right apps! I always download the app of the airline I’m traveling with, so I can get mobile updates as well as terminal and gate information. The rewarded miles don’t hurt either! My other must-have app while traveling is Mobile Passport! When I’m arriving stateside, I always use my mobile passport app to breeze through customers. I fill out the customs form on the app while we taxi to the gate and have found that it’s saved me hours over the past few months.
I’d also recommend having a pre-packed in-flight bag that has everything you might need ready to go for your flight so you can pull it out of a backpack or carry-on before finding your seat. That way, you’ll have all the essentials, like laptop, charger, book, Chapstick, headphones, snacks, just to name a few, all in one place so that you don’t have to hassle in the aisle and boarding can continue efficiently.
Finally, if you’re traveling via carry-on, which is very travel writer-esque, roll your clothes to save room, pack easy mix-and-match layering clothes, and don’t forget to pack pharmaceutical essentials like Advil! You never know when you might have to borrow your receptionist’s motorbike in the Thai jungle at 2AM to find some!
I never check in a suitcase. It’s the cardinal sin of traveling in my book.
For me, it’s all about surviving the long-haul flight to make sure I don’t arrive completely wiped out with sore muscles. I essentially turn that coach seat into my own little spa oasis. A gel sleeping mask, lavender essential oil, cucumber under-eye masks, and—most importantly—an inflatable footrest (which is still the best damn $20 I’ve ever spent). Even flight attendants constantly comment on how I’ve turned my economy space into a pseudo-first class seat… Just minus the champagne.
Noiseless headphones, my Kindle full of books I’ve been dying to read but put off until I am on an airplane, and my Seed facial serum by Canadian luxury vegan brand VERDURA are my travel go-to’s. Oh, and a person in the seat next to me who is affable (and doesn’t snore) is a nice bonus.
My toiletry bag has a second set of everything I use (face wash, toothpaste, floss, lotion, etc. in miniature size). So, I can just grab it and go without having to worry about if I remembered to pack my face wash from the shower or my contact case from the counter. Things I always pack: a pair of black jeans (it’s a 2-for-1 because you can go dressy or casual!), a pair of running shoes (because I know the one time I don’t bring them will be the time I actually motivate to go to the gym), and flip flops.
This is kind of a terrible tip, but this is how I avoid jet lag: When I fly to and from international trips, I force myself to stay up on the plane and watch as many movies for as long as possible, and then when I land, I power through/keep moving until nighttime. By bedtime, my body is usually so tired (and probably disoriented) that I just go to sleep, and it kind of resets itself. Also, coffee helps.
To keep me from looking like the crypt-keeper: A little bottle of Evian face spray that I swiped from a Maldives resort gym. Is it bougie? Absolutely, but it works.
If you’re making a long journey and worried about jet lag, get a spa treatment the first evening you arrive. Book it for as late as you can in the evening and go to bed right after. There’s no better way to prime yourself for a good night’s sleep.
Claudia Laroye(Flight Network, The Globe and Mail, Twist Travel, etc.)
‘A gelato a day keeps the tantrums away.’ This travel tip works wonders for kids but also adults too. It keeps the ‘hangries’ at bay, incentivizes good behavior while traveling, and gives everyone a boost when spirits flag due to jet lag. And hey, it doesn’t have to be gelato, it could be cake, cookies, wine, etc. We live by this motto when we travel, and I know it works in real life as it’s saved us from more than a few meltdowns.
As tempting as another round of late-night cocktails—or hitting up just one more cool dance spot—might sound, I’m a big fan of calling it a night as soon as you (politely) can. When you really want to learn about the culture of a destination and squeeze in as much as possible when you’re staying in a place for a short time, you don’t have time to feel tired or hungover. Early to bed, early to rise, has always suited me well whenever I’m traveling for work!
For at least a few decades, most of the money-saving tips aimed at women focused on our consumption habits. Men have moresavingsbecause we spend our hard-earned cash on $4 lattes, we were told. We impulse-shop while cooler heads save! We don’t balance our budgets or consider our retirement! No wonder we had less in the bank than our male peers.
We know better now. Women are disadvantaged not because of avocado toast or oat-milk cappuccinos, but because of structural issues that no one woman can overcome or outsmart. The wage gap continues to be an embarrassment. Women overall earn 80 cents for each dollar a white man makes. For Black women, the number is 61 cents. For Hispanic women, it’s 53 cents. The National Women’s Law Centerestimates that those inequities cost American women more than $400,000 over the course of their careers.
So if the problem isn’t our lattes and the solution isn’t something we can tackle on our own, what’s a woman who wants to save and spend smarter to do? Well, in addition to calling on politicians to put in place policies that would close the wage and wealth gaps, we decided to ask some of the smartest women we know to share their best money-saving tips—just one small, actionable tip each—that made a meaningful difference to them when it came to their financial well-being. These bits of wisdom will not make the world fair or balance a checkbook or purchase a house on their own, but think of them as some insider intel—one woman to another.
The list below includes requisite (and good) advice about maxing out 401(k) contributions and using apps to help monitor spending. But they also point to smaller and subtler money-saving tips that can lead to big changes.
Don’t click Buy Now—yet
“I am a habitual online shopper so my best money-saving trick was to download a Chrome extension to catalog all of the things I was tempted to buy—I use Shoptagr—to keep them in one place. Then a few weeks later I can check back in with myself to see if I really need the thing I was about to buy, and the answer is usually no.” —Dana Schwartz, author and host of theNoble Bloodpodcast
Listen to your Friends
“When I got my first real paycheck after college, I immediately heard a voice in my head—Jack Geller, Monica’s dad from Friends. ‘10 percent of your paycheck—where does it go? In the bank!’ It sounded wise, fatherly, and the right thing to do. So for the next 15 years, I have been following this advice. I’ve been able to use this money toward major expenses, like an apartment and a car, so I’m grateful to have grown up with Friends!” — Liz, mom to a 4-year-old who she hopes will learn life lessons from sitcoms
Get moving—then pay up
“I had a friend who started ‘paying herself’ for the miles she ran, so I decided to do the same. Every 10 days, I check my steps app and pay myself $1 per thousand steps. Then I transfer it from a checking account to a small savings account reserved for travel.” —Iva-Marie Palmer, author ofGimme Everything You Got
Be smart about building credit
“When I came to the United States as an immigrant six years ago, like one in every 10 Americans, I was credit invisible. I needed a plan to build up my credit over time. If you’re in the same position, here are some steps you can take: Apply for a secured credit card. (You’ll have to put down a deposit, but you’re more likely to get approved.) Try to have utility bills in your name. (Again, this might require a deposit.) Keep tabs on your credit score so you can deal with any discrepancies swiftly. And always, always pay your bills on time.” —Samantha Barry, editor in chief ofGlamour
Don’t take a head-in-the-sand approach
“If you have a bill go to collections, be responsive. Don’t ignore it. Resolve it, or come up with a payment plan. Also, [the collection agency] will negotiate with you. Sometimes you can get as much as 25 percent off the bill.” —Lucy, producer
Take the unemployment
“Once, a mentor told me to never feel shame about taking unemployment: ‘If you get laid off, that money is yours, you earned it.’ There is so much shame in money management and wealth that only further disadvantages those who are already marginalized or who didn’t grow up learning financial literacy. This isn’t advice I can use for myself every day, but it is one of the ways I’ve unlearned shame around money, and it’s advice I’ve passed along to friends who have felt guilty about collecting unemployment before dipping into [or] depleting all of their savings while out of work.” —Christina Rocks, writer of theRecommendationsnewsletter
Have goals—and share them
“Budget, budget, budget. Make a budget and then tell a trusted person—lawyer, best friend, co-worker, spouse—who will hold you accountable. It’s easy to soften your resolve when you have no one to answer to and before you know it, you’re overspending when you wanted to save money for a rainy day. Sometimes the threat of someone cussing you out is just enough to make you act right.” —Phoebe Robinson, comedian, author, actor
Don’t loan cash you can’t afford to lose
“The most important lesson I’ve learned about money came from my dad. He wasn’t great with money—my mom managed his books and the household finances—but from a young age he told me that when it comes to friends and family, money is ‘always a gift and never a loan,’ and that you only give what you’re comfortable with never getting back. It puts clear boundaries on your generosity and makes sure you’re acting out of true generosity and not obligation. I’ve been in the position to help people I care about, and it is always that—help. Not a balance sheet hanging between us.” —Nora McInerny, author, entrepreneur, and host of theTerrible, Thanks for Asking podcast
Start with baby steps
“Show me the money! Before you can begin a budget, you need to know where your money goes. Track your spending for a month. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t change your habits. Once you know what’s most important to you, you can figure out what to cut. Don’t think of savings like a diet—consider it your wealth health and make this the year to get financially fit.” —Stephanie Ruhle, anchor of MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle and NBC News senior business correspondent
Prepare for the worst-case scenario
“Don’t be afraid to drop down and get your noodle [budget] on, girl. A noodle budget is your bare-bones budget that only includes necessities. Think, if you had to eat ramen noodles … It identifies the lowest amount of money you need monthly to survive. It’s your financial baseline. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes we have to quickly pivot and reduce our expenses when we suddenly experience financial hardship. If you determine your noodle budget now, you can activate it quickly when you need it most. And when your financial crisis passes, you can go back to your normal budget.” —Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, financial educator and author of the forthcomingGet Good with Money
Only pay for what you use
“Take inventory of your subscriptions. Make sure that whatever is coming out of your account automatically you are aware of.” —Candace Parker, mom, entrepreneur, activist, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and one of the most decorated WNBA players of all-time
“Talking about money will help get you more of it. It was by sharing my rates with people in my industry that made me realize I could—and should—be asking for SO much more. I felt uncomfortable at first (I actually still feel a little awkward), but I realized being underpaid was way worse. Plus, by being the first to bring it up, you’re not just helping yourself, you’re also showing the other person that it’s okay.” — Claire Wasserman, author ofLadies Get Paidand founder of Ladies Get Paid, a global community that champions the professional and financial advancement of women
Take a grade-school approach
“My relationship with money changed when I started teaching my daughter how to manage her allowance. Each week I’d encourage her to divide her money into a spending jar, saving jar, and sharing jar. And it suddenly occurred to me that I should be doing the same! So now that’s how I approach every paycheck, bonus, and birthday gift—though I use bank accounts and not jars. Since starting this I’ve been able to more regularly contribute to charities and organizations I support and I’ve increased my savings!” —Liz Turrigiano is the cofounder ofEsembly, a sustainable diapering system
Choose supporting over splurging
“When making financial decisions, I always ask myself, ‘Do I NEED this or can I use these funds to support someone else?’ I’m frugal when it comes to buying things for myself because I know that I can use that same money to give back to my community. I recently moved and instead of hiring a moving company, I rented a U-Haul and did it myself. I’m using the money that I saved to pay my vendors and order takeout almost daily because it’s so important to support restaurants and restaurant workers right now.” —Sophia Roe, chef, author, activist, and host/producer of Counter Space on VICE TV
Save—no matter how little
“It’s easy to confuse the word ‘savings’ with having significant excess money, but there’s no minimum to what you can save. The paycheck I received from my first job didn’t cover much more than rent and groceries, but I was determined to consistently put some money into a separate savings account. I started with $20 a month, and as my salary has increased over time so has the amount I set aside for savings. Having a certain amount of money that’s labeled ‘savings’ creates a psychological barrier to spending and creates a financial buffer for emergency situations. Starting this early will help to form a lifelong habit.” —Melody Serafino is the co-founder ofNo. 29 Communicationsand co-host of theEnough. podcast
If you need help, ask for it
“If you’re not good with money, enlist the help of someone who is—[a friend, mentor, or professional] who can help you with basic management tips that aren’t overwhelming. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help. We all have different skills in life; some of us are good cooks or good at styling, others are good at money administration and investing. We can share tips and skills. We didn’t learn these skills in school so it’s normal to not have the knowledge.” —Estelle Bailey-Babenzien, co-founder ofNOAH
Take a hands-off approach
“The app Digit has been an excellent and passive way to save money while truly not even realizing I’m doing it. I love how it can look at a particularly dismal checking account day and still find a few bucks to pocket for vacation goals (you know, when that’s a thing again) or car emergencies.” —Caroline Moss, author and host of theGee Thanks, Just Bought It!podcast
Try high-tech tracking
“Download a money management app, like Mint, so you can see exactly where your money is going. Once your accounts are connected, take a daily ‘money minute’ by checking in to make sure there are no errors and that you’re on-budget. Pro tip: Keep your money app next to Instagram on your phone, for an easy reminder to open it daily!” — Alexa von Tobel, founder ofInspired Capital, and author ofFinancially FearlessandFinancially Forward
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
“When we first started out, we were totally unfamiliar with financial jargon. It’s easy to get lost in the APR, ROI, and CPA of it all. We once shared an Instagram Story of us Googling an acronym we didn’t know and a friend encouraged us to remove the post. We were embarrassed at first but then realized that if we didn’t know as CEOs, then others probably don’t either. Never forget that it’s okay to ask questions. It’s how we all learn and improving financial literacy is a lifelong mission.” — Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, co-founders and co-CEOs of theSkimm who recently launchedSkimmU, a free virtual course series designed to help women take control of their finances
Get the prenup
“Consider getting a prenuptial agreement if you’re getting married. You always hear about prenups in the context of men protecting their assets, but they are there to protect yours, too. Even if your partner out-earns you now doesn’t mean that will always be the case.” —Christina Stembel, founder and CEO ofFarmgirl Flowers
“Women are far less likely to push for the compensation they deserve and this is a critical step in reaching true economic equality.” —Mandana Dayani, co-founder ofI am a voter
Plan a week’s worth of meals
“If you know exactly what you’re making each week and what you already have in your fridge and pantry, you will be able to hit the grocery and spend less. This translates into less food waste and a big financial savings.” —Catherine McCord, co-founder ofOne Potatoand founder ofWeelicious
Don’t buy what you can borrow
“When it comes to my wardrobe, I like to invest in fewer, higher-quality classics, such as a beautiful coat, silk button-ups, or boots that I’ll wear forever. (Seriously, I have pieces from 10 years ago that are still in rotation.) To keep things fresh, I’ll incorporate pieces from Rent the Runway. This wardrobe strategy has not only saved me thousands over the years, it’s also more sustainable.” —Grace Lee, co-founder and CEO ofBirdy Grey
“[A credit card] is like a sexy cocktail. Having one in hand makes you feel secure, cool, even invincible. But one too many can lead you—and your credit score—to the toilet! In college, I had an Amex card [with no spending limit]. I felt on top of the world … until I realized that I had to pay back the total amount I charged the month following, in full. I was embarrassed, to say the least, and no one was going to bail me out. I had to work out of that myself and work to repair my credit into my mid-20s. Now, I’m strategically building credit card points, my credit score, and keeping in line with my monthly budget so things never go off-track like that again!” — Vanessa Dew, co-founder and CSO ofHealth-Ade
Make your money work harder
“Put whatever you can into your 401(k)—[at a minimum, at least what your employer matches]. It might feel stressful to have less in your checking account, but in reality, that’s counterintuitive because it’s worth so much more in your 401(k).” —Samantha Weiner, executive editor, Abrams Books
Know your worth—and charge for it
“Somewhere along the way I got the idea that assigning monetary value to my labor was uncouth. By the time it was driving me into the ground, I realized I had to change my mindset. One big thing was learning to assign monetary value to my time and labor—which I’m still learning to do, frankly. One great example is writing invoices even when I’m giving a gift of my time, so that both parties understand the value of my work.” —Samin Nosrat, cook, teacher, host, and author ofSalt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Travel Consul has released its third Global Travel Distribution COVID-19 IMPACT Survey, reporting on key findings about the state of the travel industry and its recovery from 1,292 travel executives, including agency owners, independent agents and tour operators across five continents and twenty countries.
Two-thirds of those surveyed agree that immunity passports or e-vaccination certificates for international travel would boost bookings in 2021. Those surveyed in North America were less sure about the impact of these measures, with only fifty-seven percent agreeing. Forty-four percent of all respondents agreed that widespread vaccinations would help the industry’s recovery.
Most travelers, when they need to choose whether to cancel or rebook their travel, are now choosing to reschedule their trips for a later date. Fifty-four percent of clients worldwide are postponing, instead of canceling, pointing to an increased hope for the future. North American clients are mostly rebooking for 2022, whereas the largest answer globally was for the third quarter of 2021.
Clients desire safe solo and all-inclusive travel. The interest in solo travel rose by eight percent since October 2020. More people than ever also desire an all-inclusive vacation because of the strict safety measures and on-site COVID-19 tests that many currently offer. The increase in consumer interest rose from sixteen percent in October 2020 to thirty-nine percent in the first quarter of 2021.
When choosing a destination, clients are more concerned about access to quality healthcare than they were prior to the pandemic, as well as the price of that healthcare and the overall health and safety measures the destination takes to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Travel advisors have had to adapt their businesses to the pandemic, strengthening customer service and adjusting their business models to fit unpredictable times. Almost half of the North American advisors surveyed stated that focusing on training was an important part of their businesses this quarter. Creating new products has been less of a focus, but the desire to explore new destinations has grown.
Lastly, travel advisors and clients both have benefited from suppliers’ flexible cancellation and change policies. The policies are helping clients feel more comfortable booking international trips seven to one year in advance, the survey citing a seven percent increase from October.
“We know travel advisors will play a critical role in the recovery of travel and this study provides us with some great insights around what they need from partners to help their business recover,” said Julie Cuesta, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of MMGY Myriad. “The tour operators and advisors have also been able to share some of the critical aspects that will impact consumer’s future travel decisions including the impact of vaccinations, destination health and safety certificates and other critical elements.”
Although many travel plans have been put on hold, open spaces and trails in parks, forests and preserves in Ohio and other locations are open to the public. Hello, Columbus would love to have a photo of you and your family or friends at one of those destinations.
Regardless of whether you are sending us a photo from near or far, choose a vacation photo showing you, your companions and the Travel pages, and send it to The Dispatch. Make sure to include the names and hometowns of the people pictured, from left to right; where the photo was taken; a tip to help other travelers; and contact information for you in case we have questions. But please, no submissions from previous years.
Submissions can be emailed to Becky Kover, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate hotel booking volume in late January was at about 18 percent of prior-year levels, but that number is trending up, according to a new quarterly report issued by hotel reshopping platform Tripbam. The metrics included in the report are from the company’s new dashboard, made available to clients in January, which shows rate and other trends across Tripbam’s aggregate hotel bookings.
The current report used data taken on Jan. 27 for the previous 30 days and compared it with prior-year figures. Tripbam found that the length of stay during the period had increased by a tad more than a day to 3.6 days, while the average number of days booked in advance declined from 14 to nine. After reaching its peak in March and April 2020, the overall cancellation rate is back down to about 10 percent.
Findings also showed that the average star rating across all bookings has decreased by nearly half a star, indicating that the business travel taking place—usually essential travel—is occurring at lower-tier hotels compared with one year ago.
One effect of the downward shift in tiers is a drop in average price. The average 30-day market rate, or public rate, was down 41 percent year over year, from $205 to $120 during the report’s time period. The average corporate booked rate dropped from $175 to $116, but the downward trend is beginning to flatten. Still, that shows Covid eroded the value of corporate programs. Using these averages, the average per-room savings went from $30 to $4, or from 15 percent to 3 percent.
This points to a shift in discounts and is likely due to the rollover of high static rates, travelers staying at hotels without a discount, a drop in last-room-available rates, and a shift to lower tiers with lower discount levels.
“To get [the savings percentage] back, you have to work out more property-level discounts and go dynamic, be creative and actually put in a bit more work to get it back to that 15 percent to 20 percent level,” Tripbam founder and CEO Steve Reynolds said. “You can’t just roll over and get a pass and let it go.”
Another interesting finding was that Hilton Hotels & Resorts-branded properties had gained 43 percent in corporate market share compared with the same period last year, while Marriott International-branded hotels decreased 22 percent.
“The fact that Hilton and Marriott are closer in overall market share than pre-Covid was surprising,” Reynolds said. “Marriott had this huge lead. Now they are more equal because of the increase in essential travel and the type of hotels that are booked.”
The report cites a higher preponderance of four- and five-starred properties in Marriott’s portfolio than Hilton’s. But Tripbam does not believe the trend will continue once non-essential travel resumes. The analysis showed Marriott, Radisson Hotel Group and Hyatt Hotels Corp. as the most affected in terms of the greatest year-over-year reductions in rates, while Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group and Accor were less affected.
Reynolds added that booking volumes were on an upward trajectory through October, then fell back as expected during the holidays. But since then, they have started picking up again. “It’ll be interesting to see if the trend continues. It all depends on the vaccine and how quickly people get back on airplanes,” he said. “Maybe the second quarter could be a great quarter for us. … If we can get back to [the October numbers], we are on the road to recovery. Then the question is, what does that path look like, and how steep will it be?”
Reynolds said Tripbam developed the new dashboard because it was getting calls from consulting firms and research companies asking for insight, by region, country, brand and chain. “Rather than do analysis one-off for each call, we created the dashboard,” Reynolds said. “As we built it, we saw more insights into the data that we thought every customer would find interesting.”
Reynolds added, “Subscribers are using it to help determine strategy. Things are changing on almost a day-by-day basis. It’s important to stay on top of it while negotiating deals and figuring out your strategy for static versus dynamic [rates].”
Taking Shanghai as an example, even though there is a year-over-year drop in volume, hotels in the city have kept their average rate almost the same. “So as a travel manager, don’t expect big discounting in Shanghai or China at all,” Reynolds said. “We are seeing a lot of U.S. flights to Shanghai for bookings for clients. High-tech hasn’t fallen off hardly at all.”
Holidays have not been potential for most individuals for an alarmingly very long time. Travel is presently banned because of the Covid pandemic however many hope measures can have eased up by the summer season. Today Matt Hancock and Professor Jonathan Van-Tam issued the latest journey advice – and it wasn’t as constructive as one may hope.
Van-Tam cautioned it was just too early to inform what the lie of the land might be relating to summer season getaways.
“I think it’s just too early to say,” he stated in as we speak’s press convention.
“We don’t yet have the readouts on the success of the vaccine programme, though I expect we will start to see those within one to two weeks.
“Public Health countermeasures, non-pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing restrictions – they should be launched regularly.
READ MORE: ‘Beautiful’ Benidorm ‘will get dangerous press’ for rowdy Brits says expat
Van-Tam continued: “How quickly they can be released will depend upon three things – the virus, the vaccine, and the extent to which the public obey the rules that are in place, which thankfully the vast majority always do.”
He additionally addressed the query of whether or not Britons will have the ability to go overseas or jet-set with different households.
“Really, the more elaborate your plans are for summer holidays in terms of crossing borders, in terms of household mixing, given where we are now, I think you just have to say you’re…making guesses about the unknown at this point,” he stated.
“I can’t give people a proper answer at this point because we don’t yet have the data, it’s just too early.”
Hancock, who beforehand has sounded upbeat about summer season holidays additionally issued phrases of warning
“We need to protect the country from new variants,” he stated.
“Hence the toughening that we took last month to measures at the border.
“And we’re on observe to ship on the stronger border measures nonetheless from nations, significantly of concern by subsequent Monday.”
Hancock continued: “The motive it is essential to get this arrange now’s that the proportion of instances coming from overseas in the intervening time is clearly very low, not least as a result of it’s presently unlawful to go on holiday anyway.”
He explained that the tough new rules can only be removed when it’s right.
“Of course we need to raise these measures as with all the opposite measures as quickly as is safely potential,” said the Health Secretary.
“But till we all know extra concerning the impression of the vaccines on all these totally different variants, and subsequently, for now, the precautionary precept is the precise method.”
A recent study of 2,000 adults revealed that four in 10 Britons say the past year is the longest they have ever gone without a holiday.
In the past year, 58 percent have had to cancel three or more planned trips away.
This has impacted their wellbeing, with 49 percent believing that trips away positively impact their physical and mental health.
The research, commissioned by IHG Hotels & Resorts, also found 38 percent of those who travel for work feel business trips improve their working mood and make them more motivated.
An optimistic 57 percent plan to or have already rebooked trips, with family holidays and visiting loved ones topping travel wish lists for 2021.
And 47 percent believe it’s important to have something to look forward to.