This is a collaborative post with Hilton Grand Vacations*
Lately, I’ve been dreaming about fun travel again. Dare I even think about a vacation during a global pandemic? Is there a new normal to follow when trip planning? Where is it safe to go? Should I drive or fly? Where should I stay? What about meals, lodging, bathroom breaks and yada, yada, yada? There’s so much to think about!
Current trends in travel
According to September 21 research findings from Destination Analysts (a travel research firm), “amidst rising stress, Americans are reporting stronger prioritization of relaxation and many (54%) are “ready to travel” to achieve it. Destination Analysts says that the level of excitement for learning about new travel experiences or destinations is at a pandemic-period high—not seen since the end of May, at the start of the summer.”
“Over half of respondents continue to say they are at least somewhat confident they can travel safely in this environment.”
In findings from September 28, things seem to be looking up even more. It was reported that “three-quarters of American travelers continue to have at least tentative trip plans—primarily over the next 6 months—as well as exhibit a perception of travel as a means to meet their emotional needs.”
In terms of the Fall, “nearly two-thirds of American travelers expect to travel this season. The top motivations for these Fall trips are relaxation, spending time with family and escapism, although younger travelers are also likely to be seeking connecting with nature and having new experiences.”
Seeking safety advice from a leader in high-quality vacation experiences
Just as I was dreaming about fun travel, the nice team at Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) contacted me to see if I wanted to collaborate with them. Wow-o-wow! I’ve never thought about vacation ownership before and am looking forward to learning more about this type of vacation.*
Since HGV is a leader in high-quality vacation experiences, I thought their experts might be able to offer some safety advice for traveling during a global pandemic. They did defer to the CDC for safe travel best practices and shared more about travel safety on their website. Here are a few of their timely recommendations:
♥ Transportation: The first thing to consider is how you’ll get to your destination. Traveling by car is safest, but if air, train or bus travel are necessary, health experts recommend taking a direct route to your destination. Transfers and layovers increase your chances of being exposed to the virus.
Opt to rent a car at your destination, rather than using public transportation.
♥ Lodging: When it comes to lodging, look for a location in which air can flow freely. Places with ample windows, a balcony or terrace are ideal. You’ll also want your location to have a quality air conditioning and ventilation system. Finally, the staff should follow industry-leading cleaning and sanitizing practices.
♥ Activities: Lastly, carefully consider your activities. The safest options are ones you can do outdoors like bike rides, hikes and visits to open-air attractions like botanical gardens. If you decide to do an indoor activity, check to make sure the establishment limits crowds, enforces mask-wearing and cleans often.
It was comforting to learn about the Hilton CleanStay™ initiative. This program features such benefits as touch-free arrivals and departures, protective and properly outfitted staff, enhanced cleaning schedules of rooms and public spaces like front desks and lobbies, as well as hospital-grade cleaners.
So many Hilton Grand Vacations resorts and Hilton Club properties to visit
Ooh, ooh, ooh, now that the safety factors are out there, let’s get to the fun part of vacation planning. What HGV resort should my boyfriend L and I visit? “The accommodations are multi-bedroom suites and studios,” I said to L. He was eager to join me on any future stay.
“You are SO LUCKY that you get to travel with me. Such a lucky, lucky man,” I reminded L, as I usually do when he travels with me on a blogging trip. He winked and shook his head in affirmation.
We scanned the HGV website to learn about all the HGV resorts and Hilton Club properties where members can use their flexible timeshare. There are resorts in destinations including California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah, and internationally in Barbados, Italy and Scotland. Points can also be used at a variety of Hilton Club properties in upscale settings such as New York City, Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and even internationally in Okinawa, Japan and Los Cabos, Mexico.
Planning to go south in winter 2021
Ooh, ooh, ooh, maybe we can stay at an HGV resort on our way to Florida in 2021. L and I are going south for a few weeks next winter to get some respite from the cold. We’ve never driven to Florida before so it should be an adventure.
Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Anderson Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is on the way. Savannah is another southern city I’ve always wanted to visit. The Cotton Sail Hotel Savannah, part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton sounds like a perfect place to stay in the historic district.
A best-in-class vacation membership program
Granted there’s much more I need to learn about Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare, such as costs, points, and what exactly a Hilton Grand Vacation timeshare entails. For now, I’m just going to keep dreaming of fun future travel. Can’t wait to visit an HGV resort in person and get a first-hand view to see what 325,000 Club Members around the world have already experienced.
Where would you go if you could go to an HGV resort or Hilton Club property? Leave a comment and LMK.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” Hilton Grand Vacations provided me with compensation for this post and will be providing me with a stay at a HGV resort/Hilton Club property in the future as part of our blog partnership in 2020/ 2021. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Note: Most of the images in this post were provided by Hilton Grand Vacations, except the one of me with my frizzy Florida hair!