In my emotional 2020 recap post, I shared that I was proud of the ways in which I’d grown as a business woman in this challenging year. Like those in the hospitality, restaurant, fitness, and countless other industries, we in travel have had to get creative over the last ten months in order to thrive. Taking risks, pushing my comfort zone, and leaning into my resourcefulness have kept my small business sailing — and have also been fun! I have loved finding so many new ways to connect on a deeper level with all of you.
When we floated the idea of a live “travel in the era of COVID-19” workshop during a recent retreat survey, the results were clear — you guys are curious about what travel will look like in 2021, interested in what it’s like to be on the road right now, excited to plan for the future, and eager for clear, data-and-science-driven information on how to keep yourself and your communities as safe as possible in this ever-changing era.
If it turns out you guys are as jazzed as I am about the idea of running quarterly workshops for all of you, you can expect to see future virtual one-off workshops on topics like diving, yoga, travel, and beyond! Taking suggestions, as always, in the comments below.
But for now, drumroll please, because I am thrilled to announce the very first! Join me and ER doctor and functional medicine specialist Dr. Valerie LeComte for a special Travel in 2021 Workshop on Thursday, February 11th 2021, from 5-7PM EST! (We’re hoping to catch our GMT night owls, and our friends taking an afternoon break in PST — plus plenty others in between.) This exclusive, two hour live workshop will cover topics like safety, ethics, industry changes — and the truth about what it’s like to travel both domestically and internationally right now. We’ll also leave time for a Q + A to address all your concerns and specific questions!
Personally, I don’t believe that there’s going to be a day that you turn on the TV and there will be a breaking news update saying “you’ve got the green light to travel again, congrats!”
It’s going to be a complex calculation of the risks, reward, and circumstances for I predict the next year, at least. The numbers are clear — anywhere from half a million to over a million travelers are already passing through TSA checkpoints each day, with countless others transiting by other car, train, and beyond. People travel for an enormously complex web of reasons — for work, for family obligations, for relationships, to relocate, and yes, even for simple joy. And I hope the information we present and the discussion that ensues will help you plan for the future and make the best decisions in the most informed and safe way possible — because I just don’t believe in abstinence only education.
Baffled by which travel insurance covers COVID? Wonder who’s still blocking middle seats? Unclear on what destinations are even open to travelers right now? There’s a wild amount of misinformation out there about everything from vaccines to testing to government restrictions to airline refund policies. I’m looking forward to digging into the data with Val and sharing our personal experiences from our select travels this past year, to help set the record straight. While we don’t have a crystal ball and Wanderland HQ — it’s on backorder — I’m also going to share my predictions for how the industry will rebuild and what the travel industry will look like in 2021 and beyond.
Whether you’re considering a short road trip or a long-haul international journey, and planning for now or for the future, this workshop will help you plan for a smart and healthy trip that mitigates risk, complies with health guidelines and restrictions, and takes into account the wellness of both you and the communities around you. Let’s ride the wave of this weird new world!
This exclusive travel workshop will be held on Thursday, February 11th, from 5-7PM EST. The cost for access for the live workshop is $30, and participants will also receive a recording for additional viewings.
Bonus: We’re also giving away one Wander Women On Demand retreat to a participant at the end of the workshop. That’s a $75 value — and you can keep it, or gift it to someone else if you win!
As with all of our retreats, we’ll be donating a percentage of our profits to a charity. This time, we’ll be supporting Feeding America, chosen by Dr. Valerie for their hard work supporting families financially set back by COVID-19. As a small business, we love paying it forward thanks to your support!
We’re looking forward to jumping into this compelling conversation with all of you. Below is the list of topics we plan to cover during the workshop — but we want to hear from you too! If there are any topics or destinations you want to chat about, feel free to send us an email or bring your question to the event for the Q + A at the end.
How Travel Has Changed: The travel industry as a whole — normally contributing 9 trillion dollars to the world’s GDP — unequivocally changed over the past year. I’ll discuss the impacts on the individual and systemic levels and our predictions on when — or if — things will ever go back to “normal” in travel.
Ethics: SHOULD you travel right now? A sticky subject — let’s dive in.
Safety: Safety practices vary from city to city, state to state, country to country. I’ll go over how to mitigate the risk and what safety protocols I’ve researched and used over the past year. What’s “sanitation theater” and what’s really effective? Dr. Val will weigh in!
Destinations: If you’re flexible in your destination, where are you even allowed to go right now? With closed borders, constantly shifting restrictions, and fluctuating COVID rates, research — and where you get your info — is more important than ever right now. We’ll also discuss domestic travel at length.
Transportation: If you’re ready to fly, the airport and flight experience will look a little different than the last time you traveled. With numerous studies now released on the effects of air travel during COVID, we’ll discuss what to expect before, during, and after, as well as transport on the ground once you’ve arrived. We’ll go over various airline polices and how to take advantage of flexible bookings. Taking low-risk road trips will also be discussed.
Activities and Dining: I’ll share what to expect and how to make the most of enjoying your destination while supporting vulnerable businesses as you go.
What to Pack: We’ll go over a detailed packing list, my go-to brands for masks and sanitizers, and my one favorite item that you might not have thought to pack.
Testing: Stay positive, test negative! This very important segment of the workshop will answer questions like: what are the different kinds of COVID tests? Where can I get them? What are they like? Dr. Valerie and I will give some insider tips and tricks.
Quarantining: While the actual trip might be the fun part, these days it’s necessary to plan for post-travel, too. We’ll discuss how and when to quarantine, tips for hunkering down and how to make the most of your downtime!
Vaccine: The COVID vaccine will undoubtedly affect travel in 2021 and beyond. We’ll talk through our expectations for vaccine rollout and vaccine travel restrictions in the coming years, break down the different vaccines available, and address any concerns you may have about receiving it.
Q + A: We’ll close out our workshop with time for all of your deepest questions, concerns, and feedback!
Learn With Us
For this experience, you’ll be learning from me as your host and Dr. Valerie LeComte as our unofficial Wander Women doctor!
Y’all know me — I’m the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland and will lead as the travel expert during the discussion. Since March of 2020, I have touched down in four countries, traveled across six states, and taken dozens of (negative!) COVID tests. After a decade in the travel industry, I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of adapting to a new world, supporting others in the struggling small business community, and helping wanderlust-ers continue to navigate the world in a safe and respectful manner.
Dr. Valerie LeComte is a board certified emergency medicine doctor. She did medical school and emergency medicine residency at Midwestern University in Chicago, as well as extra training in integrative medicine and acupuncture. She currently practices rural emergency medicine as well as integrative medicine. Prior to 2020, she traveled as much as possible, including Wander Women retreats to Egypt and the Dominican Republic with Alex. Since then, Valerie has continued to fly to rural Michigan for work, and enjoyed local travel around her home in Colorado.
All are welcome at this workshop. While our virtual retreats were gender-specific, this workshop is open to everyone.
If you’re interested in this topic, but can’t make it due to time zone issues, we will send you a recording of the workshop. Feel free to send over any questions ahead of time so we can answer them during the Q + A portion. I couldn’t be more excited!
Is there anything you’d like to see addressed in this workshop? Hit me with your requests, below! Hope to see a bunch of your faces there!