Travel How We're Thinking About Money for Future Trips: Women Who Travel Podcast
Why being booked on a group tour can help — and hurt — during a crisis
In the days and weeks following the initial travel shutdowns and border lockdowns spurred by the novel coronavirus, many travelers found themselves in the same situation: Nervous and confused with future trips, and money, on the line. Unlike those with reservations for individual hotel stays or flights, who could easily call the airline or hotel …Unlike those with reservations for individual hotel stays or flights, who could easily call the airline or hotel and request a refund, travelers who had bought into a group trip found themselves in a complicated tangle of group leaders, tour operators, vendors and other travelers.
You can listen to the Women Who Travel podcast onand each week. Follow this link if you're listening on .
When we recorded ourback in February, we had big plans for saving for travel, sure, but even bigger plans for spending those savings. Unfortunately, most, if not all, of those big spender dreams have been dashed, but one of this week's guests, , The Wall Street Journal's personal finance bureau chief, has found the silver lining: “One way to think about [travel savings] may be that if you're saving for a big trip, you actually have more time to do that now, so you can be more ambitious.”
Solo travelers share how they'll explore the world after lockdown, and it involves more nature adventures and bucket-list trips
I guess everything she does is inherently newsworthy.
In our latest episode, we speak to Bourree and Traveler's transportation editorabout how to be ambitious in your savings when everything seems so uncertain, how to take stock of your finances, the best ways to rack up points and miles when you're staying home, and more. Hopefully, it'll help set you on the right path for an even more extravagant adventure in the coming year.
Thanks to Jessica and Bourree for sharing their thoughts. As a reminder, none of us are professional financial advisors, and we're speaking from personal experience and reporting from Traveler and The Wall Street Journal during this episode. Thanks, as always, tofor engineering and mixing this episode. As a reminder, you can listen to new episodes of Women Who Travel on , , or wherever you listen to podcasts, every Wednesday morning.
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As high COVID-19 rates lock U.S. travelers out of the E.U., other places are taking precautions and inviting them back in.On June 16, 2020, a pedestrian in a mask walks across the street in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The popular beach city is located in the state of Jalisco, which has reopened to tourists—including Americans—after coronavirus-related shutdowns.
Read a full transcription of the episode below.
Meredith Carey: Hi, everyone and welcome to Women Who Travel, a podcast from Condé Nast Traveler. I'm Meredith Carey, and with me as always, is my co-host, Lale Arikoglu.
Lale Arikoglu: Hello.
MC: Earlier this year, we shared an episode all about, and little did we know we wouldn't really be touching those travel savings at all for the rest of the year. These last six months or so have put money in a really different perspective for a lot of us. So this week, we've brought in two experts to help talk through how our relationship with travel spending has changed and how we can best prepare for next year. Joining us are Jessica Puckett, who covers all things points and miles for Traveler. Thanks for coming on, Jess.
Jessica Puckett: Hi, thanks for having me.
MC: And Bourree Lam, The Wall Street Journal's personal finance bureau chief. Thank you so much, Bourree.
A Candid Conversation on What Family Travel Means This Summer: Women Who Travel Podcast
In this week's podcast episode, we talk about parenting and getting creative about traveling.Being a parent right now is hard. Many are juggling work, childcare, education, their families' health and safety, and so much more. And while a trip to the beach with the kids—or better yet, a child-free getaway—would usually bring peace of mind and a modicum of relaxation, vacation planning these days comes with new levels of stress and confusion. Where can you go where kids will have enough space to play and just be kids? Is it safe for extended family (a.k.a.
Bourree Lam: Hey, great to be here.
LA: So before we get into our first question, we do want to remind everyone that neither Jessica, Bourree, Meredith, or I are financial advisors. I've certainly made that clear when talking about my own finances in previous episodes. So throughout this episode, please remember that we're speaking from personal experience and reporting.
MC: So I can kick it off with the first question, which is how has each of your personal relationships with money changed since the pandemic began?
JP: So my personal financial goal for this year was to bulk up some of my emergency savings fund. The importance of that has only grown since all the uncertainty that the virus has brought. So in addition to trying to save for that, I'm really just using this time to reset financially. I think it's a really good pause to kind of evaluate what is worth spending my money on. What are my priorities? And for me, I think like most people, I've really shifted away from eating out in New York City, going to bars—we really can't right now, still—as well as spending on clothes because I'm not really going to many activities. So for me, more than ever, it's earmarking my savings, my money for future travel that I'm wanting to do. I also am kind of saving for those supporting categories. I've spoken on here before about taking online language classes and studying cooking recipes for a destination that I'm really wanting to go to. So I’m spending on those as well as trying to squirrel away for my emergency fund.
What voting has and hasn’t done for women
Turns out you can’t vote your way to equal pay.Life for women in the American economy is certainly better than it was 100 years ago, when the US enacted the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. But it isn’t exactly stellar. Women, and in particular women of color and in other disadvantaged groups, are still behind. Women experience higher rates of poverty. They are paid less for their work. While single women outpace single men in owning homes, they get a worse deal in housing transactions.
BL: Yeah, for me, I cover money, my team at The Journal covers money, so our relationship with money, I think, has changed in the way that we've really seen the way something like a pandemic and something as big of an economic story as the pandemic is, has really, to me, brought personal finance to the forefront of everybody's life. In normal, whenever that was, I guess, February, I think a lot of people are like, "Okay. I look at my personal finances, my retirement goals, my saving goals, my travel saving goals. I look at that a few times a year. I check in.” And now, I think it's more like a weekly, if not, daily check-in. I think with a lot of the people we've been talking to, a lot of the reporting we've been doing, people are thinking about these things every day, whether they are arriving at decisions or not because with so much uncertainty, it's really hard to make financial decisions right now.
I really like what one of our sources told us, Meghaan Lurtz, who's a professor of personal finance at Kansas State University.we're really good at short-term decisions, but not long-term decisions. And I really think that that has gotten so much more true in these times as we're in such uncertain times. We don't know what the time frame is so it really messes up our ability to decide whether this is good for me or not. So I think, to Jess's point, saving is really at the top of so many people's minds because if something like this can hit so suddenly, you need to have savings.
TPG’s comprehensive guide to independent travel insurance — including coronavirus coverage
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information since its original publication Feb. 24, 2018. For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. The year 2020 will forever be defined by the coronavirus pandemic. As tourism remains closed across most of the world, and countries …For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
For me personally, I would say that it's really led me to look at the priorities in my life and reassess what those priorities are. For me in terms of travel saving, my travel savings has always been to visit family. My parents live in Canada. I have a lot of extended family in Asia. So the pandemic has really reminded me how much I miss them and how much I want to save and make sure I see them. I have a kid also, so making sure he gets to see them. That's really been my reassessment of my priorities and how I want to save for travel in the future.
LA: I completely relate, Jess, to you saying that it's been a wake up call for that emergency savings fund. I can now say due to staying at home and doing very little, I actually do have one now and I feel very proud of the fact that I've managed to build it up and also feel very privileged that I've been able to. But now, when I start to think about the idea of maybe hopefully some travel in 2021 and kind of getting back out there a bit and spending on leisure, I feel guilty thinking about that. How do we kind of overcome that anxiety of spending on things that feel good when things still feel so uncertain?
JP: I think I've really had to like reset my mind frame for this. I think for me personally, it's actually been more important than ever to make sure I'm doing these nice things for myself and treating myself to certain things. I personally have been fortunate enough to take a couple of trips up to New England to see family while all this is going on, and those couple trips have been just so essential for my mental health with everything going on and kind of getting myself out of my rut of being in my little Brooklyn apartment for seven months.
What Will Happen to My Elite Status and Points Because of the Coronavirus?
Limited travel due to the coronavirus prompts airline and hotel rewards programs to make policy changes.The fallout from the coronavirus continues to leave its mark on the travel industry. While frequent travelers were initially stressed about canceled flights, now they must also worry about maintaining their status and accruals in hotel and airline rewards programs at a time when travel is discouraged. Most hotel rewards programs have extended points expiration dates. However, many travel companies are continuing to make updates to elite status requirements as the situation develops.
To do those, part of the way I financed it was cashing in a good chunk of Chase points that I had squirreled away for a couple of nights in a hotel just to treat myself. I had those earmarked for a bigger trip that I was trying to save up for. This idea that once travel opens up more, I'm really going to take an amazing international trip somewhere or something like that. But I decided to just cash them in and not feel guilty about it. I felt like I needed this break now. I just told myself, "I can always start strategically saving up points again for a bigger trip," and I think as long as you can do it safely and respectfully and it's in your comfort zone, then you shouldn't feel guilty about it because we all need a break now more than ever, I think.
MC: I also at the beginning of all of this was, to reuse this word, squirreling away every penny that I could find that I was not spending into savings. In the past couple months, I've been like, okay, you can be more strategic about it, like you're saying, and give yourself a hundred dollars more, treat yourself to one nice thing, whether it's a trip or a item of clothing that makes you feel good in your house or home decor or things like that, because I realized how much it was helping me to have something to look forward to even if it was coming through USPS—or a trip—and that exclusively saving did not necessarily put me in a better head space for the future as spending, if that makes sense.
LA: I guess at the beginning, we went into survival instinct. And now, we have a greater understanding of what's going on and also, day-to-day life has regained some semblance of normality, to a certain extent.
MC: That saving was very much like a short-term, long-term combo. As people start equal parts spending to look out for themselves and also saving to do the same, it feels like we're inching into long-term, like this is the new normal, which I hate but feels accurate. This is the new normal territory.
Destinations on the rise for 2021
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BL: Yeah. I think the idea of resetting is really relevant right now, that as your financial situation changes and the world changes, that I think if it's all changing both at the same time, then taking stock of what your finances look like and building your own financial awareness of what brings you joy and what brings you security? I think reevaluating those in a more regular way makes sense in terms of thinking through what your spending should be like, what you're saving should be like month to month. Because I don't think that in such uncertainty, that it's easy to make a long-term goal right now or a short-term goal right now, and to just stick to that every month, month after month. I think that if your situation is changing and the world is changing, then you have to revisit those.
We have a project that we launched called the, and it's a six-edition newsletter. It starts when you sign up and it's really to help you gain more financial awareness of your own finances and goals. So something like that can help you week to week, think about your goals and it's a fun way to just think about. I know I said fun, but I really mean it. It's a fun way to just think about your finances for an hour or two. I think that's something everyone can benefit from.
My other perspective on this, even though the world is so uncertain, is there are things that are certain in most of our lives. I would focus on those certain things first. Usually, those are called essential expenses. So while the economy might be uncertain, the pandemic might be uncertain, your bills, your debt, and your rent are almost certainly coming due at some point. So I would plan around those first. Focus on the certainties. That will give you a foothold and feeling more confident.
Then with everything that's left over, you can think about what you want to do with those, what your goals are. If travel is one of your goals, then that's a little tricky because... Actually, Jess, I feel like you might know more about this than I do, but prices are very different. So how to plan for a trip accurately, what that financial goal should be in terms of taking a trip, I think that'd be interesting to think about in terms of how much do you really need, and then the kind of things that you should be saving on top of the basic airfare, hotel., who is our travel columnist, he had a really great column about insurance and I learned something I didn't know that there was something called , which is a little bit more expensive, but reimburses you a greater percentage of a refund. So while planning a trip before things are certain, that might be something to look into as you plan for the total cost of a trip.
LA: I think that point about uncertainty when it comes to travel is a really good one. Speaking from my experience, it feels a lot easier to splurge on a piece of furniture for my home or some clothes that I know are going to arrive and they are a concrete thing that happens and that I will own and have. Whereas travel feels still like there is the prospect of canceled flights or borders closing again or reopening and never being able to quite predict. Jess, given how much you report on air travel, sort of what should we be thinking about when we're kind of looking ahead to 2021 and thinking that we do want to start spending some money on booking flights or hotels and so on?
JP: Well, it's a really good question and everything of course is just so tricky right now. Nothing's for sure. There's a couple schools of thought that think there'll be flight deals into 2021, well into 2021, as not only borders reopen, but airlines want to attract those nervous fliers back.
Something for me that has kind of scratched that itch of wanting to book flights and book trips has just been honestly, researching every aspect of a trip like I'm about to book it and it helps me just get into that mindset. Looking on the flights, setting the Google Flight alerts for, I don't know whether it's like Belize, or Italy. I've been on this kick of wanting to go to the Galápagos and Ecuador now, and just looking at if there is a direct flight. Is there not? Part of this is very tricky because international flights are mainly cut right now. So we don't know what schedules will look like or what destinations will be accessible from your home airport in 2021. But I think just for me, digging into the details of it and looking even at the hotels or the activities and the resorts you can stay at has really not only helped me feel like it's accessible, but also you get kind of the indirect budget that way too. "Oh, it costs this much to fly into Guayaquil, Ecuador, and I should budget for that," or what hotels per night cost, I should be looking at. So that's something that's really helped for me to make it feel all more tangible again.
LA: And in terms of canceled flights, am I right in thinking that most airlines have extended their refund policies into 2021?
JP: Yeah. So the big thing that we've seen is most change fees for domestic trips, and some airlines will even say for most North American trips—so Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean—those haveAs far as change waivers, yes. Most have said free cancellation either through the end of the year or some have been a little more limited in saying through fall. But yes, it's still very flexible.
BL: Jess's point about the schedules changing and you don't know what destinations might be available from your home airport, I guess I don't worry about that much because I live in New York. So for me, I imagine there will be flight... Well, actually, never say "never." I imagine there will be flights to international destinations, but as a mom of a toddler, for me, we don't take overnight flights because that would just be a nightmare for days in terms of parenting and sleep training. So the uncertainty of flight schedules is certainly something that makes me pause in terms of even just that research. Sometimes I get as far as Googling a flight and being like, "Well, there aren't any flights that I'd want to take," and then I'm like, "Okay. Let's just put this on the back burner for a while." But I totally understand that itch of wanting to look up stuff. So be curious to hear how others are scratching that itch in terms of looking up things that they may want to do.
MC: Yeah, and I think Jess's point about putting flight trackers on through Hopper or Google flights is probably a good idea of how to get started, figuring out how much a flight might cost in the future because right now, when people are not flying that much and the airlines are really trying to get people on flights, flight prices are super low, but that might not stay when more people are interested. So I would use a flight tracker that uses previous data but also has a little more AI involved, something like Hopper, who might be able to be a little bit more predictive and gets you a better budget idea.
BL: Well, I actually have a question for you guys. When I plan travel, like I was saying, my priorities are seeing family and it doesn't get more family oriented than Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are usually blackout dates. So no flight deals there. How should the game plan be in terms of thinking about holiday travel? Because if lots of people have also decided that family is their priority, will that make airports more crowded? Would it make it a less ideal time to travel given that it's also paired with blackout dates?
JP: A lot of the analysts have been watching this and they really think that maybe not to the total extent it is every year, but it will be a busy time of year. Just looking at, in terms of the number of people flying, even over the summer, the holidays, those were definitely the high points and the peaks, and we're seeing it inch up every week so far. I think as far as the number of passengers, it's going to take a dip before the fall and winter holidays, but definitely around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I think, expect to be in that crush of people on the planes and the airports.
LA: Yeah. I think being in the crush of an airport is something that gives all of us great anxiety right now. So this feels like a time to take advantage of the fact that we are all working remotely and can be a little bit more flexible in terms of our travel dates. So think about maybe departing a few days earlier than you usually would have for Thanksgiving, maybe on a weekday, or given night flights aren't going to be a possibility for you or ideal, maybe look at some slightly more unusual flight times to try and miss the rush. Maybe instead of going for three days, five days, like you sort of usually do for those holidays, go for a week, go for two weeks—really take advantage of this flexibility. When I'm thinking about Christmas travel, I'm hoping and dreaming of being able to go to London to see my family who I haven't seen in a year and factoring things in like quarantine means I'm considering going for like about six weeks if I can make it there. It also means I can travel on odd dates that aren’t necessarily the 23rd of December like I've done before.
MC: I would also say I usually buy my flights back to Texas for both holidays around this time every year because I usually try to get in before flight prices go up and right now, flights are about half as much as they would usually be for the holidays and that's just on the specific LaGuardia-to-Dallas route that I'm looking at. But I would definitely say if you're looking at smaller, more domestic trips going forward, your budget may not have to be as high as it would have been in previous years because there are so many flight deals, hotel deals, like we mentioned last week on the podcast, and just kind of more options as tour operators, airlines, hotels, and Airbnbs try to get people using their services again. If you are looking for maybe a more budget-friendly option, those, I feel like, exist more now than they may have a year ago for the holidays.
So when we're talking about savings—and we kind of hinted at this earlier—but everyone's situation in normal times is very different. Everyone's circumstances are very different. And now, that is obviously exponentially more true. But do you, Bourree, have any general strategies for saving right now? Or kind of divvying up your savings so that you make sure you're hitting your regular general savings, maybe your leisure travel, interest savings, those types of things?
BL: All very good questions. So I think one of the hardest things about saving right now is how to stay motivated. As we've been talking about this whole time, when things feel really far away, it makes it really hard to take action. So when you're thinking travel might be a year away, might be two years away from me, it's really hard to save up whatever that goal is and start chipping away at it right now. So I would try to automate. This is the advice that is for every situation and it's good because it works. Behavioral economists tell us it works for saving and that for retirement, if you automate, you have a higher likelihood of being able to reach your goals. You don't have to look at it and it kind of runs on its own.
The other reason I think it's really hard to save right now is because we're in a low rate environment. If you follow interest rates, if you have a saving product called a high yield savings account, you'll see that the yield is actually quite low these days. We've gone from banks offering a nearly 3 percent interest rate on high yield savings accounts to now the average is somewhere between a half a percent to 1 percent, I think most of them are closer to half a percent actually. So it's hard to save when your cash is not doing much for you, but then it's also easy to save when you think about the fact that we're in a pandemic and that we all should have emergency savings and that we all may feel a little better if we're able to keep a little cash around and have a little liquidity.
So I think adjust and don't give up on your saving goals if you're able to save. I would say don't judge yourself when you are making your priorities for what to save for. If you want to start a different account to save up for your trip, and that makes you feel good to see that build, I would do that. I would modify your saving strategy based on your priorities and the goals you want to hit—and then optimize it to help yourself hit them.
So if a savings app, there's a couple out there. There's, there's a couple other ones. If an app is something that works for you, I would do that. The other thing I would say is because travel is kind of far away, one way to think about it may be that if you're saving for a big trip, you actually have more time to do that now so you can be more ambitious. Instead of maybe this summer, that you were saving for that big trip to—and I'd be curious to hear what big trip you all were saving for before this—if you were saving for that big trip, maybe you've just got a 12 month extension on saving for that trip. So you have a lot more time to do that and take advantage of the fact that we're all working from home.
For those who are struggling, obviously, there's different priorities right now, but if you are able to save and see where that takes you… Yeah, I think those are some of my thoughts, I would say on savings. Don't give up on your goals. Adjust on the goals. Don't give up completely. Try to make adjustments in a way that feels right for you.
LA: One of the reasons why I have been able to save, other than the fact that I haven't been able to fritter my money away in restaurants as much as I used to, is that I had nine weddings to travel for this year and none of them happened, which is obviously very sad, but was a boon to my finances. So I didn't have a big trip planned for this year, but I am interested to know what everyone's big trip was that they've had to put on hold.
MC: Jess, how about you? What were your big trips? You've had the worst luck.
JP: I know.
LA: You've been doomed.
JP: Well, I think you guys both know the one that I was planning to take right before it became a hot spot, was to Italy. I had a big trip to Florence planned. I was going to stay for a week, do little trips throughout Tuscany, kind of soaking all the history there and gorge on pasta and all of it. That had to be canceled. I luckily got my money back from both the hotel and the airline. Yeah, just reassessing that, I think that will definitely be one of the first stops when we can go back, when they accept Americans again.
But it's interesting because I do kind of find myself wanting to go bigger with this trip and kind of researching, "Oh, is there a nicer hotel that I could save up for?" Or I was doing Italian online courses, so trying to invest in the level two of that and trying to really get good at all the language, all the history things I want to see, and really be prepared when I get there.
MC: I liked that idea that you were mentioning, Bourree, of having that longer—this is going to be a pun and I’m sorry—that longer runway to be able to save.
BL:I was going to say longer horizon. That's the finance jargon for it.
MC: But I did want to touch on something that's specific to travel that I know you can speak to, Jess, which is playing the points and miles game is on hold right now because booking and taking flights, which is how you get most of your points and miles, is not necessarily an option. But how should we be pivoting when we're not booking flights? Is there a way to still pay our points and miles forward into 2021? Then I think something that I've been kind of grappling with is I would say I'm a points hoarder. I always have to hype myself up to use them because I'm like, I worked so hard for these. Is this trip really the one that I'm going to use these points on? What should we be using our points on?
JP: Yeah. So it's funny you say you're a points hoarder because I'm the opposite. I just want to cash them in as soon as I get them, and I've been struggling with that, even during the pandemic. But there are some really good ways actually, to still be saving your points on. It's not as much through travel now. I would say it's definitely more through the travel credit card rewards game. So if you're comfortable with that, we are seeing a lot of the credit card issuers actually pivot what you can earn points on.
For instance, Chase, they came out with a new card, actually called the. It actually just opened for applications on September 15th. So that earns a lot of bonus points on things like drugstore purchases, dining, which includes takeout if you want to order in during the pandemic, and it also still earns 5 percent on travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. They also adjusted their Freedom Unlimited Card to have some of those same earnings structures. We're also seeing to reimburse you for your streaming services through the end of September, Capital One's Venture card is also allowing higher redemption rates at restaurants for takeout and delivery and streaming.
So the banks are pivoting towards a lot of this stay at home, not so much travel spending. So even if you're going to the grocery store, if you kind of look at how you're spending your money, what card would be tailored to your spending habits, you. I am talking up Chase a lot because I love my Chase Sapphire. So pairing one of these cards that have no fee from Chase and earn more at either the drug store, grocery store, or something like that, and pairing it with a Sapphire Reserve or Preferred—I have the preferred because I still have a little bit of sticker shock with the Reserve—but even that combination, you can really milk a lot and get very valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are so versatile. And before it, you'll have a nice little pile of points that you'll be able to cash in in 2021 or 2022.
LA: I'm a very cautious credit card user, which doesn't lend well to building up points and miles or getting a new credit card that I might be able to utilize in a more productive way. Bourree, for someone thinking about getting a new credit card right now, does that feel insane? Is that a good idea or a bad idea?
BL: I think it depends what you're doing it for. To get a credit card, it's hard to say whether it's good or bad because building credit is so important. If you ever want to have a mortgage or have a car loan, having good credit involves opening a credit card. What I would be really careful of is APR, so that's the interest rate you'll pay if you don't make your minimum payments. I would be really careful about APRs.
We know that credit card companies are not making offers the way they used to in this environment. We had a story in The Journal back in June about how to zero balance credit transfer, so that's when you transfer the balance of a past credit card onto a new credit card, and then you are interest free for whatever the promotion offer is,. Credit card companies are just not issuing these offers the way they used to. They may once again, but this is just not the kind of economic environment where they're going to do that.
So I would just read the fine print, make sure you're able to pay off your full balance every month, even if you get one of these cards or travel cards. If you don't like fees, then don't sign up for one with a fee, even if it has an introductory offer. Make sure you pay attention to all those details.
I think the idea of being a points hoarder or a points spender is really an interesting one to me because we talk about saving and psychology and financial behavior, behavioral economics, that kind of thing a lot. And I would say for me, I was thinking about it as you guys are talking about it, I think I'm more like Meredith. I want to spend all my points on something special. I hoard and then I'm like, what's the special thing I'm going to spend it on? I think last time, I did an empty-all-of-my-points situation was when I went to Italy for my honeymoon and it felt great. Then my next point splurge I was planning was the big trip I was saving for, which was to go to Tokyo to see relatives. That's on hold now, but I've adjusted my habits. As these times have changed and recently, we spend some of the points, not all the points, but some of the points on just renting a car to go upstate and that was really rewarding, I thought. I just adjusted what I did. I felt like I hyped myself up for that, too. So I feel like you can hype yourself up. You can adjust your habits. You can hype yourself up for small trips the way you hiked yourself up for big trips. I definitely think that that's something... It felt good for me.
LA: Every small trip feels like a big trip right now.
JP: Yeah, exactly.
LA: We've already touched on the places that were crossing our fingers for in 2021, but thinking of those big, big trips, what are the places everyone is dreaming of getting to in the next year or two years?
JP: Besides Italy, I would love to go back to. I spent a week in Placencia last year, but this time, I would love to go to like one of the really remote resort islands out there where it's almost a private island, but it's only this resort is on a little, almost like atoll in the Caribbean. That's what I'm dreaming of.
BL: So in the pandemic, I've heard from a lot of friends, but also people we talk to that a lot of their memories of past trips are coming to the forefront like your memory of Belize and wanting to go back. I've certainly experienced the same thing, that there are a lot of places that I've been to that I'm sort of dreaming of because we're not able to travel right now, so we think back on trips that we've had are great and planning off that. So I think my big dream is that we're finally in a place where I can dream about going somewhere new because that feels so, so far away. Going somewhere I've been to, do things that I remember liking, it sort of feels safe relative to going to a place I've never been. So that's what I'm hoping. I'm hoping that I dream big, bigger.
LA: And give yourself the permission to do so.
BL: I'm not in that place right now, if I'm being honest.
MC: Yeah. Now, that we're talking about it, I honestly think my answer is the same that it wasin March or April and I said that all I wanted was to go to the beach. I still feel very strongly that what I would really love would be to go to the British Virgin Islands, to go and just sit on the beach and read and probably not have Wi-fi at the house, like the rental house that I'm staying at, and just give myself permission and have the opportunity to not be stressed out about the world. We have to get to the point where the world isn't stressful though, so we have to wait there a little bit. But yeah I want to go to the beach.
LA: At least in our immediate lives.
MC: Yeah. I want to go to the beach.
LA: I love that because I think we've all been sort of stuck in our homes for so long. It's easy to kind of think like, "Well, I don't do anything. So when I do take a trip, I need to be on my feet and seeing and experiencing a very intense amount of stuff." But we all just need a vacation, like a proper, proper vacation. So I'm definitely dreaming of the beach. My godmother has a house just outside of Sydney on an island that has no cars and I think I would like to go there and hide out there for a few weeks.
MC: Halfway across the world? I love it.
LA: Halfway across the world.
MC: Well, that feels like a nice place to end. If people want to keep up with what you guys are doing at the Wall Street Journal, Bourree, where can they find you on social media?
BL: I am, but follow the main account. All the personal finance coverage is there. If you want to sign up for the six week money challenge I mentioned, just go to .
MC: Perfect. And Jess, how about you?
JP: I'm on Twitter.
MC: Be sure to followon Instagram, as well, which will be in the show notes. And we will talk to you next week.
Destinations on the rise for 2021 .
25 amazing places to inspire future journeys and remind us why we love to travel.A diver explores the coral reefs around Lord Howe Island. The volcanic isle, located in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, has more than 60 dive sites, including Ball’s Pyramid—the world’s tallest sea stack.