Holidays... do you remember them? Stress-packing at midnight for a 4 am wake-up call after the kids have finally gone to bed. Your other half randomly declaring that now is the perfect time to wash the clothes he needs. Getting to the airport and realising you have forgotten your wallet…
We might bemoan our inability to go on hols this past year (unless of course you have some emergency dental work that needs taken care of in Tenerife, ahem...). But, we know the time isn’t yet right for international travel or to book holidays in 2021. Cases are high in Ireland. Vaccinations are low. So why risk it?
My kids have been doing an online art class for ages 7-14 and I recently overheard some of the group chat about holidays. One kid was telling everyone that her family is booked for Center Parcs this summer and another to New York in October. New York!
One the one hand, I admire the optimism and even the determination. But on the other hand, I’m nervous! Weren’t we all super-optimistic at the beginning of 2020? That it was going to be "the best year ever" and that St. Patrick's Day would go ahead, children would be educated, and we’d at least see each other at Electric Picnic in September? We all "optimistically" gave Christmas a go - and look where that got us.
Anyone who had a holiday booked and cancelled in 2020 is most likely still waiting on refunds from airlines or travel companies. So, is a staycation in Ireland still the best bet?
If the internet is to be believed, venues for staycation holidays in 2021 Ireland are either totally booked up or totally extortionate. We get that hoteliers have been extremely impacted by the shutdowns in the hospitality sector, but doubling the price of a two-night stay in the midlands at a hotel where the pool won’t even be open, is hardly the way to endear us to their plight.
There is a friend of mine who (jokingly) tells me that I caused the second lockdown in December. That I had jinxed it.
Did I go to Marbella to get cheek implants? No. Was I in anyone's house for Christmas? Also no. I'll tell you what I did; I booked a two-night stay at a hotel in Wicklow for my family for December 29th.
As we own a bakery, we naturally never can get away anywhere before Christmas. So, I always try to book something nice to reward ourselves for the hard work afterwards.
"You did what?!" my friend exploded. "You booked a hotel?! Notions! I can only say that if we end up back in lockdown it'll be all your fault!"
Cue December 20th and yet another national Lockdown. The hotel stay was cancelled (the hard work at the bakery was not). This one actually really bothered me; this family getaway was to be our reward - for the kids being so, so good throughout all this and for us being so, so good in keeping our heads above water.
But no, COVID had other plans. So until this is completely under control, or at least until our parents, loved ones, vulnerable ones and ourselves are vaccinated, we have nothing booked. Absolutely nothing.
Will you dare to book for your holidays in 2021?