How #GoLater Is Helping Us Improve Our Future Travels

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Were your travel plans dashed by the COVID-19 pandemic? You’re not alone. For the moment, the world needs to focus on staying safe. That includes those of us who are travel experts as well. Whether we were traveling for work, for fun, or to catch up with family, the travel experts below all had to quickly hit pause on their trips to help flatten the curve around the world. However, that isn’t stopping us from dreaming about how awesome it will feel to #GoLater. Read on to see how we’re postponing our plans and using this time to make these trips even better when they finally happen. 

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Bucket-List Trip To Japan During Cherry-Blossom Season

Tokyo's cherry blossoms
Tokyo’s cherry blossoms/Oyster

“The destination at the top of my bucket list — with a bullet — is Japan. I’d saved all my pennies and vacation days to do it up right. I was going to start in Tokyo, with its rooftop cocktails, wacky animal cafes, ramen spots; continue to Kyoto for temples, tea ceremonies, and paper-making; and finish with a tour of the countryside, taking in the cherry blossoms at peak bloom. Alas, all of that will have to wait, since my trip was to take place in late March. But I know just as the cherry trees will bloom again next year, Japan and all its wonders will be waiting for me. In the meantime, I can continue to refine my itinerary (Onsens! Food halls! Conveyor-belt sushi!) and funnily enough, even the Olympics were rescheduled, so they’ll be joining me in 2021.” — Maria Hart, Executive Editor, What to Pack

A Family Tour of Ancient Greece

Athens city view

“For months I had been looking forward to returning to Athens, Greece, around Easter to visit family, savor central Athens, drive the Athenian Riviera, and spend a night in the shadow of the ancient Sounio Temple of Poseidon. Since canceling, I’m taking comfort in the fact that the places we saved on our road-trip map have been there for a millennium, and will be there when it’s safe to travel again. I’m always sharpening my knowledge of the area with the help of stories from family and friends, and I’m taking this as an opportunity to continue researching.” — Shannon McMahon, News and Features Editor, SmarterTravel

Jet-Skiing and Celebrating Pride in Miami

Beach at the COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
Miami Beach/Oyster

“At Oyster, we work year-round to visit hotels in person. I was scheduled to visit The Confidante Miami Beach for a photoshoot and review update to coincide with Miami Pride. Along with the all of the reporting that goes into our hotel reviews, there was also going to be time for a Jet Ski tour and rooftop kickboxing. I was pretty disappointed when the trip was canceled, but happy to see safety as the priority. I’m definitely looking forward to going later. See you soon, South Beach.” — Megan Wood, Senior Editor,

A First Trip to Guyana

“In early April I was set to be on JetBlue’s inaugural flight from New York City to Georgetown, Guyana. Of course, the trip was postponed, but as we start to think about travel post COVID-19, it made me realize that air routes may look a little different than what we’re used to — at least at first. This led me to start researching more local road trips I can take this summer and fall, and reminded me of my longtime plan to start taking better advantage of state parks. For now, I’ll be daydreaming of the remote rainforest and outer-Caribbean coastline that await in Guyana.” — Ashley Rossi, Senior Editor, SmarterTravel

Exploring Quebec

Quebec City's historic riverfront and Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
Quebec City‘s historic riverfront and Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac/Oyster

“I was scheduled to visit Quebec City for a conference in May, and was looking forward to a post-conference trip into the Quebec countryside, complete with hiking and cheese sampling. As someone with a compromised immune system, I reluctantly pulled out of the trip in early March, but the conference was canceled a week later anyway. I’m hoping to be able to attend next year — and if it isn’t held in the same place, I’d love to plan a trip to explore rural Quebec on my own.” — Sarah Schlichter, Deputy Executive Editor, SmarterTravel

Reviewing Hotels in Singapore and The Maldives

Exterior of Marina Bay Sands overlooking Marina Bay in Singapore
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore/Oyster

“In early March I was supposed to visit Singapore and the Maldives. As it was a work trip, my research was limited to the biggest sights and most popular hotels in both destinations. However, when it became clear that travel wasn’t safe, the trip was cancelled. For now, I’m comforting myself by doing some insider recon, like tracking down the best hawker food and afternoon tea in Singapore. My habits skew old school, so I have actual notebook pages filled with ideas for when it’s safe to travel again.” — Kyle Valenta, Executive Editor,

Outdoor Escapes in the Vermont Mountains

“Spring is my favorite time to ski in New England, so I had planned an early April getaway to Bromley Mountain in Vermont, and was looking forward to fresh powder and no wind-chill. Unfortunately, the ski season abruptly ended in March, with resorts closing down to fight the pandemic. While I’m at home, I’m focusing on targeted workouts to get in hiking shape with the hope that I’ll be heading to the same mountain this summer for some fresh air, hiking, and the freedom of open spaces.” — Caroline Morse Teel, Principal Editor, SmarterTravel

Taking an Inaugural Flight to Hawaii

Sunset view from Maui's mountains above the clouds
Sunset on Maui/Oyster

“I planned to fly on the inaugural nonstop Southwest flight from San Diego to Hawaii on Tuesday, April 14th. My parents were going to join from Minnesota and we had planned on visiting both Maui and Kauai. The inaugural flight has since been pushed back twice and could be pushed back even further. But I keep getting rebooked on that first flight to Hawaii, as I’m determined to go as soon as possible. In fact, this route has been delayed repeatedly — first due to the 737 MAX being grounded and now because of the coronavirus — so I think it will be a big party onboard when it finally takes off.” — Peter Thornton, Editor, AirfareWatchdog

Bali and Cambodia for a Little Work and a Little Fun

Praying bathers in the pools at Pura Tirta Empul in Bali
Pura Tirta Empul, Bali/Oyster

“During the last half of March, I was supposed to photograph and review hotels around Bali for, followed by a few vacation days in Cambodia. I was so excited to escape the New York chill for warm beach weather, to visit beautiful temples like Uluwatu and Angkor Wat, have my fill of fresh fruit and fried rice, relax with a massage (or two), and observe cultures I’ve only learned about from afar. I was disappointed when the trip was canceled, but it was a necessary decision for the greater good. Fortunately, those beautiful countries and their bucket-list sites will still be there when it’s safe to travel again. I’ve never been more eagerly anticipating a 28-hour flight!” — Lara Grant, Editor,

A Friend Reunion in New York City

World Trade Center at sunset
The World Trade Center at Sunset/Oyster

“In late June, I was supposed to head to New York City to visit two old roommates that I used to live with in Rome. One of them works in Manhattan and the other was going to fly in from Michigan and meet us in the city. However, we had to prioritize the safety of ourselves and others, so we will reschedule when we can. In the meantime, we’ve redoubled our efforts to video chat and have actually been talking more now than we did before! I’ve also been scoping out the NYC restaurant scene online so that when the trip finally happens, I’ll have some recommendations that will impress even the native New Yorker in our group.” —Carol McPherson, Video Editor, SmarterTravel

Returning to Paris — This Time With the Kids

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower in Paris/Oyster

“Every summer, I take my kids to stay with family in Tuscany. It’s cheaper than summer camp, there are plenty of cousins to play with, I can still work, and it has come to feel like true summer for all of us. This year, we were scheduled to add on a few vacation weeks in France as well. My husband and I met while we were both living in Paris many years ago, but this was going to be our first time taking our kids. And while we may not end up taking this trip as scheduled, it has sharpened our vision of what we most want to share with our children. There’s something about anticipation interrupted that has made this trip — whenever we end up going — a North Star to navigate toward.” — Christine Sarkis, Executive Editor, SmarterTravel

Taking a Grandmother Back to Japan

Gates of the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan
Meiji Shrine in Tokyo/Oyster

“My boyfriend and I spent months planning to take his Japanese grandmother (who lives in the States) to her home country for a long vacation. My birthday is also in mid-April and I had been clear about celebrating with soufflé pancakes, hot springs, and several sessions in crazy Tokyo photobooths. When we finally decided not to go, I cried, but it was right. At this point, the virus seemed limited to Asia (or so we thought), so we quickly booked tickets for five days in Antigua instead, with my sister and two little nieces. But before we could even choose a cute little beach bungalow or talk about how I definitely wanted to visit a pineapple farm — it was clear that we wouldn’t be making it there either. Quarantined in my apartment is not the birthday I was expecting, but I know it’ll be special in its own weird way. We’ve channeled a lot of energy into resuming Japan plans for next year.” Anne Bauso, Editor, What to Pack

A College Friends Reunion in New Orleans

Jackson Square, New Orleans
Jackson Square in New Orleans/Oyster

“A group of my college friends and I were planning to go to New Orleans at the end of April. We’d been planning the trip for months and were excited to travel to a city that none of us had visited before. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we had to cancel the trip. However, we refuse to let the pandemic ruin our excitement! We’re still looking forward to traveling to New Orleans someday and now we have even more time to plan. Until then, we’ll be looking up jambalaya and beignet recipes to make at home, listening to jazz, and watching ‘The Princess and The Frog’ on video calls. It will just make the trip more exciting when we eventually get to go later!” — Alexis Clemons, Senior SEO & Content Specialist, SmarterTravel Media

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