Quick, go to The Flight Deal. Yes yes it’s fine, just go and take a look at the first 5-10 deals and then come back…………….ok welcome back (some of you didn’t come back, which is fine because it means you found a trip to book!).
Are those deals not incredible?!
Everywhere you look you see headlines about more flights and new routes and
improvements to frequent flyer programs new jets.
So why has it never been better to travel? Let’s look at three reasons:
1. Flying is CHEAP
The economy is more global than ever before, meaning barriers to entry have been lowered drastically. It is easier (for better or worse) for companies to borrow money than ever before so you’re seeing new airlines pop up and huge capital investments from existing airlines to modernize their fleets, but more than ever all of this investment leads to more competition. Where there is competition, prices fall.
Did you ever think you’d regularly see roundtrip flights from the USA to Europe for $500-600? Go take a look at Norwegian Air and Wow Air. Sure you might have to pay a fee to check a bag but the fact is airlines like these put pressure on mainline carriers to bring down their prices as well. Airline ticket prices, adjusted for inflation, have never been lower. This doesn’t even exclude mistake fares, which still pop up from time to time.
2. Planes are flying farther than ever
Dallas-Hong Kong, Dubai-Auckland, Newark-Singapore (coming back next year) are just a few examples of some massively long non-stop flights that would not have been economically sustainable only 5-10 years ago. Due to more fuel-efficient and right-sized jets, you’re seeing these mega longhaul flights pop back up, but now they are sustainable. Airlines are realizing that not every route needs the largest plane and fortunately the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 are the perfect jets for these thinner but longer routes.
Why does this make travel better? Sure sitting in a plane for 16 hours is pretty rough, even in a premium cabin, but once you get off the plane there’s a good chance you’re at your final destination. Never would I have imagined that I could go to Hong Kong for the weekend but I’ve done it multiple times. The rest of the world has never been closer than it is to you right now.
3. Destination information has never been easier to find
The picture above is from a hill called Osonjica. It overlooks Lake Bled in Slovenia and is a pretty reasonable hike. I never would’ve known it was a trail without Wikivoyage.
Wikivoyage, TripAdvisor, and the myriad groups on Facebook, Flyertalk, and Reddit can bring you fairly reliable local advice to help you plan your trips. This should give you confidence as a traveler to go to places you’d never considered previously. All it takes is asking the question and odds are someone has been there and will be willing to help.
All you simply need to do is reach out and look for amazing experiences and before you know it you’ll be driving through Scandinavia just to drive the Atlanterhavsveien. Things may not always work out the way you thought they would but you’ll be better for attempting it.
So get out there!
I was in Washington DC with some friends this weekend and one of them reiterated an oft-repeated quote, “invest in experiences, not things” and I couldn’t agree more. You have one life, do not be satisfied with seeing the Great Wall of China through your computer screen, go there and see it yourself!
Go and travel! If you don’t have the resources right now, pick a place and start saving. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it perfectly or staying in the nicest hotels. Travel in the way that makes sense to you and satisfies you. The world has never been more accessible. Just go!