Skip to main content

12 Travel Tips for the New Year

We look forward to the new year and a return to travel. Here are the tips you need to have safe, seamless, and memorable vacations in 2021.

In the new year, approach travel with a sense of wonder, better preparation, and fresh eyes with our expert travel tips for 2021. We wish you safe and joyous journeys!

1. Try a New Destination

Make this year the year you branch out from your tried-and-true vacation spots and visit a new destination. Open your eyes to new adventures and ignite your senses with new sights. Alternatively, if you’ve never been a repeat visitor, try returning to one destination a second time around to dive in even deeper. For inspiration, see our Members’ top ten beach clubs or favorite ski destinations for a luxury resort vacation.

2. Obtain an Easy COVID Test

If your destination requires a negative COVID test or you’d like greater peace of mind when visiting loved ones, Vault Medical provides convenient and pain-free at-home saliva tests with fast results. 

*Note not all destinations accept saliva tests—Club Members can check your destination’s Know Before You Go page on The Source for test requirements.

3. Unplug and Go Tech-Free

After a year of constant Zoom calls and online schooling, experience the freedom of disconnecting with the outside world to experience your vacation and time spent with loved ones more fully. Try phone-free days, or even just a few hours, in order to fully immerse yourself in the present. If you use your phone to capture pictures, switch to airplane mode and turn off your notifications.

4. Solve Luggage Hassles

Forget about the hassle of schlepping bags to and from the airport—especially if you have kiddos in tow. Our partner Luggage Forward is a convenient door-to-door bag delivery service eliminates the hassle of carrying and checking your bags by delivering them directly between your home and destination, worldwide.

5. Catch a Sunrise or Sunset

There’s nothing more spectacular than the golden hues of a sunset over the ocean or soft pinks as the sun rises over snowy peaks. Make a point to wake up earlier or slow down in the evening to soak up this phenomenon at least a few times during your trip. These moments of stillness will help you return home from your vacation relaxed and refreshed.

6. Leave Room for Spontaneity

While some pre-planned activities and restaurant reservations may provide a more seamless vacation, having a few free days or hours opens up your trip to relaxation and discovery. A morning activity followed by an afternoon with time to simply relax poolside or fireside—or see where the wind blows you—prevents burnout and allows for total rejuvenation.

7. Explore Local Cuisine

Though we can’t jet off to Italy for fresh pasta right now, domestic destinations and islands have their own local fare—from a Sea Island low-country crawfish boil to fresh poke in Hawaii, to fried plantains and a rum cocktail in the Caribbean. Don't worry about planning your culinary adventures all by yourself—rely on your own local expert. Our on-site Concierges can guide you toward local-favorite hotspots and clue you in on their cuisine favorites. Try a farm-to-table cooking class or mix up your own mountain-inspired cocktails.

8. Simplify the Airport Experience

Our partner PS, formally Private Suite, reimagines the airport experience by providing a respite away from the bustling crowds of LAX. Relax in your own private space in a remote terminal complete with delicious dining and cocktails, entertainment for the kids, complimentary spa and salon services, and much more. When it’s time to fly, your private driver will escort you by BMW directly to the cabin door.

9. Don’t Forget Travel Entertainment

Flights, drives, and downtime make vacations the perfect opportunity to page through a book list or catch up on podcasts. If you’re looking for fresh suggestions, author Adrienne Brodeur shares her favorite books and NBC’s Today Show contributor Mark Ellwood lists his top podcasts on our blog. 

10. Take a Reimagined Road Trip

Travel closer to home or explore a new part of the country with a private road trip pre-planned and customized just for you. Our partner All Roads North designs luxury road trips for families and couples alike all across the U.S. Each trip is complete with points of interest, delicious restaurants, and luxury accommodations. All you have to do is get in the car and go!

11. Pack Smarter

There’s nothing worse than arriving to your destination only to realize you forgot your swimsuit or ski jacket. Create a list of necessities and check it twice as you load up your suitcase. Save suitcase space with packing cubes. Don’t forget to stow a few essentials in your carry-on just in case. Include a change of clothes, medication, a swimsuit (if headed to a tropical destination), and a travel toothbrush in case of luggage loss or delay.

12. Make a Promise

Life moves fast, with plenty of “should haves” along the way. I should have worked less and played more. Spent more time with family. Taken better vacations. This year, make a promise to yourself and your loved ones to prize and prioritize time together—because life is too short for should-haves.