Skift Take

Let's do this again. Last year was hit-and-miss on reaching our travel goals but as you will read, the Skift team doesn't stop dreaming. Check out a fresh list of our aspirations for 2022. Here's hoping we make all our connections, and that you do too in the new year.

The Skift team got back to traveling in 2021 but to characterize it as a return to normal would be grossly overstating it. Lingering anxieties, continued border restrictions, and the emergence of Covid variants stifled a lot of our big plans, which of course had been shelved from 2020.

So here we go again. We can keep dreaming. The pandemic can’t take that away from us. As you will read, our travel goals are all over the board, with many planning family trips, others ready to go big in 2022, and with some just keeping it local.

As always, we know any travel that we do will help define us, and define Skift for the amazing, now fully dispersed company that it has become.

Comfort Trips to the Familiar

My top travel destination for the coming year is my family’s cottage on Prince Edward Island, Canada. PEI is the one place that my family visited every summer when I was growing up, which made it something of a homebase for me (my father’s job meant that we had to relocate to a new country every few years). The cottage itself is a wooden structure that’s probably at least a hundred years old, with a sprawling linden tree out front that mercilessly blocks the waterfront view for the neighbors behind us. The tree species isn’t native to the island, and one theory is that its origins trace to spilled linden tea from a picnic some 300 years ago. In just my lifetime that happy accident has been home to tree forts and rope swings of all manner. Because of the cottage’s folk-gothic charm and steeply peaked roof (it was supposedly once a country church in a past life), the local kids used to think it was haunted. I’ve never seen any evidence of that myself, but if I ever come back as a ghost, it’s the place I will haunt. On walks to the beach, passersby will sometimes ask, “Who do you belong to?” — meaning which island family calls me one of their own. I have many aunts, uncles, and cousins on the island, so I’m generally able to give a sufficiently satisfactory answer. In a year or two, I’ll likely go further afield, but returning to PEI is my humble goal for 2022. — Angela Tupper, Deputy Editor, EventMB

After 18 years in a row of spending at least 20 days in Aruba, the pandemic in 2020 and our first grandchild being born when we were supposed to go in 2021 halted that streak. Moving to Florida from New Jersey helped but we would still like to make it back there in 2022, especially since we are a lot closer now. — Alan and Kim Woinski, Founders, Daily Lodging Report

I plan to return to Asbury Park, New Jersey. It’s best known for its indie music venues. But I like it for other reasons, too. As a gay man, I adore how I can hold my husband’s hand while walking down the seaside boardwalk without feeling self-conscious. Just as importantly, the restaurant scene is solid. The town’s a gastronomic equivalent of an off-Broadway theater because many young chefs get their start here before moving to New York’s costlier real estate. I especially crave the Hawaiian French Toast at the Sunset Landing Luncheonette. — Sean O’Neill, Senior Travel Tech Editor

In 2022 I especially hope to make it back to my country, Peru at some point. I usually go two to three times a year and my last time was in March 2020, I definitely am missing it. I have also planned a trip to St. Pete, Florida during the February winter break, to Seattle in April for a girls trip, I have never been and the weather is supposed to be wonderful in the spring and to Disney World in July for my daughter’s 8th birthday. I am very much looking forward to these trips and to some fun times with my friends and family.— Mariana Ruiz, HR Generalist

My resolution is to return to Japan in 2022 so I can see friends there and possibly visit new places in the country. But a successful reunion with people I met while teaching English there is solely dependent on the country reopening to foreign tourists. If that doesn’t happen, I would like to visit a place I’ve never been to.— Rashaad Jorden, Editorial Assistant

In 2022, we have a lot happening — but most exciting is the fact that I am turning 50!! My husband has rented a huge house in Cabo, specifically Pedregal, and he has invited my closest friends and their husbands to join us for the big celebration! We love Mexico, and specifically Cabo and most of all love the culture, fishing village, and of course the authentic Mexican food. I am a warm-weather, beach-loving, pool-hanging (with a margarita!) gal, and can’t wait to celebrate for a few days with my friends and family.  Still contemplating Spring Break plans, but we usually end up on one of our favorite Caribbean islands, and lately that’s been Aruba.  My 14-year-old son’s favorite restaurant is there — Gianni’s. We’ll also spend a week in the Wisconsin Dells for my 11-year-old daughter’s dance nationals competition during the summer and I’m sure we’ll make another appearance at Disney World with the kids which we tend to do at least once a year. Hoping we continue to see good strides with Covid and no setbacks. — Angie Kimmel, Director of Sales, EventMB

Nothing Beats Travel Time With Family

Coming up with a travel resolution for 2022 is difficult for me. In 2021, my wife and I made it a priority to get vaccinated and continued to travel when we could. We took a few trips to Arizona to see the grandkids and pulled off our anniversary trip to Portugal (partly because their population is 92 percent vaccinated). My resolution for 2022 is more of hope. I hope that travel becomes more of a casual decision. I hope to bring back regular family vacations — even years are spent in Cabo with the family. I hope that I can check off a couple of places I’ve never been before and mingle with the locals. And finally, I hope people’s fear of travel wanes. It’s time to get back to finding interesting places and moving more freely around the world.   — Michael Cunniff, Chief Financial Officer

My travel resolution this year is simply to visit friends and family around the U.S. with the not-so-simple caveat of doing so as first-time parents with a new baby. The idea of flying or taking a long road trip with the little one in tow is a bit intimidating at the moment, but if (strike that: when) we do, I’ll consider it a big win. — Matt Heidkamp, Head of Creative Strategy

We have 16-year-old twin boys with two very separate travel dreams for the upcoming year. For Max, all eyes on the prize — a driver’s license! As a “road tripper” family he is just pining to get behind the wheel and drive us to one of our favorite family vacation spots; Lake George or the Hudson Valley at any time of the year and the beaches of New Jersey and Maryland during the summer and fall. Mama may be biting her nails in the back seat but the road beckons and we are answering the call with a new — and very safe — driver. For Grey, he’s a man who loves to travel by train. Whether it’s a national railroad or a regional light train, he wants to ride them all. This summer we have promised a trip on the Acela to our favorite food city, Philadelphia or our favorite museum city, Washington D.C. and will only use local rail to get around. Great way to get to know a city — some of the best music I’ve ever heard, I’ve heard in train stations.  While it’s not long haul international travel, we are definitely getting ready to explore new experiences together as a family. Quick before they go off to college! — Deborah Knudsen, Executive Director, Sales

I successfully hit my 2021 travel goal. After nearly 18 months away, I returned to airlines during the summer, taking several trips, including long-haul flights on a Boeing 787. Airplanes were my life for many years — I often flew once a week — and I enjoyed taking to the skies again. Still, I’m risk-averse. My children are not vaccinated, and they have yet to return. In 2022, I want to fly with my kids. That’s my New Year’s travel resolution. — Brian Sumers, Editor-at-Large

In 2019, my aspirational resolution for the year ahead was to show my young daughter a new country to experience a different language and culture than our own. Two years later, that goal is as important as ever, especially as she has taken a fascination to the globe and spelling the names of each country. I’m partial to the Caribbean for proximity and beauty, however taking a few weeks to disconnect or even work remotely from Portugal or Spain would be a dream, as well. — Brian Quinn, Editorial Director, Events

My mom had a milestone birthday last year and my brother and I are taking her to Iceland to celebrate! She’s still very active and loves nature and the outdoors. We gave her five different itineraries to choose from and she picked Iceland because of the remarkable landscape and the unique outdoor experiences. I can’t wait to kayak in the glacier lagoon and soak in the geothermal hot springs. I also resolve to take the kids to Puerto Vallarta this year to practice their spanish! We canceled this trip in 2019 at the onset of Covid but it’s back in the books for 2022. — Lisa Weier Parilla, Director Business Development 

Since our initial trip in August 2020 was canceled, my family has been trying to travel to England to visit my grandmother so she can meet her second great-grandchild but have yet to be able to do so due to travel restrictions and the inability for my children to be vaccinated. Since it looks like both kids will be vaccinated soon, my travel resolution for 2022 is to make it over to England to visit her. — Mike Linden, Engineering Manager

With two children under three, our family travel plans are very much focused on child-friendly activities and direct flights. We love the beach so my vote goes for the amazing beaches, food and nature of Sardinia. I’ve been fortunate to visit many parts of Italy but have never made it to Sardinia. I’d like to change that. I want to take the family on an extended holiday and tour the whole island so that we get to enjoy the beach life, the wonderful Italian hospitality as well as the beautiful nature and delicious food. Can’t wait! — Miguel Neves, Editor-in-Chief, EventMB

I constantly struggle to reconcile my enthusiasm for environmental conservation with my passion for getting out and connecting with the world. (I am the only one in all the universe grappling with this, I know.) Ostensibly, my travel goal for 2022 is to make tangible changes to my methods of travel and my destination choices. I would like to define my own individual parameters for conscious travel independent of what is or isn’t trendy in the industry at large. But I’d also like to pay another sort of travel penance in 2022 (if Covid allows): I’d like to visit the Isle of Man with my mother and listen to someone babble unintelligible motorcycle facts at us about the Tourist Trophy races there, just like my father used to babble unintelligible Tourist Trophy facts at us growing up. He followed the races religiously, and, since he passed away two years ago, we’ve been trying to tick off some of the places we ran out of time to take him during the final years of his illness. I think he’d be thrilled to know that the tradition of me being bored by bike talk lived on—though, maybe, we’ll skip the actual races and just visit the gift shop. — Jane Alexander, Editorial Events Producer

Languages, Art and More

My 2022 travel resolution will be to embrace new destinations, as a family we often return to the same destinations and there is still so much of the world we haven’t seen yet. I am also going to make more of an effort to learn the local language — I am sure my high school language knowledge is lurking in the background waiting to be utilized. — Kate Irwin, Commercial Director

Planning to buck the back-to-nature trend and focus on seeing great art in great cities with old friends. New Year’s Day will take me to Boston to visit a college roommate and take in the Titian, “Women, Myth, and Power ” exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The museum itself is famous as the scene of the largest art heist in the world. Thirteen works of art were stolen and never recovered. This collection was commissioned in the 1500s by Prince Philip of Spain. It features six masterpieces that retell ancient, often brutal stories. What makes it especially notable is this is the first time the entire collection has hung together in over 400 years.  Over the winter I will head to L.A. to see a friend from high school, and while there I am planning a visit to the Corita Kent Art Center, located on a high school campus in Los Feliz. Corita was a nun for a time, an artist and activist. She’s most famous for her LOVE stamp (1984) and was a strong female voice for social justice.  And, lastly planning a trip to Paris to see my dear friend Nathalie, and will check out the Fondation Louis Vuitton to see whatever is on view, but mostly excited to wander around the Gehry-designed center. — Pamela Firestone, Vice President, Head of Sales

I resolve not to wall off my travel to two weeks a year. I want to let my hobbies and interests at home guide where I travel in 2022. And conversely to take the spirit of adventure travel back home with me to New York CIty (which is, afterall, the greatest city in the world). — Seth Borko, Senior Research Analyst

So far, between planning my best friend’s bachelorette party in Greece, attending her wedding in Sicily, and jointly researching a wellness retreat somewhere in Latin America with my partner, I’m already so excited by my 2022 travel plans. A period of slow travel somewhere in Europe to learn a third language would also be a treasured experience in 2022. — Lena Elhibir, Project Manager, Digital & Events, SkiftX

I have always been fascinated with the night sky. While international travel is high on my bucket list for 2022, my ultimate travel experience for next year would be to indulge in Astro-tourism. Thankfully, I do not have to go too far to experience the wonder of the stars and planets as an Astro-tourism gem exists in my backyard (well, more like a 10-hour road trip). The !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park is situated in the Northern Cape of South Africa and has been declared an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. This declaration recognizes the sanctuary as one of the darkest places in the world — perfect for viewing the night sky minus human or natural pollution to spoil the view.  — Lisa Jade Hutchings, Branded Content Writer, EventMB

Remote Working and Travel

Since 2021 wasn’t exactly the blockbuster global travel year, 2022 may turn out to be that, though at the mercy of variants. I have a mix of Morocco, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, India, UAE, and UK travels on my mind — all with very short booking windows for lack of certainty on openings and closings due to Covid — almost all of them a mix of family and work travels. And that is the new reality of my world and I know so many others: the blending of business and leisure travel in all possible ways, not sequentially but inextricably embedded into each other. If our daily permanent WFH lives are like that, why should travels be any different? — Rafat Ali, Founder and CEO

After another year of much uncertainty here in Europe, with border closures, reopenings, and closures again, lockdowns, evening curfews, and I don’t know how many waves, I am really just hoping for some stability and certainty in 2022 that borders will remain open and requirements don’t change at the last minute. I’ve had to cancel a trip to London in the past month, so I am looking forward to visiting colleagues in London and New York next year. I’m also planning to take some international train journeys, with Denmark and Italy at the top of my wishlist. — Wouter Geerts, Senior Analyst, Skift Research

My resolution is to break out of large corporate chains whenever possible and tell more stories of small, interesting hospitality entrepreneurs who are building things based on sensibility, love, and care. I also want to try as many airlines and alliances as I can and not stick to what I know. — Colin Nagy, On Experience columnist

In 2022, I will have team members dispersed in five countries, including two states, a district and a territory in the U.S. This just screams some combined remote working and leisure trips to me. As for a long, dreamed-about trip to Africa with my wife, that is likely a 2023 goal at this point. — Tom Lowry, Editor-in-Chief

Overdue Explorations 

Back in April 2020, I had plans to take a road trip around the coast of Sicily, the land of my maternal ancestors. Plane tickets, accommodations, car rental, food & wine stops, even a road trip playlist were all planned out … before all being postponed. Needless to say that trip is on the top of my list, along with visits to see family and friends. I’m actually in the process of renewing my passport, so I suppose I won’t be going anywhere until that precious envelope arrives in the mail! — Diana Nay, Subscription Sales and Customer Support Manager

I plan to get in my car and drive. A lot. I’m lucky to live in California, a state that even during the pandemic millions of people from all over the world travel thousands of miles to visit. So in the year ahead, I intend to visit as many parts of the Golden State, especially the parts unknown to me, as I can, with the top down and the salt air in my hair. — Madhu Unnikrishnan, Editor, Airline Weekly

I have no set travel plans yet for 2022, but a girl can dream. We have a niece and a nephew arriving next year, so there will be some domestic travel to meet them. We are holding out hope for a Q1 trip to a tropical climate (Puerto Rico to see Dennis, perhaps?) and also excited to get my three year old on some skis soon.  Once things settle down in NYC, we’ll be back to contributing to the local economy; dining, Broadway shows, concerts etc. Later in the year there is always the possibility of that trip to Italy, postponed from April 2020! — Dani Wagstaff, Director of Emerging Brands

Staying Close ….

My travel resolution for 2022 is to stop hoarding my points for a big trip and just spend them whenever I can! For me that’s looking like a trip to Phoenix to visit friends, ski weekends in Vermont and Colorado, and a few weeks at the beach in Rhode Island. Past summer — who knows? — Kate Anderson, Creative Content Strategist, SkiftX

My travel resolutions for 2022 are to expand my meanderings in the Caribbean — although this time around by plane and not cruise ship. Also I want interesting staycations in Puerto Rico, and I vow to understand more Spanish on the car radio during aforesaid domestic trips. — Dennis Schaal, Founding and Executive Editor 

My 2021 travel resolution was meant to include South Africa; towards the end of the year the Omicron variant had other plans. But while travel was overall severely limited, especially for a Brit, I did manage to relocate to a new country with a one-way ticket to France. Now installed in Paris, the 2022 travel plan involves making the most of the fantastic train system here. If you know British trains, you’ll know what I mean. So you’ll catch me chasing the sun, with places like Bordeaux and Marseille, just a few hours away, among new destinations I can’t wait to discover next summer. And at this point in time, the Mediterranean seems the safest bet. — Matthew Parsons, Corporate Travel Editor

My family’s cross-country move from New York City to Redmond, Washington in 2020 was an escape and we had no idea how long we’d stay here and where we would go next.  One year in, we bought a house and decided to settle down here. For 2022, we will continue the backyard travel that made us fall in love with the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been wanting to go to Hawaii ever since I was a teenager but somehow never made it there. Six hours flight? There is no excuse. 2022 is the year of fulfilling my teenage dream. — Haixia Wang, VP of Research

I miss long-haul travel and seeing new places, and it looks like that might happen in 2022, but I’m keeping those plans under wraps until I’m physically there — a lesson learned from last year. I predict plenty of backyard exploration in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, but I also hope to spend time with my parents in Maryland, attend more live concerts, and plan for 2023 international trips with family, which is when I predict and hope there will be fewer travel uncertainties. — Lebawit Lily Girma, Global Tourism Reporter

… And Going Far

Now that Skift is a globally distributed company my resolution is to live in at least two locations in addition to Miami and Long Island, either both international or one foreign and one domestic for at least one month apiece and immerse myself into the local culture. — Carolyn Kremins, President

With the bumpy ride of 2021 coming to a close, I’m hoping for a smoother 2022 with easy international travel. Top of my list are visiting family in Argentina, zip lining in Costa Rica, and attending music festivals around the world. — Hailey Smith, Senior Marketing Manager 

I love exploring cities. In a previous job, I traveled frequently and was often somewhere in a city in Europe. I’d arrive a day or two early to spend the weekend wandering around neighborhoods in places as different as Helsinki, Lisbon, Brussels or Milan. NYC has always been home and I love it, but like most people, I haven’t ventured very far during the past year, and I find myself craving to be in someplace different again. As soon as it’s safe, I would like to visit friends in Berlin, spend hours sharing dinner in restaurants, and walking on streets I’ve never seen before. And, I’d love to return to London, a favorite city, and connect with friends, colleagues and some familiar streets there. — Linda Tepedino, Head of HR

TO ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY AGAIN! Exploring parts of the United States I have never seen before, made me realize how much there is to see locally and how much we have on our doorstep. Next up, even further south – can’t wait to Latam. — Jennifer Kedzierski, Sales Operations Manager

After nearly two turbulent years of virus surges, destination border closures (and reopenings) and erratic flight schedules, I feel like attempting to make a travel prediction/resolution for 2022 is, at best, an optimistic guess. But I will embrace that optimism in making this year’s resolution … I’ve been eyeing a return to Europe since my last trip in 2019, and the various travel restrictions of 2020/2021 have only heightened my desire. having spent the last two years social distancing, the prospect of an abundance of culture and museums and food sounds like the way to go. I think France is probably top of my list … a couple days wandering around Paris, followed by a trip to some smaller towns along the Atlantic Coast, sounds great. I would also add that I really long to travel with friends and family again. At least for me, those types of trips have been curtailed during the pandemic, so any chance to get to spend some quality travel time with them will be a priority. — Jeremy Kressmann, Head of Studio, SkiftX

Here we are one year later (and hopefully one year wiser!), and I still have my hand out a la “Oliver Twist” begging for a honeymoon just as I’d hoped for this story last year. Once again, I’m going to say this new year *will* be the year for that trip to Vietnam and Southeast Asia dashed by the pandemic. I can only watch so many travel documentaries and take so many cooking classes online to pacify our hunger to get to the other side of the world! Until those borders reopen, my travel goals are a little scattered: a road trip to Montreal and Quebec from here in Boston and hopefully explore some new countries this year in Europe and South America. — Cameron Sperance, Hospitality Reporter 

My wife and I both turn 40 in 2022, so we’ve literally spent years plotting a once-in-a-lifetime trip to commemorate the occasion. Looks like the Galapagos is the front-runner as of this writing, probably toward the end of the year … I welcome suggestions on the best way to explore the islands! Otherwise, I’m looking forward to the revival of in-person Skift events, not only to get out of my home office and into the real world again, but also because in our household, business trips mean “fly out the rest of the family after the work is done and go somewhere we wouldn’t have thought to go otherwise.” That modus operandi has brought us to the Black Forest in Germany, Big Sur, and on a coastal tour of Maine, to name just a few, and we’re excited to see where it might take us next, especially now that we’ll likely have our three-year-old in tow (crossing our fingers for him to be able to get an early ’22 vaccination).  — Dan Marcec, Research Editor, SkiftX

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Photo credit: A return in Prince Edward Island in 2022 is one of the travel goals of a Skift staffer dreaming a childhood retreat. Bold Frontiers / Visual Hunt

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