This article was published on Travel Pulse.
The annual Travel & Adventure Show Series kicked off its first virtual event October 21, with travel celebrity Rick Steves talking about his insights, some travel tips and the future of European travel.
The talk, hosted by Jack Maxwell from the Booze Traveler series, featured a few videos from Steves’ earlier lectures on different subjects such as how to pack for Europe, where to sleep and eat and how to get the most out of your European vacation.
One of the best tips for when European travel reopens was to research the places you want to go before you arrive; find some places that aren’t on everybody else’s bucket lists, because those will be the ones without heavy crowds and where you can enjoy the travel experience without fear of COVID-19.
If you do go to the busy tourist destinations, plan ahead. Make reservations to visit, for instance, the Eiffel Tower, so you can skip those long lines. Many cities also offer multiple museum passes for one price. So, if you’re in Paris, you can visit the Louvre and the Catacombs for one price. This also means you won’t have to wait in lines to buy tickets, either.
Many of the questions Rick Steves received were unsurprisingly about COVID-19 and the future of European travel.
“I think the value of travel is going to be more important than ever, because going forward in the future, we’re going to realize that this is a small world, and it’s not going to be building walls that makes us happier and safer, it’s going to be about building bridges, and when we travel, we make bridges and that makes our world a better place,” Steves said.
“The pandemic can delay our travel plans, but it can’t derail our travel dreams,” he said, after receiving a question about when he imagines European travel to begin reopening, “…I think we need to be patient right now…there will be normalcy down the road. It’s going to come back incrementally; first we’ll travel locally.”
He says he’s been learning to cook and to look at his native state of Washington as a traveler would, with a sense of wonder and discovery that has helped him curb the urge to be impatient or upset at the state of the world.
Lastly, Rick Steves urged the virtual audience to be patient and to work together to make the world a better place: “We’re learning right now that the challenges that confront us in the future are gonna be blind to walls and impervious to conventional defense systems, and we’re gonna be relying on working together, embracing science, acknowledging that we got to tackle these things as a family of nations, and to realize that we are going to be able to travel in the future, but we just have to be a little patient right now, and a little community-minded…”