ETW #65 New Normal: What It’s Like To Travel Today

As quarantine restrictions lift, people are starting to travel again but very differently from just a few months ago. This week we’re talking all about what the new normal looks like in travel and what you should know before planning that first trip.

You can listen to the podcast here on this page or on any of these services: iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher.

After spending nearly three months under stay at home orders, many people – myself included – have started to venture out once again, but very cautiously. Since so many people are curious about what it’s really like to travel in this new world of ours, this week we’re chatting with several people who provide different points of view about travel not just here in the US, but in other parts of the world as well. What’s key to remember though that no matter where you decide to go, health and safety should always be the number one concern.

This podcast was inspired by my own first trip after lockdown, which I describe in greater detail in this post. I was very cautious when planning the short getaway and even with the necessary health precautions I still managed to have an incredible and responsible time away from home.

This Week’s Guests

Annie Fitzsimmons

Annie Fitzsimmons is a travel expert and editor and has worked in the travel industry for 15 years, traveling to six continents and reporting on destinations, people, lifestyle, culture, hotels, restaurants, and more. She currently works at AFAR as Luxury Travel + Advisor Editor working on many initiatives including a column on with first-person and reported stories, a weekly personal newsletter that receives very high engagement, and hosting weekly AFAR Live sessions with hundreds of attendees.

Prior to that, she held many roles at National Geographic Travel over nine years, including Editor at Large, Luxury Editor, Urban Insider, and Founding Member of National Geographic’s Editorial Council. At NatGeo, she served as spokesperson for two international best-selling coffee table books, created and starred in multiple TV, print, and digital campaigns for the brand, and worked on many projects for National Geographic Expeditions, the tour operator. She also was an editor at Virtuoso for three years. 

Annie has been a speaker and panelist on travel trends, media, and content at countless events around the world. After a decade living in New York City, Annie recently relocated to London, England with her family.

Brandon Owen

A native of North Carolina, Brandon Owen is a sucker for spontaneous flight and hotel deals and has used those to make exploring the world an important part of his life, while also owning a small business. Through well-timed trips that take advantage of some incredible bargains, Brandon has been everywhere from the Florida Keys to the heart of Shanghai. To see all of his adventures be sure to follow him on Instagram.

Chris Baran

In March 2020, Chris Baran joined Nemacolin Woodlands Resort as Director of Sales and Marketing. With significant experience working across various property departments, including sales, marketing, executive teams and finance, Chris strategically works to align all aspects of the business through strategy, planning, and measuring while also engaging with owners, top-level management and employees. Chris has an extensive background in hospitality, with key management experience at Hilton, Starwood, Marriott and Loews properties, as well as independent entities. He brings with him a track record of success in steadily increasing hotel profits, inspiring team leaders and managers and elevating levels of customer service within the hospitality industry.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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