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‘Trip Stacking’: What To Know About This Pandemic Travel Trend

'Trip Stacking': What To Know About This Pandemic Travel Trend

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the travel industry in countless ways.

As people started emerging from lockdown, there was skyrocketing interest in RV travel and road trips to allow for distance from others. National parks began to report record numbers of visitors, and vacation rentals were in high demand. Then came talk of “revenge travel,” with the rollout of vaccines and renewed optimism about exploring the world again.

Now, with viral variants and outbreaks around the world continuing to shape people’s travel plans, another practice has taken hold: trip stacking.

What is trip stacking?

“Trip stacking is a term coined for designing a solid travel backup plan,” travel blogger Rocky Trifari told HuffPost. “This practice grew in popularity amid the pandemic because of the ever-changing travel restrictions surrounding global travel. Even the U.S. Department of State recommends coming up with a backup plan.”

Basically, trip stacking refers to the strategy of booking all your reservations ― from flights to accommodations to restaurants to activities ― for multiple vacations during the same time frame. That way, you have backup options if something disrupts your primary travel plans.

“By booking two or more trips, it becomes much easier to avoid finding yourself stuck when sudden travel restrictions require a last-minute change of plans,” Trifari noted.

Why is it popular now?

While extra-prepared travelers might have engaged in this practice prior to 2020, the volatility of life in a pandemic, and increased flexibility among travel vendors, have made trip-stacking quite appealing.

“The pandemic forced the travel industry to be more flexible with bookings,” said Jessica van Dop DeJesus, founder and editor at The Dining Traveler. “For example, many airlines no longer offer change fees and hotels offer free cancellation until your last minute. Given that restrictions can change overnight, it’s good to have a backup plan, especially if your vacation days are not flexible.”

Vacation time is precious, especially in times like these when so many workers are feeling burned out. With COVID creating a high risk of travel plan disruption, people don’t want to have to waste the time off they set aside for a special trip.

“Rather than place all their annual-leave eggs in one basket, travelers are hedging their bets by planning multiple trips at once,” said Katie McIntosh, a travel blogger and creator of The Katie Show. “To me, it…

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