We want to convince you to take a break from “stay home” imposed closet reorganizing and binge video to dream a Costa Rica vacation.
- Jobs (from home for now of course) for hard working people
- Escape for you for a few distracted minutes of planning
- Something to look forward to
- …and a lifeline for small family businesses
And of course there’s the biggest payoff of all… fast forward to December when you escape the the blizzards to sink your toes in the hot sand while macaws battle for beach almonds overhead and children plunge into the waves on boogie boards. Plan it forward!
The travel industry has been devastated. Especially small family businesses built up over lifetimes but no one is asking for a handout.
People are surviving but really need work, or even just to know that there will be jobs to come back to.
For now, the Costa Rican government is paying furloughed employees ¢125,000 ($217) a month for three months but that doesn’t come close to covering rent, food and other expenses for a family.
Friends of ours who own hotels are borrowing to make repairs and upgrades just to be doing something. Most lodges, restaurants, tour companies and transportation providers laid off staff and mothballed equipment.
Even though sales of our Waterproof Travel Map dropped to zero and travel planning requests are down 95% our business is bankrolling tens of thousands of dollars of local paychecks until things get going again.
Travel planning companies are going into debt to keep as many staff as possible and they’re eager to move on from refund processing to customizing the perfect trip for you. We, and everyone in the business love to share the possibilities of this amazing little country so e-mail or call and take a break from the toxicity of the news cycle.
A deposit on a typical vacation is like a lifeline, amplified through business relationships to guarantee reservations with 2-3 hotels or lodges, 3-5 tour operators and 1-3 transfer companies or rental car agencies. Hope for jobs to come back to.
Around the world trillions of tax dollars are pumping into recovery programs to prime consumer spending and jump start businesses put on pause by the crisis but all it will take to jump start Costa Rica tourism is for you to express interest.
In addition to rescuing family businesses and thousands of local jobs there are big upsides for you, the traveler, to planning early for travel in the 2020/2021 high season.
It’s no surprise that some lodges and boutique hotels that normally require reservations years in advance have availability for this Christmas.
Travel planners are also holding millions in pre-paid inventory as a result of accommodations providing credits instead of refunds. Somewhere in those thousands of rooms is the perfect stay for you.
As airlines announce flight schedules for the latter part of 2020 they’ll offer extremely low fares. The bargains are supported by your tax dollars as economic bailouts so you might as well take advantage. Carriers are realistic about changeability so they have modified their re-scheduling policies to eliminate costs and fees and millions have credits from cancelled flights.
We used to recommend people purchase airfare first or at least early in the planning process, but that’s less critical now because huge numbers of seats are available. Also most providers in Costa Rica have increased flexibility to adjust reservations later if necessary.
Secure & Flexible
While trip insurance is necessary to cover unforeseen last minute emergencies or changes, starting to plan early leaves lots of time to adjust prior to most lodging, agency, and now some airlines, 60 or 90 day cancellation penalty windows.
There’s a lot of financial stress and will probably be some crazy prices offered as some places get desperate. If you go bargain hunting make sure your reservation is scheduled before the “going out of business” part of the “going out of business sale.”
Most of the better hotels and lodges and higher quality tour operators are facing the reality of actually raising prices to succeed. There are huge losses on the books with cancellations filling the hole where the 2020 high season and Easter peak week were supposed to be.
Price inflation is inevitable as all of the world’s businesses try to recoup losses while dealing with high unemployment and global recession. Mentioning that sort of economic gloom is probably not the best way to convince you to take a vacation but it does mean that you can save money by locking in reservations at today’s prices.
Small local agencies have always excelled at customer service – flexible, committed, dedicated and helpful – and right now you’ll have their undivided attention. Whether it’s July or September or maybe not even until the end of November, travel to Costa Rica will be back and when it is there will be a lot of pent up demand so get it while the gettin’ is good.
Most travel planners work on a “no cost” basis charging the same amount as direct from the hotel or “TravelPedia” mega sites and getting paid by the same margin between wholesale and retail pricing. For the same money they have the added benefits of customer service, comprehensive planning integration, support while you travel, and guaranteed allotments of the best rooms at the best prices with their partners.
Pay it Forward >> Plan it Forward >> Planet Forward
The financial incentives provided by ecotourism are the bottom line in protecting nature. It’s a reality of today’s world that the only way the natural environment survives is if it’s profitable and the rain forests, mangrove swamps, cloud forests and paramo of Costa Rica are under constant pressure.
Only a few short months ago a plan to drain hundreds of acres of the Terraba-Sierpe wetlands to plant pineapples was derailed by public protest organized by communities that rely on ecotourism for their livelihoods. There are hundreds of other examples.
Wildlife is vulnerable and desperate people do whatever they have to put food on the table. For the incredible strides Costa Rica has achieved in reforestation and protecting the environment to continue people need jobs, national parks need visitors, and wildlife rescues need donations. Poaching is already reportedly increasing and if sustainable harvest and ecotourism fail then forestry and pastures will replace them as an economic necessity.
We encourage you to work with small local businesses rather than megalithic “TripPedia” corporations because it will have much more direct impact. We’re also frankly angry with the companies that spent years skimming billions while squeezing small providers and gig workers then turned around and threw our friends and neighbors under the bus when the crisis hit…but don’t get us started on that.
Give personal service a try. It doesn’t cost you anything.
#payitforward #planitforward #planetforward #fastforward