It was another turbulent year for the global travel and tourism industry. In the face of all the ups and downs, about turns, chaos and confusion, it was up to travel writers to keep the dream alive. And boy did they deliver in spades.
While 2020 was all about armchair travel, 2021 was about getting out and exploring the world again – with joy, confidence, optimism and hope.
Here are just 10 of our favourite travel articles from the year that was:
1. Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2021 (With A Twist)
The team at Lonely Planet got the year off to a promising start with their annual best in travel feature – with a twist. Instead of focussing on bucket-list destinations, they shone a spotlight on sustainability, community and diversity and the final result was “one the most diverse and interesting lists Lonely Planet has ever made, perfect for some serious pondering over to pick the perfect place to visit once the skies, roads and rivers are clear to traverse once more.”
2. Rediscovering the Joys of Travel on the Big Island of Hawaii
In August, Bonnie Tsui travelled to Hawaii for a family wedding. From watching her 8-year-old son snorkel for the first time, to unexpectedly bumping into friends from the ‘real world’ and making a ton of new memories, this trip reminded her about the joy, lessons and power of travel, and the need to “marvel at the world, not mess it up.”
3. 48 Reasons to Feel Optimistic
Trust the team at Outside to deliver a pick-me-up of epic proportions – just when we needed it the most. Staring down an inevitable third wave in May/June, Outside Online gave us 48 reasons to feel optimistic. Read it, today.
4. This couple travelled the world for under $50/day … and this is how they did it
Van life was a big topic of conversation in 2021, and here Geena Truman, writing for the Matador Network, takes a closer look at the life of a nomad and how you can explore the world as a full-time traveller for “about the same cost as renting a one-bedroom apartment in the United States”.
5. I was done. Burnt out. Then I moved into a motorhome and found freedom
In a similar vein, the Guardian looks at a life of adventure on the road. Except this time it’s 62-year-old Siobhan Daniels who has jacked it all in for a comfortable motorhome (complete with a gin bar). She sums up the experience by saying, “Everywhere now is both an arrival and a departure. “I lie here and look at the map and think: ‘Where am I? Where do I want to go?’ It’s as random as that.” And you’d quite like to do the same.
6. It’s big, it’s beautiful – and it’s back!
Much of 2021 was spent lobbying for South Africa’s removal from the UK’s red list, so we were thrilled when The Telegraph’s destination expert, Pippa de Bruyn, splashed South Africa across a double page spread in the Sunday Telegraph at the end of October.
7. A road trip through South Africa’s Western Cape
Then Oliver Smith got in the action and made sure South Africa took centre stage in the UK’s Sunday Times. It’s a wander through the Western Cape – and although it’s behind a paywall it’s one of the best pieces of travel writing from what was a tough year.
8. Space Travel of a Different Kind
Our very own Dorine Reinstein, writing for Travel Weekly, took a look at space travel of an altogether different kind –specifically the wide open spaces that only an African Safari can deliver.
9. All your 2022 travel questions answered, from vaccinations to testing to flight cancellations
As a specialist communications agency within the travel and tourism space, we spend A LOT of time on the latest COVID rules and regulations, never mind the endless changes to travel restrictions. In November, Maren Engh delivered a masterclass in travel FAQs for the Matador Network.
10. Rick Steves Says Hold On to Your Travel Dreams
We’ll let American guidebook guru, travel writer, author and television personality, Rick Steves have the last word. Here he talks to The New Yorker about the wonders of Europe, travelling alone, “cultural chameleonism” – and how he’s looking forward to “more peaceful, more thoughtful travels” in the months ahead. Settle in and enjoy.