Now that a pale glimmer of light in the form of a vaccine is visible in this pandemic tunnel, I've been indulging in an old habit that's felt pointless since last spring: checking airfares to far-flung places around the world. I used to do it on a whim, out of boredom and out of hope that maybe I'd click "search" at precisely the right moment to find a mistakenly priced seat to Ecuador or Alaska or Morocco. I stand behind something like 144 million people in the jab line and current estimates put me at the front by midsummer, which that means a late-August trip might be on the table.
Prices are good right now, too, and the free cancellation policies that many airlines still have in place make booking a ticket feel less risky than going out to eat. Travel gear is also more affordable than usual — Backcountry's Adventure 30L Pack, for example, is 40-45 percent off (depending on color).
It's the type of bag that packs like a rollaboard but carries like a backpack and functions in cities and on trails, which is just the right mix for nimble one-bag travel, and that's precisely the type of trip I'm planning for next fall (an inn-to-inn trek through the Scottish highlands, perhaps). Pick one up and maybe a similar adventure will be in the cards for you.