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How To Make Post-Pandemic Travel Plans
2021 is our year, baby!
Man, hasn’t this pandemic just been a big mood spoiler? From all the people falling sick, the deaths, the economic disaster, the lockdowns and social distancing measures – it’s all been pretty horrible.
And sometimes we need to just check ourselves and be thankful for our health.
But also sometimes we need to get mad because in addition to the aforementioned COVID horrors, this virus has also taken away travel. Beautiful, gorgeous, enriching travel, meaning that not only have our plans been ruined in 2020, but also many of us lost money on non-refundable bookings, meaning that we might be shy about making more plans for 2021.
That’s where your drop-dead-gorgeous pals at Stoke step in. We’ve identified your anxieties around booking, felt your pain as many people lost money on trips that couldn’t operate, tried to do our best to work around our terms and conditions as travel plans changed for so many people.
And we’ve made booking future trips as risk-free as possible, PLUS we’ve made dreaming about future escapades upon Europe’s cobbled stones more appealing by throwing down some of the spiciest early bird discounts in the business.
But this ain’t just another advertorial, it’s a practical piece of advice for all travellers all over the world who will hopefully eventually book with us. Shall we dive in?
Pandemic Problem 1: we don’t know when we can travel again
We’ve really got no idea, not even here in Stoke Towers with our fingers firmly up the pulse’s butthole. But we do know it’s not now, and we also mostly know that it won’t likely be tomorrow. What we are sure of, though, is that sooner or later we’ll be travelling again, and for that we need to be prepared.
We’re planning on going ahead with our Andorra ski weekends from January, but as they’re operating in winter they’re the least likely of our trips to happen. That said, if we were operating them right now we’d be allowed to, and the goal is that things get better in the world after this round of curfews, lockdowns and other antiviral measures.
So we’re confident that they’ll go ahead. And if they do, then everything else should happen as we inch back towards a sense of travel normality.
So while we don’t know when we’ll travel again, we have to be confident that we will sooner rather than later, and make plans accordingly, giving us something to look forward as we go through more lockdowns and suffer from the advanced effects of “galavanting around the world” withdrawals.
Pandemic Problem 2: heaps of us lost money on cancelled travel already
Yeah, this one sucks. So while we might be super confident about travel happening again, we’re not confident enough to throw down your hard-earned loot on some deposits, because who knows if you’ll just lose it all again.
It’s tough for travel companies, because we encourage you to make deposits and then use said deposits to pay our staff when we’re not running trips, and to pay for the things we need to run the trips. Hotels, sailing yachts, tents, cooking equipment, 100s of 1000s of litres of beer – all these things require us to book, and pay for, in advance.
But despite that, we can’t with good conscience ask you to put deposits down on trips in 2021. It’s just not clear if we’ll be running anything.
So we asked our booking system if you could do no deposit deposits. And the computer said no. So we asked the computer if we could do €1 bookings, and the computer said yes.
So for one measly euro you can book any 2021 trip, and if the trip is cancelled for any reason we will just transfer your €1 deposit to different dates, or a different destination entirely. ALSO we won’t be asking you to pay any more deposit until it’s 110% certain that the trip is both going ahead, and that you can make it. It is basically a risk-free booking proposition. You can’t go wrong. Plus, it is also applicable for our mega super special deals.
Pandemic Problem 3: there’s no reason to book anything now, because nothing is selling out
As we say in this biz, there’s no booking pressure. Our trips usually do book out, at least on the busiest weekends, and people are sometimes forced to book different dates or with inferior travel companies (all of them), but this year that isn’t the case. There is no fear of fear of missing out, FOFOMO, because you know that nobody’s booking, that we’re desperate and that you can just cruise and wait to see if things get better before you take a chance on your €1 deposit.
But that’s why we’ve put in place our most ambitious and generous early-bird booking system to date. We want to offer you some crazy deals, so that you might get to booking sooner rather than later. That way we can get a fair idea of how many people are interested in certain trips and dates, and we can plan accordingly.
So yeah, while we might not sell out in 2021 – at least not until right up to the trip dates – these prices do have expiries on them, both in terms of dates when the deals finish, and how many people we will allow to book at these prices.
With a measly €1 deposit you can reserve a €500 berth on any of our 2021 Croatia sail trips. Our Croatia Sail trips that ensure that you have the most fun, with the best people, plucking the greatest parts out of the coastline and archipelago, in a way that doesn’t just treat you like another number. We go out of our way to make every Croatia sail the best ever, with our bottomless brunches onboard, open and unlimited beer and sangria bar, our legendary Wet Wednesday feasts in a traditional restaurant, and our guides and crew that know how to perfectly balance out the good times and the nice things.
On each boat the first six bookings are €500. After that they go up until the last six bookings that are €750. Seven nights, all the stops, air conditioned boat, water included, and so on, and so forth. Basically everything you expect from a Croatia sail trip, and then we’ve added things that we really like, or that can be annoying (like the bar tab) and what we’ve come up with is by far the best deal, and we are easily the most fun. Go and book your next, or first, Croatia sail here.
The “Stoketoberfests” are easily our biggest and best events of the year, with the big gal in autumn attracting up to 8000 party animals to our campsite, where we get particularly down and overwhelmingly dirty as we celebrate drinking beer by the bucketload. Now these events do sell out, especially over the weekends, and many wannabe beer swillers find themselves enjoying the smaller crowds midweek. But again, this year is different and there’s uncertainty about whether the festivals will run – especially Springfest in April/May. That said, if anybody can pull off a festival it will be the Germans, and Springfest is mostly outdoors, so that follows in step with the COVID prevention advice coming from around the world.
So we’re quietly confident that Springfest will go ahead, and if it does then Oktoberfest is a certainty. We’re quietly confident, and also very hopeful, because we want to show our healthcare heroes a good time with free Springfest trips in 2021. For everybody else, we’re offering half price Oktoberfest and Springfest trips on our four-night packages.
Just go to checkout and use the promo code STOKETOBERFEST2021 and half price will be gifted to you like magic.
Pandemic Problem 4: sure, Stoke is making it easy for us, but what about the other pieces required to make a travel puzzle?
So yeah, your pals at Stoke are bending over backwards and sidewards and especially forwards while we try to get you travelling again in order to keep you happy. But what’s the good of a €1 reservation for Sail Croatia, or Surf Camp, or a half price Oktoberfest trip, if you can’t similarly lock in a flight with any kind of confidence?
Well we know that most if not all regional airlines in Europe are offering free date or name changes, so that’s all good if you’re over here (so you can lock in the mega super specials that these airlines like Ryanair and Vueling are sometimes able to do).
For the longer haul flights, there are some specials around, and most offer booking flexibility, but just double and triple check the terms and conditions before you fork out.
The way we see it, you could lock in some mega discounts with Stoke with only €1, and then sit on your long haul flights for a while – you can wait all the way up until a month in advance and still pay the same as you’d be paying now.
The short of it, unless they’re offering you some killer special, no need to lock in any flights until the world makes sense.
And right now Stoke is offering some killer deals.
You know what to do.
For all of our super flexible, uber generous COVID terms and conditions, dive over here and let’s start planning a 2021 that will make this year look like a distant, absolutely forgotten, memory.