Travel Tuesday: Are travel bonds the way to curb wanderlust?

Male, Maldives. (Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)
Male, Maldives. (Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images) /

Even in the current climate, wanderlust can make the confines of self-distancing difficult. Could purchasing travel bonds help to curb that desire to travel?

Scrolling through Instagram pictures or watching enticing travel videos could give anyone wanderlust. For some people, travel bonds are the way to think about that next fabulous destination even without a specific date on the calendar. Could this travel purchase be right for you?

With shelter-in-place advisories in effect, many travelers have been left to adventure around the house. Although that wine tour might be shorter or the spa day might be in the guest bathroom, some people are trying to find ways to satisfy that wanderlust.

From the point-of-view videos to live streams from resorts around the world, those visuals are both good and bad. Granted, it gives people a break from the constant news cycle, but they are a reminder of what isn’t available right now. What if you could book that epic vacation, even without a specific travel date? Would you do it?

Some hotels are starting to offer travel bonds. These “bonds” are purchases for future stays. Basically, a guests pays a fee now, and in several months, that bond is worth more money. Unlike buying that restaurant gift card, this initial investment pays off bigger in the future. Just like a real bond in the market.

Recently, LondonHouse Chicago offered this deal. Guests could buy a $100 bond and in 60 days the bond would be worth $150. That bond can be used for stays in the hotel or food and beverage. Basically, it is a win-win for both the guest and the hotel.

As everyone waits for the “reopening of the economy,” life is uncertain. Of course, a person can book a trip on a specific date, but what if that trip becomes unavailable due to restrictions. Do you really want to waste that money?

With a travel bond, the guests understand that the value is there for them to use in the future. Granted, it has to be used in the future, but no one is traveling right now. If a person has the money, it could be a good investment. As long as the location will be open in the future, the return on the investment makes sense.

There are various websites that offer these types of travel incentives. The idea is to give hotels the capital that they need in the interim and give travelers the benefit of fulfilling their wanderlust when it is safe to travel. Why not spend the day dreaming of that future trip to Lake Como or to Costa Rica? It’s better than watching another season of Nailed It on Netflix.

The current climate has been hard on service industries. From hotels to restaurants, the impact is more than just empty rooms and empty tables. The lack of guests has caused furloughs and unemployment. If the idea of a travel bond can help to keep a hotel functioning and ready to open its doors when the crisis ends, that idea should be a win for everyone.

Of course, if you do not have the funds to buy one of these travel bonds, just daydream about the trip. After all, that stimulus check was not intended to be used for a girls weekend in Las Vegas.

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What do you think of the idea of travel bonds? Could this concept help to cure wanderlust during the current climate?