Carry On: As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, we have some tips for booking holiday-season trips

It's the era of "revenge travel," where travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but fuel costs and ticket prices have not.


Other airlines are starting to crib from Air Zealand’s Economy Skycouch

It’s the era of “revenge travel,” where travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but fuel costs and ticket prices have not

Couch Potatoes

In the elusive comfort zone between suffering on a long flight in economy and splurging for business class, some airlines are finally innovating. Air New Zealand has long offered a family-friendly Economy Skycouch (and next year will introduce an economy-class sleep pod, Skynest), and other carriers are catching on. Request a Sleeper’s Row (subject to availability, but only $200–$300 per long-haul flight) at check-in or departure on Lufthansa, or a Sky Sofa on Vietnam Airlines or Brazil’s Azul Airlines. If you’re frequently winging to Kazakhstan on Air Astana, the Economy Sleeper has got your back.

Wait or Go?

As travel demand booms and airlines regain capacity, flight price fluctuations can be wild. Apps like Hopper offer price watches, algorithmically recommending whether to book or wait, and a small fee buys “insurance” for reimbursement if your purchased flight price drops. Google Flights is piloting something similar, and booking sites like Kayak are on board with track-prices alerts.

Friday and Saturday departures are typically more expensive, so explore departure and return dates. Consider breaking your flight into two legs, as a layover can help save big and travel-booking sites can do the legwork for you. Book four to six months ahead for peak-season travel—earlier doesn’t necessarily yield better deals.

Old Haunt, New Looks

And if you’re looking for a tasty corporate retreat instead of a vacation, you could do worse than Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn. Abbotsford’s Clayton Fontaine is the new executive chef, and Howard’s Wine Cellar, recently rock-blasted under the Inn, is the ultimate venue. A cedar slab table by local artist Claire Watson was the setting for a recent Glenrothes Scotch escape for Vancouver Club members. 

Jet Setter

Dr. Jean-Paul Lim co-founded (with Michael Forbes) B.C.’s Ageless Living vitality clinics, bringing everything from biohacking to hormone balancing to clients at Langley, Victoria and Kelowna locations. Among its clients are execs and entrepreneurs, “who often cross time zones, board planes, drink, dine out… and burn the midnight oil on their devices. They push their minds and bodies to the brink and expect them to keep on performing,” says Lim.

For frequent fliers, he suggests a pre-travel regime of biohacking technologies to help enhance mental focus and faster recovery from fatigue and stress, plus personalized IV vitamins to feed the body’s repair. Weight-management advice or sleep solutions are also options. A pre-travel wellness consultation is like “preparing your car for a road trip, making sure everything is ‘topped-up’ and ready to perform,” Lim says.

He uses a travel analogy to illustrate his clinics’ model: “We’ve become passengers rather than drivers in our pursuit of wellness,” he says, noting that much of medicine reacts to problems as they come up, as opposed to focusing on wellness to treat root causes before they occur. Being in optimal mind and body health puts road warriors back in the driver’s seat.