There is something to be said for packing your bags and leaving the place you’ve always known. And whether this is a temporary vacation or a permanent life decision, the feeling is the same—there’s a catch in your breath, an excitement that bubbles up under your skin. You feel weightless, light. You are, in a sense, becoming new.
I’ve experienced all of these feelings before, many times: the adrenaline as my mouse hovers over the ‘purchase’ button on the airline page, the flurry of excitement as I pack my bags, the nervous butterflies as I decide where to eat, and the place(s) I will temporarily call home.
Almost six years ago, I had all of these emotions around a cross-country move—my first, big step outside of a part-time adventure and into a long-term, life-defining change. Now, as the pandemic and unsettling feelings around travel still persist for so many of us, I’m caught in a place of both joy and hopelessness.
For so many of us, the ability to explore, to leave, to go, has been taken away from us. Jumping on a plane and jet-setting across the world feels, in some ways, like a distant memory. I don’t know about you, but I’ve often asked myself: Will this ever change?
What Does Travel Look Like In Our New World?
When the world went on lockdown, our perspectives shifted. I saw, in myself, a resistance to leave the unfamiliar. Perhaps it was fear, or maybe it was because everything was so different, I felt guarded. I felt safe where I was—content to just be.
But over time, I (like so many others) grew the ‘itch.’
See, there is something about exploring that keeps bringing you back. No matter how many places you wander, there are still sights to see. There are still journeys to be had.
I remember scrolling through social media pages at the end of lockdown, daydreaming about places I’d one day cross off my bucket list. It took time, but eventually, I felt hopeful again. Eventually, I looked at flights to see loved ones and made plans to be in-person for events that mattered. Eventually, I decided to take chances on new places, to be hopeful again.
That’s when I found PlaneAhead and realized that travel doesn’t have to be worrisome, stressful, or even hard. No matter how the world shifts or changes, two things are consistent: We will always have wanderlust, and there is a way to move from ‘plan’ to ‘plane.’
PlaneAhead: The Company Changing Travel (For Good)
PlaneAhead is a Black-owned, father-founded company with one mission: to make travel easy, accessible, and obtainable.
In an industry often overcomplicated with fees and restrictions, fluctuations in prices, and stress around decision-making, PlaneAhead’s goal is to streamline and lessen the stress around booking flights so that you can focus on what matters most: exploring and enjoying the experience.
I’ll be the first to admit that traveling isn’t always as beautiful as people on social media would like to say. Behind the perfectly-capture pictures and messages is often the hours spent scouring airline websites, cross-checking fees, and re-reading the fine print in order to ensure that your purchase is secure (pandemic or otherwise).
Planning a trip also includes budgeting—for tickets, for seats, for baggage pricing, and for accommodations. Sometimes it’s all so overwhelming (and expensive) that it doesn’t feel worth it.
But with PlaneAhead, the process is simple:
- I become a PlaneAhead member (only $99/year!)
- I book a flight with my airline of choice
- I send my flight itinerary to the PlaneAhead customer service team
- They track price changes and refund me if the price drops
- I sit back, snag the credits, take off, and start planning my next adventure
Yes, it’s really that simple.
The Future Of Flying: A Hassle-Free Experience
When I first browsed PlaneAhead’s website, I remember thinking, “This is too good to be true.” The low membership cost, the ability to send my itinerary and essentially forget about my travel stresses, the way I could outsource the hard part of booking flights… It was this ‘hands-off’ feel that intrigued me.
In my day to day, nothing ever feels ‘hands-off.’ As a small business owner, entrepreneur, and mama, there is always something or someone who needs me. There is always something to check up on, to revisit, to revise—so when it came to travel, it was always more of the same. I was always perusing (read: obsessing over) Google flights, always ‘tracking’ for lower costs, always looking up times of day when prices could potentially be cheaper and driving myself crazy up until the moment I hit ‘Book.’
With PlaneAhead, I was able to take a deep breath and trust that I was in good hands.
I booked the flight I wanted (time, duration, and location) and then I sent my itinerary. The team was able to track, refund credits when the price changed, and give me those credits—all without rebooking, canceling, or changing anything with my flight.
Booking flights is now easier than ever: I just do it.
And instead of stressing, I spend my time actually planning the fun things I’ll do, eat, and see with the people I love. And I take the money I earn and put it towards my next adventure.
Although the world still feels different, although travel has shifted over the past two years, and although some things feel strange, I am excited to take steps outside of my bubble again. I am excited to be around people and new places, and most importantly, I am excited to show my son what the world outside of ‘home’ looks like.
He is the future of travel—and with PlaneAhead, from plan to plane is possible.
Featured Image Credit: Westwind Air Service
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