Travel in 2021: All The Worst Reasons to Travel During a Pandemic

All The Worst Excuses We’ve Heard from People Who Travel Even While There’s Still A Pandemic

We’re talking about non-essential travel, of course.

The year is 2021 and unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much present, despite borders gradually reopening and vaccines being rolled out in certain parts of the globe. This then begs the question: when will it be perfectly fine and safe to travel in 2021? Clearly, the answer is constantly changing, depending on a country’s travel regulations as well as the updates from medical experts (read: reliable sources). 

But what we can tell for sure is that there’s hardly ever a reasonable excuse for leisure travel while there’s still a pandemic going on. Granted, this sometimes varies per person and situation, but there are also things that are simply not up for debate. That being said, we’ve decided to list down all the worst reasons for travelling that we’ve heard so far. 

Fair warning: Probably best not to read this when you’re in a terrible mood. Chances are, some of these things will just annoy you even more. 

Top 10 worst reasons to travel in 2021

1. “I’m bored and I have nothing better to do.”

We get it, we’re all pretty much bored and restless after having very little to no travel options for almost a year now. Unfortunately, it is what it is. Back in pre-pandemic times, this is often deemed as normal, or even encouraged if you’re all about that free-spirited wanderer way of life. However, since we live in highly unusual times, such reasons to travel in 2021 just won’t cut it. 

2. “I just want to experience travelling during a pandemic.”

travel in 2021

Image credit: Anna Shvets

Quick story time: A few weeks ago, I saw a Facebook post of an acquaintance with the hashtags, #PandemicTravel and #WhatCOVID. As if that was supposed to be cute and witty. I wish I was kidding or simply exaggerating, but alas, I am not. 

Don’t get us wrong, we totally get that some travellers are quite curious about what it’s like. But on the other hand, would it kill you to just not (especially if you’re not travelling for work)? As a kid, we’re told to not do certain things like plug a device into a socket with wet hands or run around while holding scissors. Sure, you were probably wondering what’s the worst that could happen if you did such things. But did you actually do it? Well… we certainly hope not. 

3. “This might be the last time I’d get the opportunity to travel.”

Image credit: Mantas Hesthaven

Yes, it might often feel like the world is going to end soon, so why not just ‘live it up,’ right? Well, we have news for you: the YOLO mindset is so 2012, you guys. Snarkiness aside, it’s definitely not an excuse to throw caution to the wind. At the end of the day, it’s not worth exposing yourself to COVID-19 just for temporary satisfaction.

Also read: 7 Real-Life Violations of Travellers in Foreign Countries

4. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Travelling just to prove a point is another one of the worst reasons to travel in 2021. This can range from making a not-so-subtle flex (more on that later), to tempting fate and seeing if you’ll actually catch the virus. In fact, there are actually people who go as far as saying that COVID-19 doesn’t actually exist! This then leads to them travelling in an attempt to prove that they can’t possibly get infected. And on that note…

5. “The coronavirus disease is a sham!”

Image credit: sefa ozel via Canva Pro

Yes, again, there really are actual living human beings who don’t believe in the existence of COVID-19. And yes, it’s clearly a statement that is worthy of a thousand facepalms and eye rolls. We’ve heard multiple stories these past few months, all of which lead to us thinking, “What the hell?” 

In a nutshell, these non-believers have a conspiracy theory that everything about the pandemic is staged to leech money off of us. These people actually think that we’re still living in the same old world (i.e., the ‘old normal’). Never mind the actual deaths and other statistics broadcasted from different parts of the globe. This takes the saying “Ignorance is bliss” a little too far, don’t you think?

6. “Everything is going back to normal anyway.”

While not as astoundingly misinformed as the previous argument, this one is  still potentially dangerous. Travellers with such a notion live under a delusion that things are now going back to the way they were, and they want other people to think the same, too! We hate to break it to you — but it’s going to take some more time, depending on how efficient your country’s healthcare system is. Let’s be realistic here, folks. And not to be superstitious about jinxing stuff, but maybe don’t preempt things and actually stay tuned to the news?

7. “I’ll travel because I can.”

travel in 2021

Image credit: Anna Shvets

Going back to what we said in #4, there are people who go on adventures just to show off. After all, it takes a certain financial capability to travel in 2021. Whether it’s the current economic state (i.e., some jobs are more stable than others) or simply the cost of requirements (such as swab tests), travelling is obviously not as accessible as it was before. 

That said, some people believe that being able to travel in these times is a worthy flex. Some even go the extra mile by travelling just to party like it’s 2019. Basically, they seem to think that travelling for show counts as a personality trait. News flash, folks: This is not what Shakespeare meant when he said “All the world’s a stage.”

Also read: 8 Budget Travel Ideas for Visiting the Most Expensive Cities in the World

8. “I really need new content for my social media posts!”

travel in 2021

Image credit: Zakaria Boumliha

We get it, your social media profile has probably either gotten boring or too dependent on #lateposts for the past 11 or so months. After all, how is one supposed to get cute content by just staying at home, especially when you don’t have the same #aesthetic space as your fave celeb? Well, as much as we’re all for supporting those who travel for the ‘Gram, this is clearly not the time and place for it! 

And if we may suggest — why not get creative and take photos around safer places like your neighbourhood or hometown? You know, if you really must post an OOTD with your cool new face mask. Or if you really must shoot a TikTok video with a background worthy of a thousand views…

9. “Once I get vaccinated, I can go wherever I want.”

Let’s say you’re one of the lucky ones who have already gotten the vaccine. Great for you, dude. But if you think this gives you a free pass to travel to whatever foreign country — never mind if most of its residents haven’t been vaccinated yet — then you’re just being the worst kind of insensitive. In case you haven’t heard: just because the vaccine makes you immune to the COVID-19 virus, doesn’t mean you can’t possibly be a carrier anymore. 

10. “I have every right to travel!”

Some people seem to think that because they’ve done their part by staying at home for the past 11 or so months, it gives them all the right to travel in 2021. For them, going on trips now is their reward for being such law-abiding citizens. As if the rest of the world didn’t do the exact same thing. Or as if their travel hiatus equates to brownie points for doing something that literally any decent human being is expected to do during a pandemic. 

Kind of similar to *certain people* from a *certain country* who genuinely believe that wearing face masks is a threat to their freedom, don’t you think?

Also read: 13 Worst Travel Habits You Could Have With An Ongoing Pandemic

(Dis)Honourable Mentions

While not as all-encompassing as the aforementioned terrible reasons to travel in 2021, we can’t believe that these things actually happened (or are happening)! 

11. “I’m just doing what I can to support local tourism.”

travel in 2021

Image credit: Teerapon1979 via Canva Pro

Granted, there’s not really a surefire way to tell if someone is genuinely supporting their country’s tourism industry, or simply using it for selfish personal reasons. Hence, we didn’t bother placing this one in the top 10 — but hey, it’s still worth mentioning, yes? Some people are so self-serving as to weaponise tourism to appease their travel appetite!

12. “BRB, just gonna travel abroad to adopt a rhinoceros.”

Yep, we’re not kidding. Google “Filipino celebrity adopts a baby rhino” and you’ll find out exactly what we mean. Go ahead and judge this stunt that can put even the most absurd Crazy Rich Asians character to shame. 

13. “I’m going on a trip to find true love.”

Image credit: Gustavio Fring

It sounds absolutely ridiculous, we know. But we’ve actually heard stories of people who went on a date with someone from a different state/province, which therefore counts as travelling, too. Regardless of how wide your location range goes on Tinder or Bumble (or whatever dating app) — is it really worth it? 

Dying alone and single is one thing, but (potentially) dying from the COVID-19 virus that you caught during a ‘romantic expedition’ is just plain stupidity. We said what we said. 

Disclaimer: Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily include people who travelled to reunite with a long-distance loved one. 

Also read: 8 Things to Tell Yourself When You’re Feeling Travel Envy During This Pandemic

Are there other absolutely terrible reasons to travel in 2021 that we forgot to include here? Or do you have other, er, interesting personal stories and observations that you’d like to share? Go ahead and tell us all about it in the comments of our Facebook page

Or you know, shoot us an email if you’d like to keep it confidential, which is totally understandable (unlike some people). 

Featured image credit: Anna Shvets

About Author


TripZilla inspires travel with guides, tips and stories by our community of travellers in and around Southeast Asia.


Related Posts