For obvious reasons, the global tourism industry lost an estimated $1.3 trillion in 2020. But with vaccination rates on the rise, a growing number of Americans are feeling comfortable enough to once again board planes, trains, and automobiles. Now that we are finally (finally!) able to leave our homes with peace of mind, the question is… wait, how do we travel, again?

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Lelanie Foster

To answer this all-important question, we tapped women helming some of the top travel companies to share their summer getaway plans. Besides offering up clutch packing tips and redeye-survival hacks, they are giving us a major dose of wanderlust. Here, where they’re traveling, how they’re packing, and what they’re planning to do when they arrive at their destination.

Ruzwana Bashir, the founder and CEO of, is going to England, then Italy.

ruzwana bashir, the founder and ceo of peekcom

Ruzwana Bashir spent 20-plus hours trying to book activities for a birthday trip with friends to Istanbul before realizing there had to be a better way—and if there wasn’t, she would create one herself. So, 10 years ago, the avid traveler launched, an online platform for booking travel experiences, like food tours and hot air balloon rides, in any given destination. The goal is to make travel planning easier so that vacationers can get out and experience the robust culture of a new place. “I grew up in the UK as the child of Pakistani immigrants, so that dual heritage meant I was always fascinated with other cultures,” she says. This August, the New York City–based founder is headed back to London (where she used to live) before jetting off to Italy: Modena and Florence, to be precise.

Why England and Italy?

It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen my friends and family in the UK, so London is definitely my first stop. Italy is only a short hop away, and it’s always magical; last time I was there I was filming for a TV show with chef Massimo Bottura in Modena, which meant I was eating his delicious dishes the whole time. I can’t wait to go back and get my fill again!

tate museum

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modena, cityscape from a unique point of view, a public raised terrace above the city emilia romagna, italy cloudscape and colorful piazza roma, with ghirlandina tower in background

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Where she’s staying:

With friends in London and at Casa Maria Luigia in Modena.

What’s on her itinerary:

There are a few must-dos in London! A picnic with friends in Regent’s Park. I head to nearby Marylebone High street to pick up supplies (La Fromagerie is the best cheese shop) first, and the park has a beautiful rose garden that you can’t miss. I’m a history buff so I always squeeze in a trip to the British Museum if I can, and love the Royal Academy of Arts or the Tate for a dose of culture. Then, it’s afternoon tea at the Wolseley to feed my passion for scones. The UK also has incredible Indian and Pakistani food, so dinners at Darjeeling Express or Salloos can’t be missed. In

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330neo or A330-900 aircraft with neo engine option of the European plane manufacturer, as seen on final approach for landing at Amsterdam Schiphol AMS EHAM International airport after a transatlantic long haul flight.

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Hoping to take a European vacation this summer? You may be out of luck.

Borders in much of Europe have been closed to most U.S. citizens and vice versa for more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Airline executives on Thursday said they didn’t expect them to open in time for the peak summer season.

Travel industry leaders have pressed the Biden administration for a plan to reopen borders, including standards for health documentation such as proof of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said on a quarterly call that the company is focused on lifting restrictions that have hindered travel between the U.S. and U.K. but that other popular tourist destinations may take longer.

The White House didn’t immediately comment.

Britain this week eased its lockdown restrictions, allowing pubs, hairdressers and retail shops to reopen. France and Italy, on the other hand, reinstated temporary lockdowns last month to curb new Covid-19 infections, and vaccine distribution has been slow throughout Europe.

“When you think about other parts of Europe, there may be some occasional markets open this summer based on southern Mediterranean leisure traffic that people will be interested in,” Bastian said on the call. “But I don’t think you’re going to see continental Europe opened in any meaningful way till later in the year. We’ll probably unfortunately miss much of the summer for most of continental Europe.”

Delta and rivals such as American Airlines and United Airlines have said domestic travel has rebounded sharply from the depths of the pandemic, but international travel, still facing a web of entry restrictions and a lag in vaccinations, remains weak.

Delta on Thursday said its domestic passenger revenue dropped 66% to $2.3 billion in the first quarter compared with the same period of 2019, but trans-Atlantic revenue was 87% less at $142 million while trans-Pacific was off 89% at $62 million.

Naples, Italy, vs. Naples, Florida

U.S. carriers have refocused their once-sprawling global networks toward domestic destinations, particularly those that offer outdoor attractions such as beaches and mountains. Airlines have added service to tourist hotspots in Florida, Wyoming and Montana. They have also seen upticks in demand to beach destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.

American Airlines on Wednesday, for example, announced it would bring its summer domestic schedule to nearly the same levels as it operated in 2019.

Brian Znotins, American Airlines’ vice president of network planning, told CNBC that demand for European summer vacations will be tough to generate even if borders open up in the coming season.

“Usually a European vacation is planned months in advance,” he said. “So people today if they’re looking to take a trip this summer, which a lot of people are, they don’t feel