Making up for lost time: TPG UK readers share their travel goals for 2021

Jan 10, 2021

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For the vast majority of us, 2020 was the year that travel forgot.

While some of us were lucky enough to get some travel in when it was deemed safe and legal, many peoples’ sights are firmly focussed on 2021. But with the turn of the shiny new year, it’s clear the pandemic isn’t over.

But things will get better. The end is in sight and travel will return, though perhaps in a way that’s a bit different.

So, when it does, we wanted to find out what trips, redemptions and bucket list travel plans our Facebook Lounge members have planned for 2021 and onwards.

Plans include everything from visiting family to flying in first or business for the first time to taking advantage of miles and points redemptions and more.

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First and business class aspirations

If you’re in the points and miles hobby, the likelihood is that your aim is to earn enough miles and points to fly in business or even first class.

“I’ve used some of the BA voucher I got from cancelling [a previous trip due to COVID-19] to pay for a first class flight to Chicago in September.” — Anthony M.

“I’m flying in First for the first time with BA from Heathrow to San Francisco.” — Helen A.

“I’ve already booked — Dubai business class return first week in February (hopefully) and then Vegas Upper Class return last week in May!” — Russell H.

Virgin’s new Upper Suite (Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

For help when choosing which airline to make that redemption, check out our guides on the best and worst business-class cabins in the sky.

Avios and Virgin point redemptions

Speaking of redemptions, many of our TPG U.K. Lounge members are looking to do exactly that, thanks to a year of earning rather than burning.

“I’ve booked an amazing holiday to Namibia and then am taking the Blue Train from Pretoria to Cape Town. The return flight is our first time flying business class with BA. I’m waiting for a reward flight to come up for our outbound flight so we can upgrade from economy to premium economy. All the flights were booked with Avios.” — Linda C.

“I plan on using my Virgin Points to go first class to Tokyo in May with All Nippon Airways — fingers crossed I’m allowed to fly!” — Antony J.

Related: The ultimate guide to ANA first class

Elite status goals

For Tim C., he’s got his sights set on “going for gold in BAEC,” or British Airways’ Executive Club.

Related: What does British Airways elite status get you, and how do you earn it?

To earn status within BAEC, you must reach a certain threshold with a number of flights and/or earn a certain number of Tier Points, which are earned from flying. The greater the distance of your flight and the higher the fare class, the more Tier Points you’ll earn. For Tim, he’ll have to earn 1,125 rather than 1,500 Tier Points thanks to the pandemic-induced reduction in the number of Tier Points needed.

For example, there are 29 destinations in Europe and North Africa that earn 160 Tier Points for a return trip in Club Europe. Tim plans to make the most of this with flights already booked in Club to Athens, Istanbul and Sofia. For a further Tier Point top-up, he has a first-class return to the U.S., which will certainly get him close to his goal of Gold.

TPG’s Daniel Ross about to enjoy the Champagne served in BA’s Concorde Lounge which is exclusively for those flying in BA First or passengers with Gold Guest List status. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

It’s not just BA status that is valuable to us in the U.K., as Deaglan M. confirms:

“In all honesty I am just hoping to do enough travel to maintain my status with Qatar.” — Deaglan M.

Related: Complete guide to airline elite status during the coronavirus outbreak

Visiting far-away family

In 2020 we spent more time apart from loved ones than we’d have liked.

“We’re hoping to visit our daughter in Australia next October and to use the money my husband has saved from not commuting to fly business class”. — Julia F.


Cruising also took a serious hit in 2020. James D.P. has high hopes to traverse the high seas on board a shiny new Virgin Voyages ship.

“I’ll be flying BA first to Miami followed by a 14-day Virgin Voyages transatlantic cruise back to Barcelona in the Mega RockStar suite.” — James D.P.

(Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages)

Companion voucher

Meanwhile, Nick W. has planned and booked a trip using arguably the most valuable perk of the BA Executive Club: the Companion Voucher. Fingers crossed this will be able to go ahead!

“I used my BA Companion Voucher for flights in first class from Heathrow to Chicago and Los Angeles back to London. I’ll be driving Route 66 in between.” — Nick W.

Making up for lost time

For others, like Caroline C., the desire is simply to make up for lost time and get back to travelling.

“In 2021 I want to make the most of travel once it hopefully opens up and make up for not being to travel beyond February in 2020. I’ve missed beyond words what I can describe — I never realised what a huge part travel plays in my happiness and mental health.” — Caroline C. 

Featured image by Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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