The Touch-Starved Single's Guide To Post-Pandemic Travel

We’ve spent more than a year trapped inside of our homes, traveling from the couch to the fridge to the bed and back again, which, of course, does nothing for our Instagram page or the pages in our passports. While many of us are eager to get vaccinations and prep for vacations to new destinations, some of us are nostalgic for places we’ve been before—fun, familiar, inviting hotspots that we’ve yearned for simply because we couldn’t indulge ourselves the way we did in the Before Times. Places replete with possibility! Places that put the ‘lust’ in wanderlust! Places that allow for kissing a brutal, touch-starved year goodbye!

As the inoculated population continues to multiply, and the world (businesses, hearts, legs) begin to 100% open up, here are the must-see destinations and #TravelGoals for 2021 for those who are ready to… get around! 

1st, 2nd & 3rd Base

While metaphorical bases aren’t physical destinations you can find in a travel guide, they are certainly physical. A hot, geographically convenient partner is the only thing you need to bring, but if you’re feeling a little out of practice after not exploring this classic trio of bases for quite some time, putting your experience back on the map is as easy as 1-2-3. After hitting it off, you’ll know when it’s time to head to 1st—the signs are easy to make out. Second is always within reach; just make sure you’re feeling up for it. If something more adventurous feels right, venture south to 3rd! 

Best time to visit: When your emotional and physical borders are open. 

Expert travel tip: Make sure your travel partner is always on board before exploring any iconic landmarks. If your itinerary and vibe allows, make it a home run!

The Back Booth of a Dark Bar

After months of maybe the occasional socially distant date at an outdoor-indoor restaurant in 39-degree weather, forced to see your matches in the harsh light of day or lit next to the 1.5 available heat lamps, it’s time to safely venture inside to the back, back, back booth—but only with someone who has proved worthy of this exclusive, to-dive-for retreat. You’ll banter for hours, order round after round, and scoot closer, and closer, and closer, and closer, until you can finally see each other’s faces in the glow of your iPhone screen (which is blowing up with “omg how is it” texts from the group chat). This coveted locale (ideally with good ventilation) is also known for making you forget time exists, which might be a little bit of a throwback from 2020, but in this context? We’ll take it. 

Best time to visit: When you no longer need to be six feet from a six-foot babe. 

Expert travel tip: If you’re feeling efficient, combine your visit here with an adventure to 1st base!

A Tinder Date’s Apartment

It’s important to enjoy yourself every single second on this post-vax tour! (And it’s perfectly cool to end a trip early if you don’t like what the travel brochure promised.) But now that the two of you (you and whomever advances to the next round) have spilled the immuni-tea and traveled to the dark corners of bars together, it may be time for a change of scenery. Sure, you could take them back to your natural habitat, but it’s too soon for anyone to see the landmark ass imprint you made on the couch over the last year, so why not see what other slices of paradise the world has to offer? Maybe it’s a man’s bed with an actual bed frame! Or maybe it’s two lawn chairs that double as a living room loveseat. Either way, it’s something new.

Best time to visit: Whenever you feel most comfortable. (And you’ve shaved your entire body, head-to-toe.) (But no judgment if your quarantine bush is here to stay!) 

Expert travel tip: If the accommodations aren’t up to your standards, don’t be afraid to leave a Yelp review (via text to the gals).  

The Backseat Of An Uber

Your ride of pride awaits! We all know what it’s like to be in the back of a Toyota Burrata on a Sunday morning—wind blowing through your hair as you hang your head out the window, the humbling sounds of the Christian-rock radio station your driver Paul has chosen to blast at top volume, the street-by-street, minute-by-minute countdown ‘til you can wash your face and over-analyze your life your choices from the comfort of your own home. Five stars to Paul for not asking any questions. 

Best time to go:  When you have a hankering for a quick and necessary road trip.

Expert travel tip: The ride to or from a hookup’s house is actually called a “sex drive.” 

Any Other City

Let’s go, girls! Pack your baggage! We’re headed to another city—any city, really—because we’ve swiped through all the available (and unavailable) singles in our town’s radius. 

Best time to go: When you’ve run out of prospects. 

Expert travel tip: Be smart on all of your adventures—sexual or otherwise. Safety always, always comes first. Then it’s your turn.

Images: Kendyle Nelsen / Unsplash

Sara K. Runnels
Sara K. Runnels
Sara K. Runnels is a copywriter and humor writer living in Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Tinder messages, Gmail inboxes, group texts, Instagram captions, one Yelp review, several spec scripts her mom thinks are GREAT and hundreds of Twitter screenshots. Follow her all over the internet – @omgskr.