Departures is published by Meredith Corp. and owned by American Express. While American Express Card Member benefits are highlighted in this publication, including through the links indicated below, the content of this article was independently written by the editorial staff at Meredith. Other Departures content paid for by American Express is explicitly marked as such.
Dreaming of your next vacation? Same. While we're currently soothing our wanderlust through virtual tours, safari live streams, and travel-inspired reads, hotels are teaming up to give travelers something to look forward to once it's safe to travel again.
Called Buy Now, Stay Later, the new initiative works to give travelers a great deal while supporting independent hotels who are experiencing an unprecedented decline in bookings. It works similarly to treasury savings bonds. The idea being that future travelers can support their favorite hotel by purchasing a hotel bond now and can redeem it at a later date. Each bond is available at $100 increments and after 60 days of maturation, it'll increase in value to $150. Much like a gift card that grows in value.
"We want to encourage travel enthusiasts from around the world to show support for their favorite hotels. This initiative is meant to help the hotel industry support their housekeepers, hosts, bartenders, concierges—and everyone in between," a press release explained.
The collection of hotels participating keeps expanding. From St Lucia's stunning Jade Mountain Resort, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, to St Barth's Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa (which is currently live streaming its serene ocean sounds).
Find the full list of participating hotels at BuyNowStayLater.com, which is being refreshed as new hotels sign up.
Similarly, hotel credits to some of the world's most luxurious independent stays are available on wetravelforward.com or porterandsail.com. Travel concierge app, Porter & Sail's new Hotel Credits program lets travelers score significant savings in the form of gift certificates for future stays at hotels including Entre Cielos Wine Hotel + Spa in Mendoza, Acre in San Jose del Cabo, and Flemings Mayfair in London. The process is simple: a $200 purchase buys a $300 credit, and the credits hold all the way through 2022.
"As we look to protect the jobs of our staff and the future of our business, we are thankful for those guests who are willing to invest in a future stay with us and take advantage of some great savings when doing so,” Henrik Muehle, Managing Director of Flemings Mayfair commented in a statement. This is the first time the London hotel has closed in 169 years, having remained open during WWI and WWII.
What's more, Porter & Sail teamed up with New York Presbyterian’s Healthcare Heroes so that every hotel credit bought is matched in equal value and given to healthcare workers. "If anyone deserves the bliss of an outrageous hotel bed, an indulgent spa treatment, or a far-flung retreat, it is doctors and nurses," they said in a statement. "We want to heal those who heal us."
If that isn't enticement enough to plan future travel, we don't know what is.