Covid-19 is the ultimate travel bug, but don't stop planning your next move
These aren't merely uncharted waters the travel industry is navigating right now; they're uncharted while also being choppy to the point of heaving. Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic has plunged the world into uncertainty.
But while we wait, wash, and wonder when we can start hugging again, we shouldn't entirely banish thoughts of our own backyard.
Last year, we welcomed almost 4 million travellers into New Zealand. Now, this number has fallen through the floor. And rightly so.
It's too soon to make predictions about when the seas will calm, but we have to believe that in time they will. Tentatively, there may be more navigable water for the New Zealand tourism industry than we realise.
It may come as a surprise, but domestic tourism brings in more money every year for our economy than international tourism.
According to the Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), the annual international tourism spend here is $17.2 billion, or $47 million per day. This compares to an annual domestic tourism spend of $23.7 billion, or $65 million per day.
And this can remind us - once the restrictions ease - how much we can help our fellow Kiwis by still taking domestic holidays.
Let me be very clear: it's imperative we listen to the Ministry Of Health and cease all non-essential domestic travel. But this is not forever.
Approximately 14 per cent of working Kiwis are involved with the tourism industry, some 393,000 people. They need us right now for moral support, and when the time is right, they're going to need economic support again too.
So why not use this surreal, social-distancing, self-isolating chapter to start planning for the happier times, and imagine which parts of the country you'd like to see most?
Eventually, it will be okay for Kiwis to travel, and road trips may be a safe, cost-effective way to start. Here's the itinerary I'm thinking of: a North Island road trip for Aucklanders who know little of what lies beyond Rotorua, Taupo and the Mount.
Start with the traditional three nights in Rotorua or Taupo, but why not then carry on with a couple of nights at the Chateau Tongariro to soak up that early 20th century luxury while also exploring our oldest national park?
Less than two hours south of the Chateau is a place that too many Kiwis dismissed for too long. My visit to Whanganui last year opened my eyes to a beautiful river city with some of New Zealand's best-preserved historic architecture, a place with a thriving art scene, and a doorstep of beaches and wild native bush.
Whanganui also happens to have arguably the country's greatest children's playground, the remarkable Kowhai Park. Forget Disneyland, if you're a kid under 10 this is the next best thing!
On your way home, try New Plymouth - it has parks, coastlines and great museums. It might not be the California or Tuscany trip you had planned, but Kiwi road trips offer a brilliant time while also helping some fine folks keep afloat.
Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB's Weekend Collective and blogs at roxboroghreport.com.