After some tumultuous months of a global pandemic, a world shut down, tourism blackout and a series of historical and unprecedented events, the first steps are being taken to bring back tourism and open up the travel and hospitality industries across the world. It is only obvious, given that the tourism and hospitality industry across the globe was the worst hit during the global crisis with zero respites from governments or agencies. Millions across the world have lost their jobs, many companies announced bankruptcy and shut down in the due course of the worldwide lockdown.
Now, that the virus has been contained in many countries globally, the doors of tourism are slowly beginning to open up.
What are some of the new travel trends that will emerge in the post COVID travel era? Read our predictions of travel trends in the times to come to know more.
Both domestic and international tourism has opened up in many cities and countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. While the industry is going to take some time to figure the new norms, we asked some of the most avid travelers and travel bloggers as to what will change in their travel style and what precautions are they going to follow in the post COVID travel.
Here’s what they had to say!
WEAR A MASK, PRACTISE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WASH YOUR HANDS.
- Choose outdoor destinations
- Visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and travel during off-peak season
- Research before you start booking
- Choose local businesses for your various travel needs
- Opt for land or sea routes
- Get a medical attestation from a doctor
- Only book accommodations that have a good cancellation policy
- Avoid Shared Accommodation
- Stay at an Airbnb rather than a hotel
- Carry a sanitary kit for your travels
- Travel with a first aid kit
- Avoid Mass Gatherings
- Pre-Book Museum Slots
- Sign up for government travel programs
Choose outdoor destinations
While the medical advice continues to evolve and guidance is increasingly nuanced about the spread of Coronavirus there’s one thing that hasn’t changed and that is that the experts believe that virus transmission is lower out of doors.
Our personal travel plans over the coming months and towards the end of 2020 will focus on being outside and I believe that many others will do the same. Tickets for indoor attractions in many parts of the world are time-limited and must be pre-booked (never a bad thing at the best of times, as it beats standing in a line!), so why not take advantage of the great outdoors.
If I look just in the UK, where we have been locked down, then there are lots of gardens to visit – like those at Alnwick Castle. The National Trust in England is made up almost entirely of gardens and woodlands to visit. There are thousands of miles of public footpaths easily accessible and of varying levels of difficulty, just pick up a map from the Ordnance Survey (or use their app). And, possibly my favorite, English Heritage manages and maintains a huge number of properties, which especially in the North of England manage to be quite stunning, but also ruined – and therefore outdoors. So check out the glorious castles of Yorkshire and Northumberland – and check out some amazing history in the great outdoors.
As suggested by Sarah Carter from ASocialNomad.
Visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and travel during off-peak season
It is inevitable that COVID-19 will change the way we travel. New rules will be in place, extra safety precautions will happen, and travelers will have a different mindset, all ways to stop a new epidemic from happening. Post COVID-19 is a great time to explore the hidden gems in the world that are beautiful but are not so popular. For example, Mexico is a country that receives tons of tourists per year due to its stunning beaches, cheap prices, and good food. However, the neighboring country of Belize offers something very similar but gets much fewer tourists. With fewer tourists, travelers are more spread out, effectively decreasing the likelihood of spreading a new disease. Hopefully, travelers will conduct more research before traveling, instead of going to the same destinations everyone and their mother are going to.
Traveling during the off-peak season might become more popular, as there will be fewer tourists and more affordable prices when it comes to accommodation. Without the fear of contracting something malicious from other people, travelers will be able to enjoy their vacation without a worry. Not only has COVID-19 damaged the travel industry, but it has also damaged the psychology and mindset of travelers. By visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations and during off-peak season, travelers can slowly regain the confidence to explore a new country again.
As suggested by Sean Lau from Living Out Lou.
Research before you start booking
One important thing you’ll need to do once travel opens up is your homework. Travel has always required at least a base amount of research. But unlike in the past where you may have been able to wing it or be spontaneous, post-COVID travel will require you to plan ahead and do your research.
Many countries, cities, and tourist attractions are needing to implement new rules in order to guarantee everyone’s safety and comfort. The last thing we want to do is disobey these rules and jeopardize our limited travel freedoms. Part of post-COVID travel will involve looking up these places ahead of time and becoming familiar with the rules.
For example, some tourist attractions are limiting the number of people who can visit per day, requiring visitors to book online, and/or implementing rules around mask-wearing. In order to not miss out, you’ll want to look up these rules ahead of time to secure your spot and ensure you have what you need for a safe visit.
This research ahead of time is also a great way to gauge how seriously a place is taking this virus. If your research shows no safety measures or rules in place, you might think twice about visiting that spot.
As suggested by Riana Ang-Canning from Teaspoon of Adventure.
Choose local businesses for your various travel needs
While COVID 19 hasn’t spared anyone, the local communities depending on tourism for their livelihood are one of the most impacted. Go to any tourist destination, famous or not, you’ll notice, it’s sustained by the locals selling goods, running restaurants, planning, organizing and leading tours. Amsterdam to Agra, Venice to Varanasi, the plight remains the same. The key to some of these places is tourism. However much aid might help, the revival of tourism is vital to bring their lives back to normalcy.
So, whenever you plan to travel, you can help the local communities by booking your trips with them. Don’t haggle too much, perhaps, even pay a little extra if you can afford it. Some of the locals may not be aware of the preventive measures one needs to take, for instance, in remote villages/destinations of India or Sri Lanka. Guide the locals providing homestay, running shops for tourists, etc., with the necessary equipment (masks, sanitizers), and spread awareness (social distancing) and help them better organize their tours or cater to the tourists. All this, of course, considering the safety measures required to protect both oneself and others. We as travelers, and as members of the large travel community should do everything in our power to support each other.
As suggested by Mamta from mamtanaidu.com.
Opt for land or sea routes
After this huge event, the means of transport that people choose will be fundamentally different, I believe. Whether they’re going backpacking and working abroad or just for short term trips, travelers will now choose to go by land and sea rather than by air, which was once the cheapest and most popular choice.
Think about it, where is it easiest to give people access to windows or outdoor space? Where does the economics of underfilling transport to allow for lots of social distancing most make sense? Where can passengers safely leave their seats and access whatever they need, without having to stay put and be helped by an air hostess? All these factors go into reducing risk. Airlines cannot afford to run half-empty, but it’s much easier to envisage a bus or train with wider aisles and spaced apart seats.
Longer-term, we’ll see flights becoming more of a luxury choice, with prices rising and the options for ferry, coach, train, and bus travel expanding. Self-drive holidays will also be a great way to stay safe, so renting a campervan or similar with self-contained facilities could be the new way to see the world. Imagine kicking back in the heart of nature with your own slice of van life!
As suggested by Danielle from Living in 10 Countries.
Get a medical attestation from a doctor
Before you leave the country and go on vacation, it is wise to get checked by the doctor and have a medical certificate stating that you are in good medical condition to leave the country and travel around. You don’t actually need to undergo a corona test to prove that you are virus-free, but your medical certificate from a doctor must say that you do not have any of the corona symptoms.
For example, anyone entering South Korea needs this medical certificate or they won’t be able to enter the country. It is smart to have this attest on you, just in case someone asks about it at immigration. The same goes for going home. See a doctor in the country where you are traveling and get a medical certificate that you have no symptoms.
As suggested by Marie from Be Maries Korea, a Korea blog.
Only book accommodations that have a good cancellation policy
The impact on our travel industry has been tremendous, which automatically affects the hotel businesses too. While our luxury and preferences were surely dependent on our budget in the past when things were pretty “normal”. But, that will not be the case anymore, especially when personal hygiene will become more important than ever. Travelers will start focusing more on safety as well as on making carefully laid out travel plans because some of us had to bear losses this time around due to unforeseen cancellations and borders shut down.
In the Post COVID travel era, book only those hotels, hostels, homestays, etc. that have travel-friendly cancellation policies in place. This will be very essential because of the uncertainty the industry is going through – we still do not know which country might adopt or start following strict travel regulations to control the spread. Other uncertainties like border closing, flight cancellations, laws changes, etc. might be put in place which might also jeopardize the travel plans.
However, most of all we would need to keep our health in check so that we do not act as a carrier of this disease. All these reasons are enough to only book accommodations where you can easily cancel your bookings and have a stress-free travel.
As suggested by Radhika Sharma from Nomllers.
The current Covid19 situation will definitely herald a permanent change in the way people travel. Of course, with time, travel will come back to normal. People always loved traveling and will continue doing so when the situation improves.
However, the new normal will not be the same. There will be adequate social distancing, first induced by signs or partitions and then the behavior pattern will change automatically. As a part of this behavior change, travelers may not prefer shared accommodations as much as earlier. Hostels are the least private accommodation type where you share the room with 6-8 people, in some cases, even up to 20! Imagine the permutations that can apply here with respect to their travel histories and the possibility of exposure to the coronavirus.
Under such circumstances, where there are so many uncertainties with respect to living in a sanitized & safe environment, folks may prefer private hotel rooms then hostels. Even Airbnb for that matter might be less preferred. Given that most of the Airbnbs are operated by families or individuals, one can never know the efforts taken to sanitize the living area. The worst could be couch surfing. If I am not paying any amount to stay at someone’s house
Hence, I would definitely consider avoiding shared accommodation as a post COVID Travel precaution.
As suggested by Umang Trivedi from TravelMax.
Stay at an Airbnb rather than a hotel
In the post-COVID-19 travel era, it’s going to be all about avoiding crowds whenever possible and increasing hygienic standards. That applies to accommodation as well.
Private accommodation options, such as Airbnb, will profit from that. Rather than staying at an anonymous hotel with a high turnover of people from all over the world, travelers will go for private accommodation instead.
Airbnb as a company has also embraced the current higher need for cleaning and sanitizing the apartments listed on the platform. Starting with the US, Airbnb has introduced guidelines on its new enhanced cleaning protocol and is encouraging hosts to follow them. Hosts who’ll officially commit to the standards will receive a special highlight icon on their profile to help guests prioritize their booking with them. This may result in a higher cleaning fee. Adherence to the protocol will be monitored mainly via guest reviews.
This, however, applies only to whole apartments or houses, not to shared or private rooms, where higher hygiene standards cannot be enforced.
For groups of travelers, sharing a large apartment or a house will be a much better option than booking rooms close to each other at a hotel.
As suggested by Veronika Primm from Travel Geekery.
Carry a sanitary kit for your travels
Travel will definitely change after COVID-19. One of the biggest changes will be the sanitary precautions people will take in order to protect themselves while traveling.
Road trips will be big in post-COVID era and travelers cannot be sure what the sanitary conditions of rest areas, gas stations, or unfamiliar restaurants will be. Will these rest stops have clean bathrooms with soap? Will the restaurants have hand sanitizer? It’s unwise to take a chance.
Organize a little sanitary kit with soap, hand sanitizer, a bottle of water for washing, and sanitizing wipes for every member of your family or group to use when in unfamiliar rest stops.
If your road trip involves a rented car or van, make sure to sanitize the vehicle by wiping down the interior before you even get in. Give special attention to the areas with multiple touchpoints like the gear shift, steering wheel, mirrors, and door handles.
You might say this is overkill but better be safe than sorry! Travelers want to ensure their safe driving tips result in a stress-free road trip.
If a hotel stay is in your plans, consider hotels with room keys accessed from cell phones and the new touch-free check-in technology. Hilton Hotels now offer that technology and other hotel chains are sure to follow their lead. Check to see if your favorite hotel offers this precaution. If they don’t, and you must stay at a hotel, use your sanitizer kit to wipe down the hotel room’s many touchpoints like doors, TV remote, light and lamp switches, bathroom faucets, and everywhere else you may touch.
As suggested by Talek Nantes from Travels With Talek.
Travel with a first aid kit
Travel is one of the most affected industries by the pandemic. Even now, travel bans and restrictions are still enforced in most parts of the world. In my opinion, once the travel bans are lifted in the future, people will be putting more thoughts into availing themselves of travel insurance or at least make sure to go on adventures with a Travel first aid kit. It will be the most logical and safest thing to do and one of the new post COVID travel precautions. Gone will be the days when travelers just pick up and go to places without a thought given to their safety or health.
If there is one good thing that’s resulted from the coronavirus pandemic, it is that it has taught people that there is no premium to be put on one’s own safety and health. It’s just not something that anyone can take for granted. For this reason, we should see a spike in people purchasing travel insurance, especially for those who got stuck in other places, away from their loved ones, when the initial lockdown occurred.
Also, a travel first aid kit shouldn’t be dismissed. A few items like rubbing alcohol, face masks, soaps, anti-bacterial wipes, sterile gloves, thermometers, etc. are really the bare minimum now whenever someone leaves their home. A few necessary precautions can go a long way to reducing/minimizing the impact of exposure to any viruses. Moving forward, it should be “safety first” at the forefront of any traveler’s mind!
As suggested by Olga Maria from Dreamsinheels.com.
Avoid Mass Gatherings
Restrictions on travel are easing and we can’t wait to get back to exploring, however, the way we explore will be very different. Pre COVID-19 we didn’t particularly take into consideration how busy a place would be other than to get to places early for greater photo opportunities and less stress. Post COVID-19 and our way of thinking have changed dramatically. We will intentionally avoid places where we know it will get very busy, assuming the restrictions aren’t as strict anyway. We do not want to be rubbing shoulders and fighting our way through crowds. There is just no way of knowing whether COVID-19 will completely disappear or something similar to pop up again.
The more you’re in crowded places the higher the risk. You just don’t know how cautious other people have been and whether they have been following any rules put into place. The main downside to this would be when it comes to festivals and celebrations. We love interacting with different cultures and celebrating cultural events. I guess we would have to weigh up the options and sometimes come to a compromise.
Our own health and not to mention friends’ and families’ health is more important than a short term euphoria.
As suggested by Kerrie & Woody from Just Go Travelling.
Pre-Book Museum Slots
Museums and buildings of interest that have already opened their doors to the public have tightened their security and hygiene measures. As they encourage social distancing of at least one meter, they’re forced to limit the capacity of visitors. In that case, we can expect popular tourist hot spots to reach their limit, particularly during high season. To be safe, check the website of the attraction you want to explore ahead of time. If reservations can be made, do it!
You can avoid two scenarios:
1) not being able to enter at all because they are booked, and
2) waiting outside the building in a long queue where social distancing may not occur, which would put your health at risk.
It would be exceptionally difficult in already-crowded attractions like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It may also be wise to arrive ahead of time of your booking as the staff may have to take your temperature, ensure you’re wearing a mask, and possibly gloves, among other measures. As you continue to support museums who’ve undoubtedly felt an economic impact of the pandemic, be sure to secure your own safety first!
As suggested by Justine Ancheta from Latitude 41, a Barcelona travel blog.
Sign up for government travel programs
I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I want to immerse myself in my travel experience. I don’t tend to stay up to date on news and current events as when I am at home. In this post COVID travel age, disconnecting from the world is no longer a safe option. Staying up to date with the news is IMPERATIVE for safe travel.
First, if you are a US citizen, make sure to register with the US State Department S.T.E.P. program. This lets the government know where you are traveling so that they can let you know if a major change happens that could affect your travel plans.
Set up Google alerts for key phrases that could indicate a COVID related disruption to your travel plans (be specific, otherwise you will get inundated with all of the COVID related news). Set up alerts for things like “US travel ban ________ (insert NAME OF COUNTRY that you are in)” “COVID outbreak _________ (insert NAME OF COUNTRY that you are in)”, etc.
Finally, pick a few people at home who follow the COVID related news carefully (I know that you have at least a couple of these in your circle). Let them know where you are going, and that you would like them to contact you if there is any news that could affect your travel plans (for example, shutdowns, closures or COVID outbreaks either in the country that you are visiting or at home).
As suggested by Shanna Schultz from There And Back Again Travel.
The after-effects of COVID certainly are certainly going to impose a new normal, altering much of what travel and lifestyle looked like in the pre-COVID normal. While these are some of the precautions which can be highly advocated, the most important precaution definitely continues to be to wait till there is more certainty, a reliable solution, and stricter norms that’ll make travel safer. Until that happens, it’s best for all of us to stay home, wear our masks, and wait to travel again.
Soon after, these precautions and some more aspects of the new normal must be incorporated into our travel lifestyles for sure!