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Thinking back over the last couple of months, what can we expect our next trip to be as we emerge from quarantine, lockdowns, and travel bans?
Many of you were already travelling when the pandemic began to take hold. And why not? January to March were perfect months to go see the world. If you wished for cold climates, you could zip over to countries with snow-capped peaks.
Perhaps follow the tail-end of a milder season as the weather neared spring in some regions. For the migratory traveller in search of heat and sun, you could have zoomed to temperate islands.
Instead, during this unprecedented period, we dealt with dismal daily news reports that dominated our lives and changed our entire routines. We entered a new decade full of optimism and enthusiasm to discover and uncover unforgettable experiences.
Then, seemingly overnight thousands of businesses, especially in travel and hospitality, shut down. Some may never recover and might disappear. Others will face a steady, uphill climb to return to profitability.
Trying to look past the doom-and-gloom of the past few months, we are seeing some sparks of hope. Some countries are cautiously planning a gradual lifting of restrictions.
Airlines have begun to announce their schedules but with a subject to change notice given, based on COVID-19 developments and the complexities of the new normal.
CNN’s travel desk reports that the world’s three most beloved travel destinations in Europe – namely, Italy, France, and Greece, are possibly days away from lifting their incoming travel bans.
With significant restrictions, travel is going to be a lot more challenging for the rest of 2020 and well into 2021. Some may ditch travel altogether, in exchange for the growing number of virtual tours starting to dominate the internet during this period of uncertainty.
For the traveller who is cautious, but determined, international travel will start with “travel bubbles” where countries will have bilateral or multilateral agreements between them.
With extreme safety measures in place for airplanes, hotels, rental cars, and passengers, including proof of a COVID-19 test, a little patience will be rewarded with incredible deals!
Travellers might see more flexible change policies, as providers strive to strike the balance between how many rooms they can sell and how many people will actually carry out their travel plans.
What are the upsides?
- Airlines are being required to reconfigure their seating. Let’s cheer for more room in economy class!
- Bucket list tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Sistine Chapel, and Times Square will be developing new ways of ticketing and crowd control. It’s our hope that restrictions like these will also be used for destinations like Venice and Capri which have become overwrought with day trippers.
- We’ve covered “staycations” in the past as a way for people to unwind from the rigors of a busy lifestyle, but now we’re looking at staycations with “family and friends” as we discover or rediscover the wonders within our own cities or regions.
- We’re also betting on an increase in road trips. Gone are the days of spontaneous getaways. Instead, trip planning will be the norm to ensure personal safety and security.
- Destinations with wide open spaces will probably win over convenience.
Travel in the post pandemic world will be very different. We believe that the travel industry will be looking “inwards” for the months ahead. But humans are good at adapting, learning and surviving. Hopefully, the travel industry will gain insight, knowledge and systems that will aid its resurgence in the challenging weeks and months ahead.
We wish you and your loved ones health and safety! Drop us a line - we’d love to hear from you about your travel plans in this our new normal.
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