It’s safe to say that traveling post-Covid will be markedly different from what we’re used to. We’re all itching to get out of our homes and see the world yet jostling our way through crowded tourist spots seems to have lost much of its appeal. What, then, will our next holiday look like as more of the country, and the world, starts reopening?
The effects of the pandemic will reverberate beyond enhanced health, safety and hygiene measures in airports, planes and hotels. In a report entitled Travel in the Age of Covid-19, London-based trend forecasting agency Globetrender lets us in on what we can expect once we can get moving again. Let these trends help you paint a clearer mental picture of your next vacation — because even though it seems like nothing more than a dream right now, we will all travel again.
1. We’ll Be Traveling Closer to Home
As we ease ourselves back into a travel mindset, Globetrender says that passport-free holidays will be the norm. The report cites a number of reasons for this, including border closures, arrival quarantines, the fear of getting ill abroad and limited disposable income. Plenty of people will also rediscover road trips, with their added allure of limited exposure to other travelers.
Domestic travel is not just a way to dip our toes back into travel but it’s also a means to help fuel the local economy. Tourism boards around the world are encouraging people to discover what’s right at their doorstep: Poland is considering giving citizens vouchers to be spent on domestic holidays and Thailand has launched their We Love Thailand campaign, which highlights local products and attractions. The Philippine tourism board has likewise launched its own campaign called Wake Up in the Philippines, which reminds us of the unique experiences and encounters to be had in our own backyard.
2. We’ll Be Avoiding Crowds
“At a time of continuous, anxiety-inducing media coverage of the pandemic, nature provides true sanctuary,” states the report. Gone are the days of partying on packed beaches, at least for the immediate future. Now that physical distancing has become a way of life, we’ll be avoiding crowds like, well, the plague. We’ll be much more interested in getaways that truly allow us to get away from big cities and large groups of people.
Wilderness seeking will become more popular, with people choosing camping and glamping in the great outdoors — national parks in countries like the US, UK and Australia, for example, are now attracting more visitors. For those with more money to spare, isolation vacations are an enticing option. This means more people will be seeking exclusive villas, high-end resorts with private residences, boutique hotels and even entire private islands.
3. We’ll Pay More Attention to the Fine Print
Once upon a time, we saw travel insurance as a mere added expense; now, it’s a necessity, especially since some destinations require inbound travelers to be covered. While in the past, we may have blindly ticked boxes agreeing to terms and conditions, moving forward, we’ll be much savvier travelers. We’ll be looking for more flexible booking options and will be more open to spending a little extra for a safety net.
The report states, “In the future, customers will be less inclined to book travel requiring a deposit, and are likely to exercise greater scrutiny over an operator’s cancellation policy.” Airlines and hotels have recognized this and have adjusted their policies, now offering the option to rebook or cancel for free.
4. We’ll Finally Plan that Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip
We’ve all been cooped up at home for so long that the desire for travel has been steadily building up. Many will take the daydreaming to the next stage and actually plan that trip they’ve always wanted to take.
“People are using this time to dream up the kind of big bucket-list trips you never normally get around to planning,” says Tom Marchant, co-founder of travel company Black Tomato, as quoted in the Globetrender report. Once all this is over, we won’t take traveling for granted again. So, take this time to dream and then, once restrictions lift, go and make it happen.