The COVID-19 pandemic has completely thrown the travel and tourism ecosystem out of gear, and its impact shall be felt on our future travel plans as well.
There’s nothing more exciting than exploring a new place. Be it a new country, a new city, or just a new destination near your town – travelling, without a doubt, is fodder for the soul. Many great philosophers, spiritual teachers, health practitioners strongly recommend travelling and going to a place you have never been before at least once a year. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has killed all the wanderlust enthusiasm in 2020.
With stringent stay-at-home orders, countries sealing borders, drop in the number of operational flights, train and buses put on a standstill, cruise ships firmly anchored at the docks, and all major tourist destinations shut — we have been forced to abandon the travel bug within us.
While no one can anticipate when the wrath of this virus shall recede, travel enthusiasts can be certain of one fact — when the world finally adapts to the ‘new normalcy’ of moving forward with a mask, gloves, sanitizers, social distancing etc., there shall also be a dramatic shift in our future travel plans. Here’s how the coronavirus pandemic will impact our holiday plans in future once it finally recedes…
Mandatory COVID/Health Tests
Moving forward, travel enthusiasts will have to comply with certain rules and regulations imposed by the destination country or state. Few countries and states have already opened their doors for tourists but have stern policies that a traveller needs to adhere to. While countries will demand a mandatory COVID-19 test, some tourists shall be tested upon arrival and will have to bear the cost of the test along with the compulsory 24-hours quarantine until the test results arrive.
Travel Insurance Will Become A Priority
Travellers often shun the idea of travel insurance. However, in the wake of COVID-19, many had to cancel all their travel plans and face severe financial implications as they received little or no refund at all from hotel bookings and flight tickets. Moving forward, travel insurance will be the first to be ticked off from holiday plans.
Luxury Stays Will Get Cheaper
While you may end up paying more for your flight tickets, the good news is — luxury stays, which otherwise may have cost a bomb would be more affordable than before. Reason being, even though the travel industry might get back in action, the business is bound to be slow as given the economic crisis not many will be able to afford a holiday after the pandemic recedes. Hence experts believe that the luxury hotels will have no choice but to cut down their tariffs to sustain. In fact, many popular hotel chains have already started advertising big discounts and offers, which can be utilized up till next year.
Air Tickets Will Be More Expensive
Most airlines have been functional in a limited capacity throughout this pandemic and have started following a new set of health and hygiene practices, which undoubtedly shall be followed in future too, at least for some time. As per the government mandates most airlines have been taking extra precautions and deep-cleaning the aircraft with disinfectants at the turnaround of every single flight, the staff has been wearing PPEs such as hand gloves and face masks, and the aircraft is equipped with surgical masks, gloves, sanitising wipes and contact-less infrared thermometers, which all add an additional expense to the airlines. Furthermore, the airlines have been taking all the necessary measures like limiting the number of seats in order to maintain social distancing in the flight, which means lesser number of passengers — resulting in no profits for the airlines. Hence, many are speculating a spike in the airfare, so be prepared to shell out more bucks than ever for your next trip to your favourite destination.
A Change In Travel Policies
The world will never be the same after this catastrophic pandemic comes to an end and there will be a drastic change in all the post-COVID travel movements. While many destinations shall impose strict travel policies, many might even limit the number of visiting tourists. With social distancing becoming the new norm, many popular tourist destinations may introduce several measures to control tourist footfalls to avoid over-crowding.
Conscious Change In Itineraries
Social distancing being the new normal, one will have to bring a conscious shift in the way we used to travel, especially for our own well-being. Slow travel will be the new mantra, and instead of ticking off everything off the list, the focus primarily will be more on keeping the travel itinerary limited.
Precautionary Safety Measures Will Be A Decree
The post-COVID world will be all about health and hygiene. While tourists will want to choose only hygienic places to stay during their vacation period, they will also have to adhere to safety protocols to remain safe and enjoy their holiday without the fear of catching any infection.
To ensure your well-being and evade contracting the COVID-19 virus, below are a few preventive measures to take into considerations…
- Don’t ever compromise on hygiene and ensure to carry your sanitizer, sanitizing wipes everywhere.
- When you are in the plane, bus, train, or sight-seeing, or anywhere outdoor where there are people other than you, cover your mouth and nose with a good quality mask.
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) between you and others as much as possible.
- Be alert and cautious throughout your travel period and don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
- Avoid planning trips to crowded places. - Instead of international holidays opt for destinations closer home.
- Test yourself before your trip.
- Put your devices and documents in polythene bags while passing through security checks or ensure to clean them with sanitizing wipes once the security check is done.
- Check the COVID status of the place you are planning to visit.