Post-pandemic travel will see a lot of changes and travelers will need to prepare for new health measures, according to travel industry experts.
Most agree the coronavirus lockdown affected people’s psyche regarding travel and money-spending habits. People may not be able to leave the idea of the pandemic behind as they make their travel plans.
1. Many will stay closer to home.
This is more for convenience as well as leftover virus concerns. Some will choose to drive their own cars to locations rather than deal with airlines. Another reason for traveling locally is most are familiar with their own area’s health standard rules.
Vacation home rentals are up too because travelers feel safer with a more private vacation than mixing with the crowds.
2. Tourism within the United States will rise.
People aren’t as confident in health and safety, so most will opt to take time to visit attractions within the country. U.S. travel is bolstered by the fact that different countries still have mandatory quarantines for those visiting from high-COVID-19 areas and people don’t want to spend part of their vacation in quarantine.
3. People will look for bargains.
Traveling outside the United States will be more expensive. Airlines, hotels and restaurants lost a lot of money during the shutdown and are now raising prices in an attempt to recoup. This will be especially true when traveling outside the United States, affecting foreign travel.
Yet, travelers also lost money during the shutdown so they will look for the best bargains to draw them away from home. The best bargains will be on cruise ships, rental homes, and large-scale attractions where crowds remain slim.
4. More will travel to visit families.
Travel industry experts said that holiday reservations are up for flights and lodging. Normally, Thanksgiving through New Year’s is busy for travel anyway, but this year’s reservations are up 38 percent for Thanksgiving, 40 percent for Christmas, and 23 percent for New Year’s when compared to last year.
Experts like Guesty said this indicates two things. First, people are not feeling good about summer vacations coming out of the pandemic and are waiting until things are safer in the fall and winter. Second, this indicates a major rise in family travel. Many weren’t able to see grandparents or other family members during the lockdown and will make a point to see more family over the holidays.
5. People will avoid large cities.
Statistics show many people are moving out of cities like New York City as those remain on lockdown and their economies are faltering. Many museums and other attractions remain closed and COVID-19 remains a concern as cities typically have more crowded areas. People are opting for beaches, mountains, and more rural settings where there is more space and fresh air.
6. More people will take longer vacations.
People have discovered that they can work remotely from anywhere. That means they can take a few extra days on their vacation and still not miss time from work. It also means they will be able to afford a few extra days because they can continue to earn money while enjoying their favorite vacation spots.
Those who travel will have to submit to new health regulations in most places. This can include a temperature check before boarding a plane or while checking in at a hotel. It also means many businesses and attractions, from airlines to theme parks, are mandating all customers to wear masks. Also expect a sharper focus from the travel industry on sanitation.
A trend for travel insurance is also increasing as a precaution in case a second round of COVID-19 forces another lockdown or prompts hotels and other tourist attractions to cancel events or re-openings.
Those who do research and are willing to plan ahead can find some great places to celebrate exiting the pandemic and enjoy all the things that a vacation brings.