This Is What Travel Will Look Like in a Post-Pandemic World
With the summer underway and holidays around the corner, travel is on the mind. But how will it be different?
After over a year of feeling trapped, going in and out of lockdowns, and missing important family events, many people are itching to travel. The Covid-19 vaccine feels like a miracle to the world, and in many ways, it absolutely is. Once vaccinations numbers reached a comfortable level, countries began to open up again. Employees are back in the office, students are back on campus and things feel normal-ish for the first time in what feels like ages.
Now, with summer in full swing and the holidays right around the corner, many are wondering what travel will look like in a post-pandemic world. Will restrictions make it too difficult to travel with family? Will the travel industry make a full recovery? Is it even safe to travel with the new Delta variant? These questions are valid, as we are all still adjusting to living alongside a deadly virus.
While there’s no way to know for certain exactly what will happen in the coming months, here are a few predictions for what the future of travel will look like after Covid-19.
A better understanding of when travel is necessary
Video conferencing has been around for decades, yet it seemed to take a pandemic for businesses to really use it. Now, instead of sending an executive off to a different country, state or even a city several hours away for a series of meetings, employers may reconsider. Face-to-face interactions may be preferred, but they aren’t always necessary. It’s far more cost efficient for people to use a service such as Zoom to connect with each other. And with certain travel restrictions still in place, it’s far less stressful — and safer — to allow video conferencing.
Coming to terms with health and vaccination requirements
Although some people refuse to be vaccinated for a plethora of reasons, they need to come to terms with current or potential vaccination requirements and health measures. While you may not be forced to be vaccinated, that doesn’t mean private institutions won’t require proof of vaccination or, at the very least, require you to wear a mask. It is, whether you like it or not, well within their rights to do so.
As international travel opens back up, don’t be shocked if you aren’t able to travel to a different country without proof you’ve had the Covid-19 vaccine. And it’s best not to throw a fit when you’re still required to wear a mask in certain places, such as while on a plane or visiting a museum.
Opting for road trips over flights
The pandemic certainly changed our way of thinking: Many people just don’t feel safe being on an airplane for long periods of time right now, and many are opting for more eco-friendly ways to travel. Many people plan to explore options close to home. This domestic wanderlust will boost local economies that took a hit during the pandemic.
Choosing quieter destinations
The pandemic certainly stressed the world out, sometimes to unmanageable degrees. The desire to travel to heavily populated cities has been replaced with a desire to travel to more serene destinations. Along with this desire to relax and reset, many are keeping safety top of mind and don’t want to be amongst large crowds of people just yet.
Choosing a less populated place to visit can mean fewer mask requirements and far less anxiety for those who are still feeling the mental and emotional effects brought on by Covid-19 and its many lockdowns and scares. A report released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association showed that health and safety precautions are now a far more significant factor in travelers’ minds than the price tag of the trip. Over two-thirds of those polled are concerned with potentially spreading the virus and are more interested in avoiding crowded places so they can keep themselves and others safe.
Related: Covid-19: Travel After the Pandemic
Quality over quantity
We may have the urge to travel to as many places as possible, but pandemic fatigue is very real, and with safety being the main concern, many people will be opting for more meaningful trips versus hopping around within a short period. This may leave the tourism industry struggling for a while, as it’s likely fewer people will be traveling around just for the heck of it. Sitting on a long flight with a mask on is no easy feat, nor is dealing with the various restrictions that go along with it.
Instead of booking a quick one-day trip somewhere and then jetting off elsewhere for a day or two, many people will opt for planning a weeklong trip to one place, settling into their sanitized hotel room or rental house and getting a more meaningful experience out of their vacation by taking the time to explore the area in depth.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor