Changes in travel trends and prospects post-Covid-19

Post-Covid-19 travel trends

Passengers head to the train station at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

Travel prospects for 2021 will be a whole new world with the covid-19 pandemic. This will be a year of “make-up travel” or “revenge travel.”

The year 2020 had been painfully life-changing for everything and everyone in the whole world and the travel industry is just one of those that were hit the hardest.

Regular travelers have hunkered down for the most part of the year and the prolonged period of staying at home has increased the desire to escape.

People are craving wide-open spaces after months of suffering from cabin fever.

With the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine, people will start to venture out and travel will slowly return but travel will never be the same again. The scare of contracting the virus will be there and will stay for a long time.

Covid-19 is changing the way we travel

As countries slowly and cautiously re-open their borders and welcome travelers back this year, places of interest may not be as crowded as before. The pandemic will change the way people plan vacations. They will become more cautious about booking flights, hotels, and attractions and go for those that are flexible and refundable in case travel dates have to be adjusted.

Travelers may also lean toward a preference in destinations. This means people may start looking more into outdoor attractions with wide-open spaces like national parks, and formerly crowded popular destinations like theme parks may be seeing fewer visitors. An advantage of this is lines will be shorter and social distancing can be practiced.

Travelers will have a heightened interest in safety and hygiene protocols. Socially unacceptable habits like coughing and sneezing without covering your mouth openly in public places will no longer be ignored.

Cruises will never be the same again, with cruise companies canceling and pushing their cruise schedules to later this year.

The new normal

We will have to adjust to a lot of things considered as the “new normal” like wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, social distancing, and practicing heightened personal hygiene.

Expect stricter requirements especially in airports and other points of arrival and departure. Wearing face masks the whole time, the prospect of having to undergo Covid-19 testing, vaccination, filling up health forms, the possibility of quarantine, and the overall scare of contracting the virus is real and will stay for longer than we think.

It may take years before you’ll feel comfortable again in hotels, restaurants, airports, bus and train stations, and public places. It will take time before people will relax about taking public transportation which is the most practical way to get around in most countries.

The carefree easy days when you can just buy tickets and fly on the spur of the moment to anywhere as long as you have no visa issues to deal with are momentarily paused.

The freedom to hop from one country to another and crossing borders so easily like in Southeast Asia will no longer be that easy.

Cultural immersion, mingling and sampling food with the locals, and shopping for trinkets and souvenir items in different places will definitely change. If you’re one of those travelers who live for the festivals and popular celebrations, you might have to wait a bit longer and most likely not this year. 

More expensive travel

Travelers should also prepare to spend more for expenses that weren’t there before like Covid-19 tests, hotel stays, and quarantine accommodations in case you turn up positive with the virus.

The wounds that the corona virus-19 inflicted go deep and the bleeding hasn’t stopped yet. It will take years to recover but it won’t stop people from traveling.

Be careful but don’t be paranoid. Learn to relax and enjoy but don’t forget the latest addition to your list of travel partners–facemasks, hand sanitizers, Covid-19-related documents, and an extra layer of personal hygiene practices.

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