With the Pew Research Center reporting that nine in 10 people now live in a country with some sort of COVID-19 travel restriction, it begs the question — will we ever get back to normal travel? If we can’t get back to a “normal” sort of travel, what exactly will travel look like after COVID-19?
The good news is, travel will be back. The world’s travelers are already prepped to get back out on the road, travel brands are ready to get them there and we’re all keeping an eye on when and how to do that safely.
Global Traveler Magazine recently cited a study that said more than half of Americans who went on a cruise last year “are ready to set sail right now.”
According to Longwoods International, surveys show Americans are still actively planning travel. Many are booking trips for sometime in the next six months. While many Americans are changing the way they travel, they’re not canceling their travel all together. They’re simply taking more precautions and safety measures (such as driving to a destination versus flying).
Rethinking the Way We Travel
Of course, due to COVID-19 restrictions, many travelers are rethinking the way they travel and shifting their priorities. Travelers want to feel safe and they want to go to places that are low-risk. Travel providers and brands, whether that be a travel agency, hotel, cruise line, etc., are putting traveler safety and comfort first.
Luckily, travel providers are realizing this and are rethinking their models and adjusting their offerings to better fit the future of travel, post-coronavirus.
Transparency and empathy are becoming key in the traveler-travel provider relationship. Tourism boards are being upfront about how the pandemic is impacting their destination and whether or not tourists should consider visiting in the near future. Airlines are showing exactly how they’re taking precautions when it comes to sanitation and public safety. Cruise lines, hotels, airlines and other providers are becoming more lenient with their cancellation policies.
It all goes to building traveler trust so that when travel does become a little more “back to normal”, travelers feel secure returning to their previous favorite brands.
Bottom line — travel brands are taking the future of travel seriously, so you can get back on the road faster, and feel as safe as possible while you’re at it.
Still, despite everyone’s willingness to travel and travel brands’ valiant efforts to put traveler needs first, travel will still continue to look a bit different for months and possibly years after the pandemic wanes. You can expect to see (and experience as a traveler yourself)…
Increased caution on the part of the traveler
As travelers branch out and book that next trip, they’ll have safety in the forefront of their minds. They’ll likely try to book what they view as “low-risk” trips. Places with lots of outdoor activities, more privacy, fewer crowds and low population density.
Increased use of travel agents and travel insurance for added security and peace of mind
In any uncertain situation, it helps to have the professionals on your side. More travelers will be looking to travel agents for their expertise and help booking an upcoming trip. Relying on agents to know and recommend the safest options for their families.
Likewise, travelers will be more apt to book travel insurance, “just in case” it’s needed.
New, low-risk destinations rising up
New destinations may see a rise in popularity as more travelers take to the skies. However, don’t think that travelers will be headed only to remote, rural destinations. Any locale with a low population density has a high chance of becoming popular, such as smaller Caribbean islands, for example.
Of course, this puts the pressure on resorts and more popular destinations to ease travelers’ minds. This is resulting in better cleaning precautions and better deals.
So, whether a traveler decides to visit a less popular destination or an old favorite, they’re likely to benefit either way.
New, low-risk activities and travel types rising up
Traveling to packed festivals, sporting events, concerts and museums may take a little longer to come back than travel itself. Travelers may want to enjoy solo or family-only activities and travel types.
Rather than staying in a hotel, some families and multigenerational travel groups may choose to book a villa for a week. Likewise, a group of friends might plan a bachelorette party on a chartered yacht versus at a casino hotel.
The entire industry is already looking toward the future and how it can best serve travelers. Whether you want to book a late-2020 or 2021 couples trip, family trip, group trip or wedding, there are ways you can do so safely and securely, without compromising your fun.
Talk to the team at Anytime Travel Agency to discuss your upcoming travel plans!