Since the outbreak of COVID-19, traveling life in various corners of the world stopped simultaneously. People stay at home most of the time, and before we realized it, we have been starting to miss getting out of the door. However, with the virus that we cannot see, travel around is not easy, particularly while some borders are still closed, and non-essential travel is still restricted. COVID-19 has changed the way we travel during or after the pandemic, and here are the travel trends in the near future and what we can do about them.
New Health Protocol
Wherever we go now, we will see people wearing a mask, washing hands more often, undergoing the mandatory temperature check, and keeping the physical distance. To enter a border or before departure, we might also need to fill out the health questionnaires and documents required by the respective authorities, which could be submitted online – make sure to check these requirements in your country destinations when planning for a trip.
As a consequence of these additional procedures due to the pandemic, make sure to allocate enough time and effort to plan and during the trip to minimize the unexpected arising issues.
Since physical distancing is implemented, we can expect fewer crowds during travel as we all should control the crowd and use only half of the full capacity, either in the park, iconic landmarks, vehicles, restaurants, and accommodations. However, this may impact the higher travel costs in particular scopes, such as airline costs.
Closer Destination and Staycations
Based on some research done by some travel institutions, it is noted that most travelers prefer to travel closer to home as they hesitate to plan for farther trips related to travel restrictions in some other countries. Additionally, with the existing option to work remotely, we are also seeing the shifting trend towards long-term travel combining work and pleasure – this will increase the demand for home rental or even staycations, but still not too far away from home.
More Virtual and Touchless Interaction
To minimize the spread of the virus through contact, more and more virtual and touchless interactions are implemented everywhere, including in the travel industry such as airports, airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc. Thanks to technology, we can expect easier booking through the online reservation system, cashless payment system, and other touchless interaction systems, making everything more comfortable and saving us a lot of time. If it is successfully implemented and can increase business effectiveness and customer satisfaction, it can continue even after the pandemic is over.
Easier and More Flexible Alteration and Cancellation Policy
To encourage people to travel, airlines, accommodations, and tourist attractions, which require advanced booking, would make it easier and more flexible for travelers to cancel or change the booked dates under certain circumstances. Related to this, travel insurance has also launched policies covering COVID-19.
Make sure to thoroughly read the terms and conditions to fully understand the risks and benefits offered, including when and how you can cancel or alter the plans, when you will be fully charged, what is the refund procedure, and what particular conditions should be met to claim it.