With Covid-19 keeping us all from travelling, many of us can’t help but wonder how travel will be affected in the long run. After the pandemic, things won’t go back to normal quickly. In fact, some things may never go back to what we once knew. Some changes may be good, others may be negative. Whatever the changes it is something that we will all have to adapt to. There are many thoughts and opinions on how travel will be affected in the future. And many people are already changing their future travel plans, and not just cancelling holidays for this year.
I, for one, am already looking to limit my flights a lot more. Go overland rather than fly. It’ll mean I’ll have to plan more and travel more slowly. But this isn’t a bad thing really. I am also expecting flights to become more expensive, which I can only see as a good thing. Flying has become a right in some countries. The cheapness of flights has meant more and more flights doing damage to the environment. Though I will only be happy if the extra cost goes to offsetting the emissions and not into a billionaire’s back pocket.
It is also my belief that airlines will use this pandemic to reduce hand luggage further, as a way to up the cost. I’ve been expecting this to happen for a while. But if it becomes important to reduce emissions, weekends away will be discouraged. It’ll be the perfect excuse they need to put more cost on the public, rather than cutting the profit a little to offset.
But that’s enough of my opinion. In this post, ten travel bloggers give their thoughts on what they think the future of travel has in store for us all:
Travel for Big Events will be a Big ‘’No-no’’
From Sion and Ben of The Globetrotter Guys
Many people would normally travel halfway across the world just to attend a huge event or festival.
Whether you are travelling to attend Glastonbury, Coachella, Pride or to see your favourite artist live in concert there are going to be a few big milestones to cross before we see any sort of normality in this type of travel.
In the first instance, countries may well start to re-open, but it is highly unlikely they are going to open and immediately allow large scale events that will attract thousands of people.
Purely from a risk perspective, this is a bad idea all round so travelling for these type of events (and the events themselves) might not happen again until well into 2021.
The second point to consider is that people may feel differently about these events. After months of self-quarantine, stress and social isolation heading to a big event might become quite overwhelming and anxiety-inducing.
Whether we like it or not, it will be hard to shake the fear that someone in the crowd could be infected and this will continue to affect our travel choices.
Sustainability And Ecotourism Will Become More Popular
From Jodie of Ajode
Although the pandemic has completely shaken the travel industry, I do believe there will be some positives to come out of this (eventually!). Going forward, I expect to see a much greater focus on sustainable travel and responsible tourism. If the sudden grounding of planes has shown us one thing, it’s how much cleaner the world is without travel. I don’t see people giving up travel any time soon. But I do see the statistics we’re seeing about cleaner air making them think twice.
As we come out of the pandemic, I expect many people will be much more aware of the effect their travel has on our world. Mindlessly booking flights won’t entirely become a thing of the past, but many of us will think harder before booking a ticket. The result might be more travel closer to home, more overland travel and more slow travel – all of which would be great news for the environment
Virtual Tours Will Stick Around
From Gemma of Two Scots Abroad
While many international and local tour companies have scrambled to put virtual tours up online to help keep their tour guides in work and income flowing, it could be the case that these online options outlive lockdown.
Who doesn’t want to take a tour of Rome’s Colosseum or cook with an Italian chef from the comfort on your own home?
Did you know that Harry Potter fans can virtually walk around Edinburgh landmarks while collecting house points while sitting on their sofas?
What about an Outlander tour visiting the castles and cute towns used to film the Starz show in Scotland?
All of these tours are now possible online. Read more in this virtual tours and games guide.
There are many reasons why these tours may continue.
Firstly, accessibility. Not everyone can travel for health reasons. Offering an option to see popular tourists sites through a screen ensures inclusivity for all.
Secondly, affordability. Some people just can’t afford to travel extensively and/or don’t get the holidays.
Finally, overheads. Virtual tours are cheaper to run than in-person group tours. While I don’t think foot tours will disappear, it makes business sense to staddle both the online and offline world.
People Will Choose Small Group Tours
From Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
Since cruise ships have been shown to be the perfect petri dish for the virus, many people will be reluctant to go on another cruise or big bus tour and will instead try out tour companies that limit their groups to a small size. Companies that focus on health and wellness and on sustainable, responsible travel will likely have an edge.
For example, the number of companies offering vegan tours has already been on the rise the past couple of years, and this will definitely continue. After all, COVID-19 is believed to have started in a wet market, where live animals are sold as food. And since not only COVID-19 but the majority of infectious diseases are zoonotic, meaning they jump from animals to humans, one of the most effective ways of preventing future pandemics is by refraining from eating animals or participating in other forms of animal exploitation that bring animals into contact with humans.
People Will Travel Closer To Home
From Disha of Disha Discovers
The pandemic has brought travel for leisure to a standstill and no one really knows when travel will open up again for tourism purposes. One thing is for certain though – travel is going to look very different once the pandemic is over.
When travel does begin again, people are going to be travelling closer to home. People are going to avoid aeroplanes if possible because they’re afraid that they’re breeding grounds for germs and viruses. Plus, many airlines have cancelled flights through the summer and into fall even. As an avid traveller, I don’t even safe flying in planes right now.
Moreover, an incredible amount of tourists have been stranded abroad due to the virus. I was initially stuck in Croatia, but my travel insurance was able to evacuate me home. Travellers are apprehensive about being stuck in a similar situation.
Lastly, the current economic impact of the virus has caused many people to lose their jobs leaving them to pinch pennies wherever they can. Therefore, I think people are going to travel in their home countries more rather than spend a decent chunk of change to travel.
Visitor Numbers Will Be Restricted
From Elisa of World In Paris
For sure, travel after pandemic will be different, especially in places that attract mass tourism. World attractions that usually see the crowds will need to review their “rules of the game” if they want to resume their activity. I am not that concerned for big outdoor sites like Angkor Wat or Stonehenge but big museums like the Louvre Museum or the British Museum will need to review many things if they want to reopen their doors.
How to find the balance between post-lockdown travel and being world tourist attractions? For sure they will have to reduce the number of daily visitors and eventually access to their most popular rooms. Perhaps they can skip the sale of on-site tickets to avoid unexpected large amounts of visitors. And maybe they can also propose tickets valid for a couple of hours so there are always people going in and out.
For sure, if you are planning a trip to Paris after lockdown or to other major tourist destinations, I would follow closely the websites of the places on your travel bucket list to avoid future disappointments.
Choices Will Be Limited Due To Companies Not Making It
From Nicole of American SW Obsessed
One of the consequences of the pandemic is that in the future we may not have as many tour operators and options.
There are several local tourism operators who have already gone under. With the shelter in place orders, no one is travelling or booking tours. Many operators can not afford to go without income for two months.
While there is the hope of domestic travel increasing over summer, it is important to support local tourism operators. Local knowledge is what we should look for when we visit a new area.
Unfortunately, I think the effects on local tourism companies will happen quickly and we may see reduced numbers for a few years.
People Won’t Travel Without Travel Insurance
From Lyubomira of Bulgarian On The Go
After things get back to ‘normal’ and people start travelling internationally again, it can be expected that everyone will start looking more into travel insurances.
Up until this point, many travellers, including myself, were just purchasing the bare minimum travel insurance, or even avoiding it altogether, just to save some cash. When travelling within Europe, I have always counted on my health benefits as an EU citizen, which cover emergency cases, but I never looked into any options for extra insurance.
This pandemic will most surely change this mindset and people will start looking more into better health insurance packages. While the threat of being stuck in quarantine somewhere is still present, travellers will most probably also be making sure they choose an insurance company, which covers the cases of pandemics. And in times like this, when flights are being constantly delayed, changed or cancelled, travel insurances are great when it comes to claiming travel delays and requesting compensation.
Once the virus hopefully disappears and there are no serious threats out there, people might get back to their old habits of neglecting being insured. But until then, travel insurance companies will be thriving.
People Will Travel As Families More
From Kerrie & Woody of Just Go Travelling
The COVID-19 pandemic has made current times very uncertain. However, we believe how people
will travel in the future will never be the same again.
Testing times have brought change to our everyday routine and lives. Many people have been away
from families or stuck in the same house with family members for several months.
On one hand, there is no doubt these living conditions have brought many headaches and
arguments. On the other hand, we believe most families have become closer whether it is through
spending more time together or appreciating each other more from times spent apart.
Everyone wants to swim in crystal clear waters again or hike that challenging mountain in a foreign
country. We believe more people will travel as a family as throughout this time we have not only
experienced stronger bonds but also missed the sense of adventure.
More people will travel as a family, feeling safer in case another lockdown occurs and also coming
together and appreciating life more as a whole.
Health Screening Entering And Exiting Airports Will Become The Norm
From Becki of Meet Me In Departures
Thermal cameras are nothing new. My first memory of them was when I went to Hong Kong by rail from China. We were screened as we entered the country. That was back in 2013.
I’d not experienced this again until more recently when I got caught up in the lockdown in Italy. They were screening people’s temperature as we boarded to get on the plane.
Much like when we have to go through security screening and walk through the metal detecting machines, I think the norm will be that we also have multiple points of health screening.
Perhaps as we enter the airport, as we go through check-in, as we board the plane, when we get off the plane possibly with the use of infrared thermometers, a ‘fit to travel’ card perhaps obtained a few days before you travel from your GP.
I’ve read about various other ways that health screening may be implemented, including CT scans for lungs, blood tests, a certificate that you’ve taken a vaccine (when it becomes available) although I’ve not found confirmation on these yet.
Let’s face it, in the days before 9/11, security screening was fairly lax. Yet now it’s all part of the norm to have limitations on what we can and can not carry, with various security checks. We don’t blink an eye at that now, it’s just part of the norm of flying. I strongly believe, health screening will just become part of the process of travel.
We all have our thoughts on how the future of travel might change. It may be years before the travel industry is fully back on its feet. It’ll be understandable if people are nervous about going abroad again for a while.
How do you think the future of travel might change? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.