Lockdowns, mandatory masks, social distancing, working remotely—the spread of the novel coronavirus around the world has dramatically altered the way people live and will continue to change our lives for the foreseeable future.
Perhaps no area of life (outside of the medical field) has been more affected both economically and socially than travel, whether from state to state, country to country, or even within one’s own neighborhood. Some pandemic-related changes have already been short-lived while others might prove to be everlasting. Here are six ways travel will change as the pandemic continues to create our new normal.
1. Dress and Security
While local government and modes of public transportation might ease face-masking rules, those that remain in place are likely to vary widely. You can expect a segment of the population to continue to wear masks no matter the legal requirements. This comes with potential safety concerns. A masked person on a train can easily pull the mask up making him harder to identify in the case of criminal intentions. This reality could necessitate a need for more security personal and cameras in airports, bus depots, and train terminals, as well as on the passenger vehicles themselves.
2. Travel Insurance
The pandemic has made people and the cultures they live in more safety conscience. It is therefore natural to expect an increase in the number of people purchasing travel insurance before they board a plane. Canceled or delayed flights have increased due to the additional security measures. This has increased demand for travel insurance policies that cover trip cancellations.
To find the best travel insurance, head to iSelect. Their site allows Australian travelers to compare prices and policies from five different providers and find the deal that is best for them. Some policies will pay for hotels and meals if a flight gets canceled or delayed as well as cover lost luggage and emergency evacuations. A more budget-conscious consumer will be sure to pay attention.
3. Shorter Flights
Lockdowns have naturally increased people’s desire to get away for a breather while also negatively impacting a lot of budgets. Shorter, cheaper flights will certainly increase in popularity as this continues. In the past, many have preferred an overseas destination for their summer vacations, but in the future we can expect more travel to closer destinations. Staycations are also popular and practical alternatives to jetting off to a foreign land during the pandemic.
Some people simply have exploration in their DNA, so many travel plans will likely fill up with shorter trips to wander extended backyards.
4. Isolated Accommodations
With concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, expect to see an increase in the number of people looking to book a cabin away from the crowd, a room far from the busy beach, or a little known hotel. Limiting one’s potential exposure to the virus provides peace of mind. Even travelers who have felt isolated at home might find themselves choosing the least social rental accommodations.
5. Road trips
As states that have been hard hit by the virus ease restrictions on allowing entry to non-residents, you can expect more people to get into their cars, trucks or SUVs and make trips from state to state. You control the environment inside your own vehicle, a luxury you won’t get on a train or public bus. This option for family or solo travel might soon become as usual a sight on highways as sixteen-wheel rigs are.
Cruises are a form of global travel in which you enjoy a fancy houseboat with newfound friends, dining and partying with them at all hours. However, the pandemic has struck down the heart of the cruise industry. A number of cruise ships reported the spread of the virus on board, which led to chaotic situations with passengers and crews trapped in ships and unable to dock at local ports. Travel bans on ocean cruises have been put in place in various parts of the world and the cruise industry will likely continue to struggle to ensure potential customers that it is safe to come on board.
If your travel bug is urging you to head out on an adventure, take caution. Dramatic changes have taken place in every aspect of the travel world. Beginning with dress and security, continuing on with the vast numbers of people booking shorter flights, staying in isolated accommodations or opting for road trips closer to home. There may yet be a few hurdles to the spirit of exciting journeys.