Coronavirus changed our lives – forthwith. Before we could even adjust to what is happening all around us, changes took over our lives and lifestyle. People across the globe canceled all their plans related to professional, personal, travel, and many such. We got tuned to living amidst restrictions, of course for our safer tomorrow.
Countries are lifting restrictions gradually; however, one thing is certain – life can be the same as before. The same goes for travel and related plans and experiences. Globetrotters are still in a dilemma of whether to travel or not. Many uncertainties, misinformation, rules, and regulations are confusing travel lovers leaving them with an eternal question – Can I ever travel as I did before?
Countries and authorities say travel is possible. Nonetheless, they also remind that travelers need to adapt to and follow the new normalcy of travel guidelines. Here is an outline of the changes that Coronavirus brought to travel and what we need to know before packing bags for the next trip after the lockdown:
Win-win for closer to home traveling
Travelers now have restrictions in many countries. While some are making corona negative proof mandatory, most others are imposing a 14-day quarantine for foreign visitors. Some countries are screening travelers based on the risk zone of their country of origin and limitedly issuing travel visas.
Travel experts feel these restrictions can push people to opt for closer to home trips as they do not pose much restrictions and formalities.
Be it a long drive in a car with a roof rack accessories or traveling 100 miles in domestic flight, travel journeys near the living place may take a boom shortly.
Going with the flow of airlines’ new rules
Airlines across the globe continued to run through lockdown, with a dire fall in the passenger count, unlike other major public transport which was closed temporarily. Lately, the number of air travelers is increasing. Airlines are incorporating the World Health Organization’s safety advisories strictly.
Fliers can now carry 12 ounces of sanitizer in contrast to only 3.4 ounces earlier. Face masks and gloves are compulsory at most airports. During identity verification, travelers may have to lower their masks. This is also to ensure that there are not concealing anything. Transparent plastic covers that separate passengers and airline staff are installed at many airports.
Airlines have cut the in-flight meals and beverages. Restrictions are in place about cabin luggage. Travelers should display their boarding passes visible to the staff, unlike the old practice where passes were handed over for checking.
At present, some airlines are crossing alternate seats for social distancing. This may not be feasible in the long run keeping in mind the potential increase in the number of fliers and the revenue targets of airlines.
Travel may turn costlier
Tourist places, airports, trains, hotels, and restaurants are all infusing sanitizing and safety measures into their daily routines. The cost of masks, sanitizers, gloves, social distancing screens, and arrangements may ultimately fall onto the customers henceforth. So, future travelers may expect costlier flights, and hiked boarding and lodging expenses.
Reduced rush at the public places
Crowds are indispensable at places like zoos, museums, malls, parks, etc. This scene may change soon. Organizers are planning to issue online tickets and admit visitors at mentioned timings. Many amusement parks have not yet restarted their famous displays and shows. They are entertaining their guests with fireworks and other shows that people can enjoy from afar, thus avoiding crowds.
Virtual tours and picnics may gain momentum
Thanks to technology, travelers can now not miss the fun of traveling across the continents. Virtual tours are offering the best solution to see and enjoy the places that were always on the bucket list of travel enthusiasts. This may probably solve the travel lust for people, albeit minus the fun and experience that real-time travel offers.
Still time for a full-fledged cruising experience
Ships are not still fully back into action. Experts feel that it may take time for the construction of ships as per the new social distancing norms and regulatory advisories. However, short distance cruises might resume gradually with limited passenger intake.
Also, temperature checks and medical screenings may turn mandatory. Buffets may not exist anymore.
With the history of an unprecedented outbreak on ships, experts feel that cruising may regain its charm in 2021.
Local bars and restaurants may take time to bounce back
People have shunned eating and drinking out since the pandemic. Though governments are gradually lifting relaxations on eateries, it is still a doubt how many can dare to dine out as they did earlier.
In one of its studies, UBS found that one in five restaurants in the USA might have to close permanently. One of the reasons is the lack of tourist traffic. Also, people are skeptical about the hygiene and safety measures during food preparation. This means enjoying food in local eateries is a distant dream!
Wrapping it up
Travel experiences will change for sure in the coming days. And they won’t be any match with those of the pre-COVID era. Masks, sanitizers, social distancing, contactless travels, eating, and staying safe will be the new norms.
As Charles Darwin precisely quoted – it is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change. We have no other option than to adapt to the change in the way we travel from now on.