It’s been almost a year of travel deprivations, and for sure, you are already missing the luxury of being able to freely travel from one destination to another. With coronavirus cases still spiking all around the world, international travel will have to wait.
With the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines being underway, a survey conducted by Data Analysts said that over 53% of the U.S. respondents said the vaccine made them feel “optimistic” that they can start traveling safely within the next six months or so. Over 80% of these respondents said they have “at least tentative” plans for now.
However, even with the promise of a vaccine, medical experts warn that a vaccine is not guaranteed to ease back into former easygoing travel habits. In a report by The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Lin Chen, president of the International Society of Travel Medicine, cautioned would-be-travelers to follow the necessary health protocols even when vaccinated. This means that wearing masks and social distancing should still be implemented.
What does this mean for the future of travel?
With the pandemic still being a full-blown reality, the future of travel will change as we know it. For one thing, sustainability will become a “driving force” in the travel industry. In a National Geographic report, Elizabeth Becker notes that travelers will practice more “responsible travel policies,” and travel industries, in turn, will implement measures to prioritize safety and health other than profit margins.
Whatever the future may bring for traveling, you will always have a reason to travel, whether it is a form of escapism or as a form of self-care. Here is a travel guide on places to explore and what to do when you’re ready to travel again:
1. Take Less Frequent But Longer Trips
Pre-COVID days, you and your troop might have visited South Korea or Dubai multiple times a year, staying for about a week per visit. Now that the pandemic has changed things, more people are looking into longer stays and less frequent travels. With travel restrictions being part of the norm, travel-goers think that this will be the wiser option.
2. People will choose to support local businesses more
One thing that the pandemic has taught many of us is how to be resilient and to show support to small businesses more. When you travel abroad, a good way to get an authentic feel of the place and connect with its people is by helping local tourism and showing support to local businesses.
Eat in that small restaurant to get a taste of authentic cuisine. Shop for souvenirs made by local artisans. Participate in local tourist attractions that will sustain local business people, whether it is cliff-diving or going heliboarding. It will surely make the trip all the more memorable.
3. Know the travel rules and restrictions of the place of your destination
With several countries starting to open up to travelers, a sense of normalcy is just starting to begin. Before you book your tickets, a safe and responsible thing to do is check the travel rules and entry requirements your destination country might have.
It’s also important that you keep yourself updated on the country’s current travel policies, quarantine status, international travel restrictions, as well as the number of active COVID-19 cases.
4. Get Travel Insurance
It is now more important than ever to purchase travel insurance when traveling abroad. Back in 2020, when the quarantine went full blast, the globe witnessed massive cancellations in flights, world events, hotel bookings, and tours. This made many globe trotters realize the importance of travel insurance.
A good rule of thumb when shopping around for travel insurance is to check the insurance coverage of your insurance policies as most companies do not cover epidemics.
5. Consider going “off-the-beaten-path.”
People will most likely flock back to the world’s most popular tourist destinations like The Louvre, The London Eye, or the Parthenon. Why not take “the road less traveled,” so to say, and visit some of the world’s more off-beat locales such as Chile, Slovenia, and Raja Ampat. These destinations are just as beautiful as any of the more frequented tourist hot spots, but with lesser people and more opportunities to practice effective social distancing and other proper health and safety protocols.
Travel is a great way to refresh one’s mind, heart, body, and soul during hard times. The previous year was tough and brought with it many changes and uncertainties. But with developments and safety measures being in place, it may be in the cards that you can travel the skies soon.