Move over, flights and international vacations! Road trips and staycations are going to pave the way for the travel industry’s comeback after Covid-19.
With the lockdown slowly easing out, the country is now adjusting to the new normal: A world with fewer crowds, more safety measures and more awareness.
So what does this mean for travellers? What happens to the tourist attractions where people flocked, the jam-packed trains, the airport queues and the hotels & resorts buzzing with guests?
Granted, with a pandemic in place, many are still and will be apprehensive about getting back on the road again. But that doesn’t mean people have given up on their travel dreams and bucket lists. And it certainly doesn’t mean the travel industry’s future is out the window.
Crises in the past have shown the travel industry’s resilience and its ability to get back up on its feet. As a matter of fact, the lockdown has left many with a tremendous pent-up desire to get up, out and about. According to a joint survey conducted by Jumpin Heights and Journey Weavers, it was found that 70.08% were ready to start travelling once the lockdown is lifted completely.
Although it will be a while before travel actually regains its past glory, there is no doubt that the sector will pick up pace steadily. And as it takes baby steps towards revival, staycations and road trips will be the first ones to make a comeback.
Let's take a deeper look at what this means.
Staycations and Road Trips
With international flights set to resume services only in the third phase of the “unlock” plan and the dates still unknown, people will not be travelling internationally for leisure, anytime soon. Even when it finally does, with the risk of contracting the virus still looming over our heads, especially when it comes to moving across borders and into a new territory, it is highly unlikely that international travel will be on people’s minds for a while.
However, people will be keeping themselves busy with getaways in destinations that are closer to home. As it happens, the results of the survey by Jumpin Heights and Journey Weavers also indicates this, with a staggering 82.5% expressing their readiness to travel domestically.
And with social distancing being the new norm, experts point out that privacy will be high up on the vacationer’s list of priorities while planning a vacation. So while buses, trains and even planes take a backseat for now, people will choose to drive to their destinations instead and preference will be given to resorts, hotels and rentals that are hidden away from the masses.
Never too careful
When the pandemic took the world by storm, people started realizing that one can never be too careful. And even more so, while travelling.
This has changed the way all the elements in the travel ecosystem works. Stringent protocols have been laid, insurance has become a necessity and spontaneity is now a thing of the past.
Airlines as well as hotels have revised their cancellation policies and made them more flexible. And people are taking every detail into consideration before taking the travel plunge.
But as things slowly tear away from the standstill caused by the pandemic and the lockdown, here are some things you can check for when you get back to travel:
On a road trip:
Pack for the journey:
While you might not need much for your actual stay, it is important that you remember to pack for your actual journey. Sanitizers, handwash, gloves and masks are as important as your ID in the current situation but there are a few other things you can put in your bag. Snacks, water and a first aid box are just some of the things you’ll be needing while on the road.
Unless absolutely necessary, it is best to avoid stops in between, especially in a crowded area. While on a road trip, stopping for food at roadside restaurants is quite common, but you just might want to hold off on that for now. This is one of the reasons why packing food and water for the journey is a necessity in today’s scenario.
Picking the hotel:
While picking a hotel for your stay, you might need to ask some questions before you zero in on one. Here are some things you should watch out for:
Does the hotel you are looking at follow standard hygiene practices and have safety measures in place? This includes sanitizing surfaces regularly, regular hygiene and health checks of the staff and the availability of contactless check-in, checkout and disinfection technologies among others.
Try to get a good value for your money while picking your accommodation. Make sure the property is worth the money you’re spending on it and also ensure that you’re getting it at the best prices in the market.
Travel has had to overcome many crises in this century and this might even be the worst of it, but as Molière said, “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” It will take a while before travel bounces back to its pre-pandemic popularity, but when it eventually does, every change the industry has to adapt to today will make for easier and more reassuring getaways tomorrow.