THE FUTURE OF POST-PANDEMIC TRAVEL
Travel has always been an integral part of life in terms of exploration, adventure, culture and education. It was something that provided inspiration, escapism from reality and hours of soul searching in far flung destinations as well as the yearning to give back to communities via social and sustainable projects. However, after witnessing the events of the past few months of the world in lockdown and the effects of halting travel has had on the global economy, the green light on travel has been granted but what does the future hold for tourism?
Personally, I believe travel in the future will never be the same again. For one the planet has spoken and has not had many benefits from the lack of over-consumerism on its resources. Travellers have slowly but surely taken this on board as well as becoming more savvy on where and how they wish to travel with many wishing to support the local economy. We still want to go abroad but travel is being shaped to be a lot cleaner, greener, safer and more considerate. Welcome to the ‘new normal’.
How the Face of Travel is Changing in the Foreseeable Future
Taking a flight
Technology is being introduced by airports and airlines to include temperature monitoring before boarding the flight, time slots for passengers arriving at the airport to reduce huge queues as well as social distancing in the airport itself such as restaurants, restrooms and duty-free shopping.
It will be compulsory on future flights to wear masks onboard and throughout the customer journey. Check-in and boarding procedures will be adapted so less time is spent in contact with staff as well as the introduction of sanitising units across the airports. Passengers will be provided with ‘Protect Masks’ containing wipes and hand sanitiser. Special dietary and children’s meals will not be provided on board with overhead lockers and queuing for the restrooms to be discouraged.
The airline is sanitising headsets. Onboard linens and sanitising all major passenger touch points regularly with cabin crew wearing full PPE over their uniforms. Qatar Airways also have automated disinfectant robots in Hamad International Airport, which emit UV-C lights that can eliminate viral particles.
‘Wellness Ambassadors”, who are multi-lingual will be in place to update passengers on safety precautions and offer advice on staying safe and protected.
For more information, have a look at the International Air Transport Information (IATA’S) website at the interactive map of airports here.
Choosing a Staycation
Staying at home may be a great affordable and safer option for families especially over the summer months. Plenty of great getaways right on our doorstep in England with fun activities to do such as outdoor pursuits, and visiting the English coastline with Norfolk, Devon and Cornwall being so popular with the reputation of the English Riviera.
I have my eyes set on country staycations for the next few months to escape the four walls of home.
Day trips and excursions to properties and sites run by National Trust, English Heritage sites would be a welcomed way to support local and swot up on some history of the country.
Increased Interest in Sustainable Holidays
Over the past few years, more sustainable travel has been at the forefront of many travellers priorities, which resonates with my personal style of travel. Post lockdown, the need to support the wellness of the environment, trying to off-set the carbon footprint and choose more responsibly will be even more at the forefront of our minds.
Have a read of the below to get some ideas on how you can be a more mindful and sustainable traveller to contribute to eco-tourism
Entering the ‘New Norm’ of Hotel Stays
If you do love a hotel stay and love the popular holidaying destinations in the Middle-east such as Dubai, the famous Atlantis, The Palm implemented some interesting precautions. Expect to have the option of your luggage being sanitised before being let into your room, a welcome kit can be provided with sanitising products during a stay. The resort has even eployed a dedicated hygiene officer to ensure standards are being met including private and discreet temperature checking with digital infra-red thermometers.
The Hilton hotels will even be adding a room seal on the doors of rooms to demonstrate the room has not been entered since the sanitising process.
Trade the City Metropolis in Exchange for Island or Nature Breaks
Ever thought of swapping a city break with something a little less crowded and quieter? Maybe opting for an island escape or somewhere out in the country would offer a more authentic and stress-free style of holiday?
Remote lodges and locations is what I usually pride my travel style on so these are at the top of my list including farm stays for a unique and more ethical experience.
A Good Time to discover a Self-Driving Holiday
The freedom and flexibility of a driving holiday is immense, and the time is literally your own without having to stick to tour schedules and pick up times. Driving a route and following where the road takes you, stopping off at local guesthouses has it’s own rewards and makes for a memorable trip. We drove from North island down to South Island in New Zealand a couple of years ago and was definitely one of the most isolating but exhilarating experiences to date.
Although the thought of boarding a plane just yet, fills me with apprehension, I am a little more comfortable knowing measures and precautions in the travel industry are being implemented for the future. Thus giving us the opportunity to be able to enjoy a more greener or safer approach to travel. The ‘new norm’ is no bad thing, allowing travellers to enjoy a bit more out of the box, unconventional travel, which is more of an adventure and challenge.
Over to you folks, lets continue the conversation below. How do you see the new future of travel?