The current pandemic has pushed us towards change and the new norm is all about sanitization, social distancing, and masks. While long queues and crowded airports may seem like a distant dream, people will continue to travel. However, traveling around the globe is in for a major transformation.
The changes in behavioral and social patterns brought about by the pandemic indicate that exploring the world in these times will require new rules. In this article, we look at what’s the new normal when it comes to traveling and holiday vacations. Read on to say hello to the new normal.
- Road Trips: As the lockdown opens and life slowly trots back to normal, travel is likely to pick up with road trips to nearby locations. With no check-ins and public contact, road trips are safe and give you a chance to appreciate the natural landscape. Once you’re willing to travel, it’s a good idea to visit national parks nearby. You can rent a cottage in your favorite hotel, one that has been fully sanitized. While international air travel may seem difficult right now, driving to neighboring states like Hawaii for a weekend or a two-week staycation can be a perfect getaway. Check out KOALA for beautiful villas around the country.
- Sanitization: One thing that emerges from the pandemic is the new cleanliness and sanitization norms that everyone must follow. From frequent hand washes to taking flights that have been sanitized, these trends are here to stay. Wherever you go, temperature checks and social distancing will be the new norm. It’s advisable to choose hotels with private villas and spacious lounging areas where chairs are placed at an appropriate distance.
- Experiences over popular destinations: The lockdown has given us time to think about our life choices and slow down. The once jet setting corporates are now finding alternative ways like zoom for business meetings and trainings. While travel before coronavirus was all about popular international destinations and swanky hotels, people may now prefer experiential holidays with their families. People may check out farm stays or a rented property that’s off the beaten track. The simpler pleasures of life like nature walks, cycling tours with family, or camping in the hills are the types of holidays that are likely to dominate.
- New Travel Etiquettes: Keeping yourself covered and safe while traveling is vital. Wearing a mask, following social distancing norms, and keeping your hands regularly sanitized cannot be overlooked anymore. These new hygiene habits will have to be adapted for ensuring safe travel. Traveling light will be a necessity. Minimizing indirect contact with other luggage in overhead cabins and cargo will ensure personal safety. In these uncertain times, you must have travel insurance. Adequate travel insurance will ensure that you don’t spend all your money getting yourself treated in an expensive foreign country hospital.
- Technology-led Travel: As traveling opens post the pandemic, technology will become indispensable. From web check-ins to online bookings and payments, most of the transactions will go digital. Some innovative hotels are using self-service kiosks, digital app-based room keys, in-room technologies like ordering food on an app to minimize human contact. Electronic passports, boarding passes, and robot cleaners are playing a key role in keeping the airports safe.
- New Protocol at Hotels: Most hotels have implemented improved hygiene standards. They use keywords like sanitized and clean to market their hotels. Regular deep cleaning of high traffic areas like the lift, kitchen, and staircases is part of the housekeeping routine. Social distancing has become mandatory in the common areas of hotels. There are hand sanitizers placed in common areas like the lobby. Masks and gloves can be ordered by guests. Some hotels may make contact tracing mandatory.
With the current pandemic situation, most travel companies and hotels are getting flexible with travel dates, check-in timings, and cancellation policies.
Conclusion: As people start traveling, small family getaways in the lap of nature or outdoor camps are gaining popularity over group holidays and the go-to destinations. People are likely to go for road trips than travel by air. Technology has become an integral part of travel and holidays. From check-ins to payments, a lot will shift to digital platforms to avoid human contact. While luxury hotels may cost less, most travelers will want to book clean and sanitized villas without the butler service.
Before things get back to normal, local traveling is the way to go. Road tripping to your favorite villa with your loved ones can turn out to be your best holiday ever – a chance to stop and smell the roses.