How different will travel look in a post-COVID-19 world?

Ah, travelling. A long lost memory for most of us. Before the pandemic, travel was a luxury that many people took for granted; we could jump on a plane and be sunbathing on a beach in an exotic location in a matter of hours without a worry. Sadly, this is now not the case.

With new vaccines being rolled out across the world, the end of our travel deprivation might just be in sight. However, things will definitely not return to ‘normal’ straight away, and going holiday will just not be the same as it was before.

So, just how different will travel look in a post-COVID-19 world? Here are some potential differences you may notice:

Increased focus on hygiene

Image credit: @ngbates – Unsplash

Obviously, there will be an increased focus on hygiene the next time you travel, and it’s likely that hand sanitiser stations, mask-wearing and social distancing will all still be in place in years to come.

Many European countries made wearing face-masks obligatory in the early months of the pandemic, and the UK Government’s have been criticised for not following suit. For example, face-masks have been compulsory indoors and outdoors in many regions of Spain since the beginning, despite the hot weather and stuffy climate.

A lot of people would argue that an increased focus on hygiene abroad is a good thing, rather than an inconvenience. Using hand sanitiser on public transport and shops, wearing a mask and keeping your distance from other people could limit your chances of catching other illnesses, aside from COVID-19. However, others may argue differently.

No vaccine, no holiday…

Image credit: BBC

Several airlines and travel companies have already said that they will require a COVID vaccination to travel. For example, all international passengers travelling on the Australian airline Qantas will require a vaccination and holiday company Saga has said a similar thing.

This is bad news for the majority of young travellers, who are unlikely to be vaccinated until after the summer. Unless you work in healthcare or are clinically vulnerable, the chances of you receiving the vaccine in the next few months are slim.

So, what does this mean? Well, if other airlines and travel companies end up requiring a ‘vaccination passport’ before you can go on holiday, then you might not be able to board that plane until 2022!

Quarantine on arrival

Image credit: Financial Times

Nobody likes the thought of having to sit in a hotel room for two weeks before you can start your holiday. However, that’s just the grim reality of travel nowadays, and it’s unlikely to change.

Many countries in Asia and those with low COVID cases, such as Australia and New Zealand already require you to take part in a mandatory government quarantine before you can enter the country. These strict isolation rules are likely to remain and be endorsed by more nations as travel picks up again in months to come.

The expense of quarantine alone is enough to put travellers off, with prices in Australia starting from ¢3000 for one adult. Thus, countries with similar rules may see a noticeable lack of tourists, even when restrictions are eased slightly.

An increase in road trips and staycations

Image credit: Jessica Goddard

The types of holiday we go on are bound to change, even in a ‘post COVID-19’ world. The impact of the virus has meant that many people will prefer to travel in their own vehicle, rather than a plane, or even not travel outside of the UK at all.

Thus, European countries may see an increase in tourists from the UK travelling in campervans and caravans. In many ways, this could be a good thing; some would argue that you get a more authentic experience travelling and sleeping in your own vehicle, and you definitely come into close contact with fewer people.

An increase in people choosing a ‘staycation’, rather than a holiday abroad will also be fantastic for the UK’s holiday industry and boosting our disastrous economy.

Quieter tourist attractions

Image credit: Euronews

Long gone are the days of queuing to get inside tourist attractions, only to get inside, take a picture, and then leave. Although most will open their doors again in the summer, they will likely be operating under shorter opening hours and reduced capacities.

Even on the streets, the dramatic drop in the number of tourists will be noticeable. This may be a bad thing for the local businesses, but your holiday will definitely be a lot quieter than times before COVID-19.

So, there you have it. Holidays abroad will surely be making a return for summer 2021, however, they will not look like they will have done previously.

Written by Jessica Goddard

Feature image credit: Jessica Goddard

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