April 21, 2020

Musings: Post-Pandemic Travel Thoughts

Currently we are only focusing on the ‘now’ and taking things as they are. 

As the news says at least 50 times a day, we are living in ‘unprecedented’ times. 

Our generation (well mine at least) has never experienced anything on this scale.

McDonald’s is closed and for somewhere that doesn’t even close on Christmas Day, this shit is serious.

I don’t see Boris Johnson cutting a red ribbon to open London anytime soon either.

There are going to be travel restrictions in place for a while even if we get the ‘all-clear’ Covid-19 is not going to disappear overnight. Is quarantine/isolation/social-distancing going to become our new normal?

Are we going to simply ‘have’ to adapt? 

...Yep.

I wrote about my thoughts in isolation the other week but in the midst of this all I can’t stop thinking what will life be like post-pandemic – especially when it comes to travel. 

Airlines

In the past few years we have sadly said goodbye to iconic airlines such as FlyBMI, Thomas Cook and Monarch etc. Is there too much competition out there? Yes and no. This pandemic, however, has caused the majority of airlines to ground their fleet, make their employees take pay cuts and seek help from governments around the globe. 

Not being able to travel has had a knock on effect on everyone and it makes you wonder if airlines will be able to survive post-pandemic. I really hope they do. Not only for the selfish reason of ‘catching flights and not feelings’, but for the economy. 

However, the silver lining of air travel being at a standstill* is that air quality has improved and pollution has lessened. 

FYI – There are still flights being operated e.g cargo or repatriation flights.  

Full Capacity 

I don’t know about you but after this period of social distancing is over the last thing I want to do is get on a flight full of people. Will a full flight become a thing of the past?  It’s hard to tell but it is likely that social distancing measures are going to be in place for a while. Perhaps we will say goodbye to the middle seat? 

Travel restrictions bans are likely to be here for a while so it looks like domestic travel will be on the rise. I guess it’s time to explore the United Kingdom for a while as much as it pains me.

“One thing that will definitely change after this pandemic is our freedom of movement where travelling is concerned. It wont be so easy to toss a coin, land on a destination then pack your bags. I strongly believe that many countries will still restrict movement in and out of their boarders. As much as this upsets me I totally get it. We won’t be able to travel how we used to. Getting up and going wherever we want probably wont be as easy as 1.2,3.  In the grand scheme of things this might be a good thing. As it will give us all a chance to explore our own backyards or places that were never on our bucket list. When this is all over don’t be in a rush to jump on the next plane. Take some time to research new destinations.”

Jenna of Jenna’s World View

The Cost of Travel 

The cost of travel as a whole is a tricky one. Will flights go up or down? Do airlines need to raise prices to recoup the losses of this pandemic or do they need to lower them to entice and lure us back into travelling again? 

“It is normal for many airlines to overbook flights. This may actually increase the price of flights because airlines may start reducing the numbers of people that can fly on one trip.”

Ade of My Breaking Views

Read more: The Luxury City Break Guide

Health Status

“I believe after the pandemic we would be required to have some kind of travel certification or document that shows that the individual travelling has immunity again COVID-19; either by infection from the disease or by receiving an immunisation vaccination. Global leaders are already pushing for some kind of ‘freedom passport’ that allows for individuals immune for COVID -19 to go back to work and keep the economy afloat.  Disease such as yellow fever requires travellers to receive the vaccine before travelling to some countries. This might be the case for COVID-19 but since this is affecting people on a global scale it means people will need to be vaccinated on a global level, which causes a lot of conspiracy theories to arise. People, are genuinely worried about the quality of the vaccine and the rush in production. The question is will you take a vaccine in exchange for your life to return back to some kind of ‘normal’ and more importantly for your travel freedom?”

Pelumi of Black Kintsugi

Pelumi raises at interesting point but this all depends on how fast a vaccine is developed. These things take time and it could be years before we see a vaccination for Covid-19. Not only that, these things are expensive and with an impending recession looming, who will foot the bill? Everyone and everything will have an impact regardless. But what is great to see is all nations united for the same cause.

Types of Travel

I have a feeling solo travel will flourish post-pandemic. I for one wouldn’t want to be around large crowds and one of the pros of travelling alone is being able to dart around as you please. 

The same goes for ticking off those bucket-list moments. Instead of rushing to tick off destination by destination, we’re more likely to spend time meticulously planning and researching before heading off to the airport.

The same goes for types of accommodations – will there be more of a push to private types of accommodation? Or will we opting for plush hotel rooms? It’s hard to say. However, whilst we have this downtime, do some research especially when it comes to the health and safety of the property you’ll booking.

The pandemic saw cruise ships become floating nightmares waiting to happen but this shouldn’t deter you from going on one. There are very likely to be much more measurements (and medical staff) in place in the event this happens again. 

Read more: 5 Reasons You Should Travel Solo

Flexible Bookings & Insurance 

In my post here I detailed my thoughts about what you need once you’ve booked a trip and I will always say, insurance is important.

“The amount times I have heard the phrase ‘I don’t need insurance, nothing is going to happen to me’ from friends and family when they have booked trip is pretty scary. Of course you need insurance. It’s almost tempting fate if you don’t buy it. Travel insurance covers you if you have an accident, fall ill, lose any items or if they’re unfortunately stolen. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. As much as you might think you might haver stress-free trip – accidents happen.”

– Me

Was this pandemic and accident or an act of God? Some policies don’t cover pandemics and see them as an ‘act of God’, meaning the traveller will be at a loss in the event of making a claim. I cannot advise when it comes to insurance but all I can say is that you need to comb through any policy you take out carefully.

“Personally, I think governments may want to make insurance companies more liable to pandemics. However, I am sure insurance companies will be sneaky and add a line in agreements that doesn’t permit them to help individuals in situations like this.”

Ade of My Breaking Views

A need for flexibility

I tend to book non-refundable hotel rooms because they’re often a third cheaper. If I pay for it beforehand it’s a cost I don’t have to account for when I reach my destination. Post-pandemic however, I will never book a non-refundable room again. Spending hours on the phone to Expedia to try and sort a refund (which thankfully came through) was something I never want to repeat again. However, I cannot imagine how many travellers have lost out hard-earned coins on bookings. On the flip-side, the same goes for hotels, AirB&B owners and other types of accommodation owners. We’re all gonna feel the pinch somewhere. 

The same goes for airlines. I personally book non-refundable flights because they’re cheap and you often get what you pay for when it comes to budget airlines. Most airlines have either introduced a voucher system where you can rebook for a later date for the cancelled trips throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. But if your flight is cancelled, you should be able to get your money back (don’t quote me on this).

“Airlines are currently trying to bump* me. Air Canada have said my flight is non-refundable so they can only give me a credit for two years. It’s this or I face a cancellation fee.”

Ade of My Breaking Views

Sorry Ade. 

Hopefully flexible bookings become the norm for customers in future and cancellation fees will become a thing fo the past.

Read more: 7 Things to Remember Before Booking a Trip

Influencer Marketing 

This is the topic that intrigues me to most as a content creator. Post-pandemic I reckon there is going to be even more of a focus on digital advertising. Technology is what connects us these days and it’s quicker and often cheaper to produce versus print media. 

“I think as a travel community we will need to help countries gain tourist attractions once the pandemic is over. I fear there will be a number of people that will be paranoid to travel to countries that suffered with huge amounts of COVID-19 cases.”

Ade of My Breaking Views

At the end of the day, it depends on the overall brief and aim of the campaign. Is it to raise awareness, make sales or just make great content? It could be all of these or just one. When it comes to travel, it will ultimately be a mix of all three. Travel content creators, influencers etc are here to ‘sell’ destinations, whether it be from taking beautiful photos, finding beautiful stories – we have our parts to play. 

“Sponsors may also be inclined to work with influencers/content creators that have better engagement with their followers than those with just a huge following.”

Ade of My Breaking Views

Personally, as a predominantly travel content creator I feel a responsibility to continue travelling but in a responsible way. Does that mean less flights? Yes. Offsetting my carbon emissions where possible? Yes. Doing more eco-friendly excursions? Yes. Staying in more eco-friendly hotels/accommodations? Yes.

If you have a platform, use it wisely.

Businesses are on the brink of going bust. 

Thousands of Staff have been put on furlough. 

And of course there are travel restrictions. 

How long will this last? We simply don’t know. 

For now we can do is stay home, observe government guidelines to help stop the spread of this invisible enemy.

Thanks to Jenna of Jenna’s World View, Ade of My Breaking Views, Pelumi of Black Kintsugi for their insights. Don’t forget to check out their blogs and socials too.

What are your thoughts on what travel will look like post-pandemic? 

Char xo 

*bump = rip off

One response to “Musings: Post-Pandemic Travel Thoughts”

  1. Honestly, I think there will still be this fear of interaction among people but I know that there are many who will simply jump in a plane or in the nearest train just to visit their families despite everything else. Personally I don’t have any travel plans outside UK but I miss seeing Travel Agencies open again, different tourist attractions available for everyone to enjoy, the ability to walk into a Museum and be impressed by what it has to offer and all these small things that we simply took for granted.

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About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.