It is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the travel industry. It has had an impact on every country in the world. Borders have been closed to foreigners not just in the United States but around the world. So what will travel look like after the coronavirus?
At the time of the original posting of this almost all international borders had close. Since them we have learned more about this virus and what countries have adapted well. Below the details of what will travel look like after the coronavirus are currently happening and will continue to happen through 2020. We do know more now about how countries and places around the world are handling this virus. Some countries are beginning to open back up. Here are some of the safest places to travel to after the coronavirus.
Many countries for the month of March and April 2020 have been on a form of “Lockdown.” Shutting down borders, and even restricting citizens from leaving the house.
At this point, the reality of what the travel industry will look like is all speculation, but let’s look at some of the things that could potentially happen.
What are the positives for travelers that will come from the coronavirus pandemic?
This pandemic has been so sad for many people all over the Earth. I do not want to discount that and my deepest regards go to all of those affected by the coronavirus.
However, there could be many positives that come out of this pandemic for travelers. We have learned so a lot about infection control and the spread of disease over the last few months. So, let’s take a look at a few of the good things that will come out of all of this.
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Cleanliness will become a top priority
One thing I am grateful for is the new measures that have been and will be put in place when it comes to sanitation. This is being addressed across all travel industries. Whether it’s a cruise, lodging & hotels, airlines, and even amusement parks.
These will include more hand sanitizing stations or regularly disinfecting surfaces more frequently. Industries will also want to show their increased efforts in sanitation and cleanliness.
Here is an example from Delta Airlines on how they are increasing their cleanliness efforts from check-in to onboard the plane. All Disney parks have added hand sanitizing locations to all of their maps, making it more visible for guests.
Infection control will be on everyone’s minds for a long time. I think this was a much needed change in all industries. We can all wash our hands more and be more aware about the spread of diseases.
The cost of travel will drop
The cost of travel will decrease, but it will be temporary. The question will be for how long. There is still a demand for travel and people are cautious. People will need some persuasion to get people to travel again.
The first thing that needs to be addressed is the point above, cleanliness and that it is safe to travel again. We need to be assured that the places we are going to travel to are clean and safe.
The next is travelers will need to see prices drop before we are persuaded enough to get exploring again. Sadly a lot of people all over the world have lost jobs. Budgets are tighter all over the world and the price of travel will have to decrease to persuade people to start traveling again.
For the avid traveler we are happy to take advantage of these lower prices. But let us not forget that the travel industry took a massive hit as well as almost all industries. Meaning, there are many people that have lost their jobs in this industry as well from the coronavirus outbreak.
More booking flexibility
Airlines have had to allow cancellations, extend waivers, or rebook at no additional cost or fees just to try and keep some flights working. Airlines will probably have to be less stringent with cancellations and change fees for a length of time to remain competitive and build passenger’s confidence. This will probably only last through the rest of 2020.
Let’s speculate about what could happen to each part of the travel industry.
Cruise Industry – what travel will look like after the coronavirus
Of all the travel industries the Cruise industry might be the most impacted. With the number of high profile cases that were televised with passengers quarantined to their rooms on a cruise due to the coronavirus outbreak. This has caused many people concerned about traveling.
Those that have cruised and are comfortable cruising will find very low prices as cruise likes start cruising again. But those that have been hesitant to cruise now have one more reason to not go. And for obvious reasons, Cruise ships have had similar situations with the norovirus and no one wants to be quarantined in a super small cruise room.
What are the cruise lines doing to ensure safety in the future?
Thanks to these frequent outbreaks, the cruise industry has had to improve. Cruise lines have developed detailed protocols, including outbreak prevention plans. Here is Royal Caribbean’s.
All cruise lines are much better prepared after having extensive experience dealing with norovirus and other infectious illnesses. They are used to extensive cleaning and sanitizing, quarantining passengers to their cabins and even blocking them from going ashore to minimize the spread of illness.
Many ships have added handwashing stations outside every dining area. On our last cruise out of China on the Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas. Before entering the dining hall guests were directed by a Royal Caribbean employee to wash our hands. Then offered hand sanitizer to all. If you left the dining hall and returned you would have to put on hand sanitizer before entering again.
Overall cruise lines will be stepping up their infection control protocols all over the ships. From handrails to dining halls, cleanliness will be a top priority for everyone.
Cruising becomes affordable
Look for cruises to become very affordable for the next year or two. One reason is because of the coronavirus outbreak, but the other is that fuel prices are at one of the lowest levels in past decades.
As the price of oil has plummeted cruise lines are buying up fuel reserves. This will help to allow for a cheaper cruise for a while to help build consumer confidence. Ultimately any travel has risks involved that could be cruising, flying, or even a road trip, but some have higher risks than others.
So if you are looking for a great deal post coronavirus, look into cruising. It’s a great all-inclusive trip that makes vacation planning a breeze. Probably the lowest risk would be to take a road trip this year. Here is a great road trip through the Southwest USA to Yellowstone.
Hotels and Lodging
In the United States, around 44% of all hotel industry-related jobs will face negative impacts that will include layoffs and furloughs. States with high tourism such as Hawaii and Florida will struggle with economic impacts. This was done in a study done by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
The “alternative lodging” such as Airbnb or VRBO have some advantages over hotels. With many of the vacation home rentals, there is less contact with people. Many of these homes have keyless entry. Additionally, you are able to eat in, versus eating in a hotel lobby or restaurant. Thus lessening your exposure to others. A quick trip to the grocery store can keep you stocked for a week or if you can pack your own cooler. Maybe you are taking a road trip this year. Packing your own food is a great way to keep your self safe. Here is our list of Best Road Trips in the USA for 2020.
This might be the time to look at some of those resorts or top destinations that you’ve always wanted to discover but have maybe been just outside your price range. Even if you can’t travel far you can plan a staycation and hit one of the nearby local hotels at a lower cost. Back Yard staycations are becoming one of the safest vacation ideas for 2020.
Hotels and vacation rentals will need to show that they have top-notch cleaning protocols. Guests need to know that they are safe and that the rooms have been thoroughly cleaned. One of the other benefits of a vacation home rental is that some of them offer private pools or hot tubs. Another great way to social distance but still enjoy some of the perks that you normally would get with a hotel. Just recently we did a trip to Park City, Utah, and stayed in a vacation rental. We didn’t see anyone and the place had a private hot tub and hiking trails out the back door. It was a safe and simple vacation.
Lower airfares and emptier planes
If people begin to see the increase in health screening processes and less crowded airports and airplanes they will begin to feel more comfortable flying. Some airlines have already done away with middle seats to help with distancing passengers.
International travel may take the longest to recover as governments might continue to shut borders to certain countries. There is speculation that international travel will struggle until there is a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus.
But that might not be complete until the fall of 2021. Domestic travel will probably bounce back faster than international travel as people will be more comfortable staying closer to home. Additionally, they might want to visit family and friends that they haven’t seen since the lockdown.
9/11 might be the best example of what will happen with air travel. After 9/11 airlines responded with deeply-discounted airfares. Then we saw budget airlines popping up everywhere. This is actually already happening as flights are going for way less and tours are super cheap. Additionally, they are offering free cancellations and no change fees!
Domestic travel will increase before International
In a recent survey done Fodor’s, 27% of those surveyed said they would start traveling immediately domestically once they could. Another 52% said they would be willing to travel domestically within the United States within six months. I think this would be the same for most of Europe and Australia looking to stay closer to home.
People will look to go to places that have fewer people. National Parks will see an increase. The revival of camping parks, motorhomes, caravans and the 21st-century term “Glamping” will become the thing to do in 2020. Camping and camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, and campers will become more popular.
Purchase Travel Insurance
The coronavirus or other pandemics are not necessarily covered by any travel insurance, but there is an option that you can get. If you do purchase travel insurance you will want to buy “Cancel for any reason.” kind of travel insurance.
This will not get you 100% of your trip cost back but about 75-80% of the trip cost you can recover. This helps with peace of mind and there are additional benefits with travel insurance.
Did you also know that your health insurance may not cover health care for you while you’re traveling? If you purchase travel insurance, you won’t have to worry about that because you will be covered.
When will the travel industry rebound
What will travel look like after the coronavirus? Chief Executive of the US Travel Association thinks that the travel industry and travel, in general, will rebound, just not as quickly and not all at once.
Americans will look first to travel domestically. Roger Dow of the US Travel Association said: “Europe is done for American Travelers.” I think that Americans that want the international experience will look to destinations that handled the coronavirus well or had limited impact from the coronavirus.
As you look to travel again, make sure to remember to stay clean to stay safe. Check out ways to not get the coronavirus or any other illness while you travel.
Make sure you purchase travel insurance, this will be extremely important as we all start to travel again. You will want extra protection.
Travel when it’s right for you, take advantage of some great deals now. Book now travel later that’s what I’m planning! That’s my take on what travel will look like after the coronavirus.