Summer is finally here! With sunny skies and warm weather, summer is usually a great time for vacations, visiting a new city, seeing family and friends, or just relaxing at the beach with a cocktail in hand. However, this pandemic has upended travel and brought the world to a standstill. While travel this summer will likely look very different, travel is slowly picking up and there are ways for you to scratch that travel itch. With states relaxing their restrictions, we wanted to share some trends we have been seeing in the travel industry and ways you can travel safely this summer in our “new normal.”
Also, if you are considering travel in the near future, make sure to review guidance on risks and best practices recommended by the CDC.
Traveling is a great way to get energized, disconnect from your daily life, and create lifelong memories. You can reap these benefits whether you’re flying or road-tripping, whether you’re traveling far or locally. Considering the current circumstances, this summer will likely be the summer of road trips. A road trip is one of the safest forms of travel - you’ll likely interact with fewer people and you can build your own adventure! Whether you’re making a trip to the nearest National Park or driving along the California coast, road trips are a great way to see the world and discover something new along the way.
That being said, it’s important to road trip safely during this time - pre-plan your route (make sure you know what restrictions there are and whether there are any dining options open), bring hand sanitizer to use after refilling gas or using a public restroom, and wear a mask when you go outside (including gas stations and rest stops). Order hand sanitizer in advance of your trip and consider a travel safety kit for essentials.
Not only are people changing their preferences from airplanes to cars, they’re also changing from hotels to homes during this pandemic. With home rentals, you’re able to easily socially distance since you don’t have to interact with staff or other guests. Also, the increase in remote work is contributing to the home rental trend since work from home doesn’t have to mean your home. You can change your scenery (we’re tired of our apartment walls too!) and be creative about working productively, efficiently, and joyfully - whether that’s a cabin by the lake, a yurt, an RV, or even a castle! Airbnb conveniently has monthly stays listings in case you’re looking for a longer-term staycation.
This pandemic has shifted many things from in-person to virtual, from schools to work to conferences. Adding to that list is travel - did you know that you can travel the world from your very own living room, making sangria with drag queens in Portugal, meditating with sheep in Scotland, or learning to make pizza from chefs in Italy? Through online experiences, you can explore multiple countries in one day and even learn something new! Virtual tours have been a great way to see sights without having to fight through the crowds. For example, you can tour the Great Wall of China or even see koalas at the Australian Reptile Park, which has been hosting live streams to make you feel like you’re there. If you’re interested in history, you can take a virtual audio tour of the National Museum of American History. With so many options, you’ll have a hard time deciding where to “travel” next.
With so much uncertainty going on, insurance packages have been in great demand to cover some potential losses. However, always remember to check the fine print as not all insurances cover COVID-19 related claims. Refer to our guide on travel insurance for more information.
Last Minute Bookings
The flexibility of booking has been important to travelers during this time. While booking rooms in advance may help secure a cheaper rate, the uncertainty regarding travel due to the constantly evolving situation has made flexibility a premium. With last minute bookings, there is less buffer and time for things to change drastically. If booking in advance, travelers want to be able to cancel at the last minute in case something happens.