No Travelling!! Can you believe that? Honestly, this was the last piece of prophecy I would have banked myself to believe, had someone given me a heads up, but that is how 2020 has turned out so far. It’s scary, dark and slow, just like any Stephen King novel resting on your shelf. Well, I am just kidding, he is one of my favourite writers.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has brought the entire world and all its activities to a stunted pace. All services from major industries and businesses around the world have slowed down as of now and nothing about the future seems to be certain.
The Travel industry and travellers might be amongst the most affected in this ordeal. Being an act of freedom and liberty, Travel has turned now into a game of Minecraft where every move needs to be evaluated over and over again. There is fear in everyone’s minds. Fear, and a lot of questions regarding safe travel. With the tourism opening, the question on everyone’s mind is that should we travel? When can we travel overseas and would it be safe? Which places are best to travel within the country?
Acknowledging the opening of tourism of already at certain places, I can understand the temptation to travel. Well, I am in the same shoes with my feet itching to run the first moment possible. But, I deeply wanna request all of you to wait a little more, just a little more. With the cases on the rise each day we might just put ourselves, our families, friends and the locals of a place at risk.
With the present situation being a jarring mess that it is, naturally, all eyes are set onto what is going to change about travelling. I don’t claim to be experts, but just as a passionate traveller like you, there are only predictions that can be made at this point.
I have listed down some of the most important aspects that could change in the way we travel in the Post-COVID World. Gorge on!
How will Travel change after COVID-19 Pandemic?
New Rules and Regulations
Once the effects of the pandemic start subsiding and the cases reduce in India, and things might look like they are going back to normalcy, well, let’s just say, not all things would go back to normal. Firstly, when we visit any place, we can expect signs and rules everywhere, so that we don’t forget what happened. Rules about social distancing, wearing safety masks and sanitization will be made mandatory in many places like aeroplanes, hotels and crowded space thus helping us to have safe healthy travel.
Maintaining the distance
One of the perks of travelling is to meet and greet new people from different cultures. When earlier you would be met by smiling faces, now expect to be welcomed by masked wary faces. I do understand that being a traveller this could suck sometimes. Also, people everywhere would be maintaining social distance, and seeing hundreds of masks everywhere might make you feel like you are in some live laboratory. But I am sure the gorgeous wonders of nature would make up for that crappy feeling.
Shorter trips will trend
Instead of going to faraway destinations, people will be testing waters by choosing nearby locations. Road-trips could be a go-to and wholesome option. Exposing to less number of people and being not far from home will likely be more assuring to everyone. This can also prove to be really exciting because finally, we would make an effort to explore hidden gems in the vicinity of our home towns instead of some foreign lands.
Stay-cations could be on the rise
Shorter trips are bound to be a boom for local accommodation services. With hotel stays might (or might not) get more expensive, many would opt for cheaper alternatives. Thanks to technology this could be more feasible even for those offering staycation services. This would be a big help in working towards a healthy economy within our own country and I am looking forward to this one.
Safety will be the Style
Packing our bags for trips is going to take more time and inadvertently be lined with precautions. Along with beautiful dresses, sunglasses and camera, be sure to carry everything that keeps you hygienic and sanitized. Trendy masks matching outfits are already creating a buzz in the market. So, you should definitely jump on that bandwagon, because be it in planes or public places, most places will make it mandatory to wear a mask. I am totally expecting the next upcoming trend on Instagram to be of travellers exploring places in cute printed masks.
Health checkups will become normalcy
This might not sound so pleasing at once, but I think gone are the days when we could walk into a country with just a smile, a passport and visa. We can expect to be met with a stern look from the airport officials which won’t dissolve unless we are thoroughly checked and marked OK. That won’t be all; luggage might get tagged to give an indication to the locals about an international traveller. Hence, being mindful about this, exploring places way back home in our own country might be the best way to fuel our wanderlust.
Several countries might bar entry for a few more months, depending on which part of the world we go to and which country we come from. We might require legal documentation to validate our reason for travelling. Fun-travelling won’t be entertained at least in the first few months. Major tourist attractions could be shut down for a while, and local transportation will adopt new techniques to accommodate crowds. Hence, local tourism can be best promoted which can also help retain money in India boosting the downtrodden condition of the tourism industry in our own country!
Travel Safe Applications
If you are a nomad going from country to country, it is imperative that you keep yourself educated with the latest updates regarding current regulations of various countries, especially the ones you plan to visit next. Various apps will be surfacing and offering services to every kind of traveller helping them know which regions are Virus-free and which ones to avoid. Again, there could be normalcy in actively using these apps like Twitter and Facebook. So much for our zeal to travel the world!
With almost every aspect of life being blanketed by Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the travel industry cannot be an exception. Imagine sitting in the comfort of your rooms but at the same time taking in the panoramic views of country-side France, exploring the wildlife of Amazon Rainforests, or walking through the charming streets of Morocco. All of that and much more is possible through a VR set.
Augmented Reality is another option that works as an interactive experience connecting us with the real world with the help of visual, auditory and haptic functions. You could choose to view the most popular destinations via a headset, or a place that is usually swarming with people if you are not one of those who appreciate large crowds like me. Biometrics has solved issues related to identity verification which can be a vital option now, as touchless travel would be a new norm and with the current situation going on; VR and AR could be the best alternatives for many of us and could bring a revolution in the Travel Industry. Doesn’t this sound unique and super interesting!
With the economies suffering the horrors presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic, it won’t be a surprise to see a surge in prices of accommodations, rental stays, food, and other basic amenities internationally.
On the other hand, we can expect to discover cheaper rates locally for flights and stays, hence exploiting those benefits in the current scenario seems like a blessing in disguise.
So, these are the few things I have listed which I strongly feel will change after Coronavirus Pandemic is over. Even with these new changes, I believe the spirit of travelling will remain with us. The fear that we feel today will be gone in some months but as of, for now, I urge you to remain safe and follow regulations.
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