Post-Pandemic Travel Trends: What to Expect

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There’s no doubt that the pandemic has had a significant impact on travel. But what does the future hold? Here are some trends to watch for and things to look for in post-pandemic travel. From innovative new ways to stay healthy while traveling, to changes in how we view vacation destinations, this is what you need to know about the future of travel.

Travel has never changed more in any time of our history than with the pandemic. Global travel was brought to a standstill with most countries imposing strict travel restrictions as the threat of COVID spread around the globe. The industry has now started to recover slowly, often with health safety protocols in place. Travelers must feel safe, and they will demand from the travel industry that their health be protected.

Typical post-pandemic travel trend: woman sitting on a suitcase in an airport, and wearing a mask
The recent pandemic has changed the travel industry.

Post-pandemic travel trends

Holiday bookings are increasing, as people are starting to look past the recent lockdowns and restrictions and are eager to get back out into the world.

Post-pandemic travel will look somewhat different, and you will need to do more planning than in the past before you can take your next trip. Different factors will also influence how you travel and your choice of destination more than ever before.

Transportation choices

As a result of the pandemic, safe and hygienic transportation has become a priority. More and more travelers are booking private transport to and from the airport to avoid exposure to viruses on crowded public transportation and hotel shuttles.

For example, if you’re visiting Orlando, you can arrange your transport ahead of time with MCO car service. They will greet you when you land and get you to your hotel in a comfortable, private vehicle.

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Health and safety requirements

Do your homework on the health and safety requirements that are in place at your destination. Questions you need to ask include:

  • Do you need to be vaccinated?
  • Which vaccines are approved?
  • Should you wear a mask in public spaces or only indoors?
  • What tests need to be done before you arrive?

Travelers will also have higher expectations regarding the health and hygiene standards of airlines, hotels, and tourism services.

Keep in mind that pandemic travel restrictions may change quickly, so you’ll need to keep up to date with them, especially as the trip gets closer.

Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, we strongly recommend getting “cancel for any reason” travel insurance. It will cover you in case of any pandemic-related cancellations or health issues. Can you say “money saver”?

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Expect the unexpected

Even if you plan ahead, policies can change while you’re at your destination. You need to be prepared to change your plans if new rules are introduced while you are traveling.

Tourist attractions might close due to an outbreak, so you might not be able to visit all the places you had planned to see. Make sure to have a plan of backup activities if you can’t do all your first choices.

There are travel apps that can keep you up to date with what is happening and where. Expedia is one of the full-service online travel brands. You can book hotels, flights and rental cars through their app, which is constantly updated. It also provides you with special offers on accommodation and lets you research your destination for activities you can do when you arrive there.

Higher prices

Make sure that you check prices and rates before you finalize any arrangements. In some cases, rising inflation and pandemic restrictions have caused huge price increases, busting some people’s travel budgets.

Look at tourist websites and do your research to avoid unpleasant surprises. Some resorts and hotels don’t offer free parking or airport shuttle services any longer. Generally, you are likely going to pay higher prices for services and experiences overall.

Using travel advisors

More and more travelers are relying on travel advisors to plan and book their vacations. Travel advisors have expertise in all areas of travel, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and tourist attractions. They can also help you find deals and discounts on travel packages.

A travel advisor can save you time and money by booking everything for you. They can also recommend destinations and activities that are best suited to your interests and budget. Travel advisors typically have access to exclusive deals that the general public doesn’t know about, so using one can save you a lot of money on your vacation.

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couple on a bus wearing masks. text overlay says "the future of travel after the pandemic"

Niche tourism trends post-pandemic

In a major mindset shift, post-pandemic tourism will focus more on people, rather than on exciting destinations and exotic locations, as it did in the past.

Tourism will also have a more human-oriented approach, as people are eager to get away from lockdowns and social distancing measures to connect with people and relatives in other countries – many of whom they may not have had the opportunity to see in a long time.

Staycations

Staycations are also becoming increasingly popular. Also called a holistay, a staycation is a home-based vacation. Instead of overnight accommodation, people stay put and participate in day trips and other leisure activities near their home.

Rather than hotel rooms, more and more people are choosing to spend their hard-earned cash on memorable experiences like guided tours and day trips. Tourism companies like Viator and Get Your Guide are growing, thanks to this new interest.

Road trips

Overseas travel restrictions and quarantines have made the road trip option more popular than ever. People are realizing that this type of trip is usually more affordable than air travel, and it allows you to visit multiple destinations on a single trip.

Road trips offer a great way to see the country and visit friends and family members who live in different parts of the country. And, since many people are now working from home, road trips offer a fun and exciting way to get out of the house and explore new places.

view out the windshield of curving road and forest. Foreground: bare feet on the dashboard and a hand on the steering wheel

Health and wellness tourism

People are choosing travel that focuses around their interests, like wellness, health, and fitness. There has been an increase in outdoor recreation since the pandemic began, which includes increases in hiking, cycling and running. Dude ranches are also getting more interest.

Spirituality and religious tourism

Spirituality and religious tourism are on the rise, as people are looking for opportunities to connect with their faith in different ways. There has been an increase in pilgrimages to holy sites around the world, and interest in religious-themed tours is also increasing. Mission trips, which take people to different parts of the world to share the gospel, are also growing in popularity.

Culinary tourism

Culinary tourism is booming, as more and more people want to experience the food and culture of the places they visit. Tourists are interested in learning about how a particular cuisine is made, where it comes from, and who prepares it. They’re also looking for culinary experiences that go beyond the traditional restaurant meal.

Experiential travel

Experiential travel – which includes activities like music festivals, wine tastings, safaris, and city tours – is becoming more popular. People want to have unique experiences that they can talk about and share with others. This type of travel is perfect for those who want to get a little bit of everything on their trip.

Voluntourism

Volunteer tourism also looks set to become more popular. This type of tourism allows people to combine their travel with a volunteer project in a meaningful way. Volunteers can choose from a wide variety of projects, which can be anything from teaching English in a foreign country to helping build houses for the less fortunate.

Peace tourism

Peace tourism is another interesting, emerging niche. Tourists visit certain destinations to study how peace was established there after conflict situations, or even to support the destination’s efforts to create peace.

Trips can involve visiting peace memorials in conflict zones to learn from past conflicts to determine how they can be avoided in the future. Guided peace walks are also popular, as well as peace-themed performances. An example would be educational peace field trips to a site like Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan.

Final thoughts

If nothing else, being grounded for so long has shown us how important travel is for our mental health and personal growth.

The face of the tourism industry may look somewhat different, but travel and tourism will flourish once again as the threat of the pandemic fades. Nothing boosts your happiness more than looking forward to your next holiday.

ALSO READ:
10 Pandemic Travel Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling Abroad

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Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to around 60 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages inspired her to create As We Saw It with her husband Dan, a professional photographer. Her goal is to make travel easier for others and to offer a brief escape to another land.

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