The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live in every aspect including travel - which will certainly last in the years to come.
Had this been the start of any other year, we would have made up some amazing travel bucket lists for this year or even next year and loaded these lists with beach-side holidays in the East, city escapes in the USA, cultural tours in Europe and so much more.
So what will travel look like in 2021 and going forward? One is understandably hesitant to make any confident predictions apart from the most obvious one being that 2021 will most likely continue to be a very difficult year for the global travel and tourism sector. If I had to highlight a few travel trends for the coming year and beyond, these would stand out...
Mariette du Toit-Helmbold 6 Jan 2021
This year, however, with many countries in lockdown and travel restrictions in place, the lists of our dream destinations are looking rather empty. Here’s a new type of travel bucket list for this year and even in the years to come.
Explore your immediate surroundings
If you have a travel savings fund that you had planned to use overseas, why not use that money locally instead? There are some amazing staycation deals that you can make the most of at the moment.
If you’re itching to travel, but you’re putting it off because your usual travel crew can’t currently get together, then consider a solo adventure. Solo travel was already on the rise pre-Covid-19 and is now booming. With solo travel, there is a lower risk of getting infected or infecting others around you, and for those who have been home for so long, surrounded by loved ones every day, it’s becoming a way to get in some alone time and take a little break for some much-needed recharging.
Enter the virtual realm
If you really can’t get away, then add virtual travel to your travel bucket list instead. The internet has made it easy to explore far-flung destinations from the comfort of home. With Google Street View on Google Maps, you can virtually walk down a street in Amsterdam or New York (tip: try this with VR glasses for a more immersive experience), while many cities and attractions around the world have developed videos and content to make you feel as though you are right in the destination.
You could also meet people from around the world via the internet and learn new skills from them. Airbnb Online Experiences allows you to do just that. You could book a dancing lesson in the USA, a cooking class in France, or a meditation session in Japan, and experience it all while never leaving your house. Isn’t this a fun alternative to actually travelling?
Travel for business and pleasure
If there’s one thing we realised this year, it’s that a lot of us can work from anywhere. So, if you don’t have the leave days or you simply have too much work to do and won’t have time to take off to travel, consider booking a home, apartment or hotel in a stunning location with a good internet connection and work from there. This is a great way not only to get your work done but also to be able to feel as though you are on holiday. Even if you spend most of the day working, perhaps your tea break is taken on the balcony with a view or your lunch break is a quick walk around your temporary neighbourhood.
Don’t forget your responsibilities
Responsible travel means something different these days and, if it wasn’t on your mind before, it should be now. Being a responsible traveller now goes beyond recycling your plastics, using less water and supporting local. While all of these are extremely important, being a responsible traveller in a Covid-19 world is perhaps even more important because lives are at stake. When you’re travelling, be sure to wear your mask, adhere to social distancing guidelines, sanitise and wash your hands regularly, and if you’re feeling sick, don’t go out. We all want the world to switch back and be able to travel more freely again, but it won’t happen unless we all do our part.