Ways Travel Will Likely Change Once It Starts Again

We’re all accustomed to certain aspects of traveling, or at least we’re able to recognize the norms. Despite experiencing industry disruptions, like the creation of Airbnb or the increase in jumbo jets, the travel industry has stayed more or less the same for the past 20 years.

However, in a post-coronavirus world, a lot of aspects of traveling are bound to change.

A Rise In Road Trips

group of friends in the country with a green, old Chevy pickup truck
Photo Credit: Arthur Elgort / Conde Nast via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Arthur Elgort / Conde Nast via Getty Images

In order to avoid contact with others, more people will opt for road trips instead of crowded trains, planes, and resorts. Road trips allow people to maintain distance from outsiders while still getting to see a wide variety of locations and landmarks.

A Stronger Focus On Hygiene

A health worker dispenses sanitizer to a person
Photo Credit: PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP via Getty Images

Obviously, following a pandemic, there will be increased demand for hygenic practices in travel. Planes, trains, and busses wlll be held to a higher standard when it comes to cleanliness as well as passengers themselves.

People Going To Fewer Resort And Hotel Destinations

A swimming pool at a beach resort
Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Getty Images

Resorts and hotels bring thousands of people into one building, making them an unfavorable choice for travelers who are hoping to avoid coming in contact with the virus. Hotels and resorts will likely be functioning way under capacity for a while.

Increase In Rental Travel Plans

Sign with message reading
Photo Credit: Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images

Rather than staying in hotels, there’s likely going to be a surge in rentals. It’s easier to visit a sanitized rental where travelers can control who enters and exits and limit contact with strangers.

More Adventure-Based Travel

TWO PEOPLE HIKERS ON WHITAKER POINT
Photo Credit: H. Abernathy / ClassicStock / Getty Images
Photo Credit: H. Abernathy / ClassicStock / Getty Images

Instead of traveling to cities and highly-populated resorts, people are already looking to do more “adventurous” travel. Activities like hiking and camping trips are perfect for travelers who want to maintain social distance while exploring nature.

Implementation Of Required Invasive Health Screenings

A Health Care Worker seals a coronavirus swab
Photo Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images

In order to limit the transmission of disease, medical testing is going to be necessary to leave/enter new countries. Iceland, which is hoping to open their borders for tourism on June 15, is making all travelers get swabbed before going through customs.

This practice was pretty common in the past; ship passengers who didn’t past health screenings would be refused entry to certain locations.

The Introduction Of “Health Passports”

A passenger (L) hands his passport to an employee
Photo Credit: TIZIANA FABI / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: TIZIANA FABI / AFP via Getty Images

A health passport would specify what vaccinations/immunity you’d have to different diseases—monitoring the health of travelers will be necessary to prevent disease transmission across borders.

People Taking Longer Vacations

italian villa
Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Since traveling will take more planning and precautions than before, it’s likely that people will take longer holidays at once to justify the effort involved. For example, rather than taking 3- to 5-day vacations or weekend trips, people might plan to go away for 8–9 days.

Trending Towards Contactless Interactions

A worker cleans the screens at a Delta self check-in kiosk
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In order to limit how many points of contact are involved in airports, there will likely be an increase in airport kiosks. In Australia, they’ve looked into using “voice-controlled” kiosks over touch screens to limit how many people touch surfaces as well.

Changes In Airplane Seating Arrangements

empty airplane seats in cabins
Photo Credit: John Moore / Getty Images
Photo Credit: John Moore / Getty Images

In order to maintain some level of social distancing, flights are definitely going to be running below their normal seat capacity. Some airlines have even considered altering the seating setup as a whole by flipping center seats backward and adding barriers between passengers.

Facial Recognition Technology Will Be Used More

GettyImages-1189384731
Photo Credit: Smith Collection / Gado/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Smith Collection / Gado/Getty Images)

In order to limit human interactions and contact points during travel, we’ll likely see more and more use of facial recognition technology—some countries are already thinking about how it could be used during customs to avoid passport fraud.

Airports Will Focus On Barebone Services

man sitting at airport gate
Photo Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Airports often feel like they contain a mini-mall; they house a variety of shops and services to help travelers pass the time while they wait for their flights. Airports will likely keep these amenities closed for a while once global travel resumes and focus on the basics needed for flying.

Planning Trips With Increased Purpose

person using planner and post-its
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Marten Bjork
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Marten Bjork

Before, it was easy to quickly book a flight, hop on a plane, and head abroad for a couple of weeks. With new travel restrictions, people are likely to plan their trips with increased purpose and specificity for where they’ll go, what activities they’ll do, and the local customs of the area.

Increased Cancelation Flexibility

line of people on laptops
Photo Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The tourism industry, which makes up about 10% of the global workforce, has been suffering in these times. Because travel will depend on a lot of variables (including passenger health), companies involved in the tourism industry will be forced to adopt more flexible policies to avoid deterring the customers they desperately need.

Increased Online Check-Ins

woman with laptop
Photo Credit: Joseph Branston / Future via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Joseph Branston / Future via Getty Images

While online check-in has become increasingly popular, it’s still offered as merely being an option. In order to avoid unnecessary contact, more services will be moved online so that travelers can perform necessary tasks prior to entering the airport.

Opting To Travel To Secluded Areas

secluded beach house in West Indies
Photo Credit: Jean-Marc LECERF / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jean-Marc LECERF / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Rather than go to stay at a crowded beachfront or in the city, many travelers will opt to visit more secluded areas. More people are likely to choose countryside villas or low-traffic islands as vacation destinations.

Increase In Staycations

Woman in white bathtub
Photo Credit: Scopio / Tarran Goodwin
Photo Credit: Scopio / Tarran Goodwin

Staycations were already on the rise prior to travel restrictions, but they’re likely to skyrocket. Rather than go through the hassle and risks of travel, people may opt to plan a week of relaxation and fun activities they can perform at home or in their local community.

Changes To Travel Insurance

Travelers Companies Insurance company logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
Photo Credit: Igor Golovniov / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Igor Golovniov / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

First of all, there’s undoubtedly going to be an increase in purchases of traveler’s insurance since health concerns are inextricably tied to international travel. Currently, only 15% of travelers buy insurance, but that figure is expected to jump to at least 30% in the near future.

Closer Monitoring Of Traveler’s Movements

Passengers move through Ronald Reagan National Airport
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Especially since disease can easily be spread through traveling as people visit other locations, we’re likely to see increased surveillance measures so that, in cases of disease or illness, it’s easier to track who might have been affected.

A More Positive Attitude Toward All Parts Of Traveling

woman doing yoga in grotto
Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / Getty Images for Lumix
Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / Getty Images for Lumix

After being restricted from traveling for so long, people will approach the activity with a more positive attitude, including the less ideal parts: plane rides, wait times, and planning needs.