Staying at home due to Corona Virus has resulted in unexpected nostalgia and the fear of missing out (FOMO). We all wish to be out and about travelling across the globe but is it really safe to travel? In these uncertain times, we all have questions about what the future is going to be like, will travelling ever be the same and many more doubts.
With Coronavirus, came numerous cancelled plans, trips, flights, closed borders and uncertain futures. Airlines updated their cancellation policies, and accommodations were made for those who were stuck in other countries to return home. Hotels began cancelling reservations and waiving cancellation fees, offering limited-time redemption offers, and some properties became available for complete buyouts. Countries started issuing new passports, only for emergencies, and all other travel was restricted or stopped. This impact that the pandemic had was felt all over the world and in every industry. And yet despite all these measures taken and restrictions imposed, the travel industry was quick to adapt to the changes.
Now, numerous destinations have taken the first step into welcoming tourists and visitors with reduced capacities for a safe and enjoyable experience. Museums are opening up, and cities throughout the country are reopening and resuming business as a process to exit lockdown. Tourists have started taking full advantage of the fare drops and have optimistically begun booking their flights/tickets for their summer travel.
Travellers are allowed to fly but with a lot of strings attached. Airlines are taking more measures than ever, such as:
- Reducing passenger numbers and airports
- Blocking the middle seats in order to maintain social distancing
- Making facemasks compulsory at all times with a shield covering their faces
- Undergoing the Covid test and screening process
- Introducing contactless check-in and cleaning robots
- Onboard safety professionals and medical volunteers
Even though hotels have been left eerily vacant of tourists and travellers, a handful of them have converted into quarantine centres and turned their rooms over to healthcare workers. Luxury hotels have been a boon for families who need to isolate from their loved ones and do not wish to get admitted into hospitals. They too have adopted ways to keep themselves and their guests safe by implementing numerous cleanings, grab and go happy hour offerings and helping guests maintain a distance.
Transport companies, too, have begun implementing new safety measures to make the journey of their riders and drivers comfortable and safe such as curbside, contactless delivery, lengthier cleaning checklists, and thorough sanitising on high touchpoints within cars, requiring face masks, for both passengers and drivers for the duration of rides moving forward.
Despite all the measures, travelling would not be the same as it used to be. This time, it would be as much about hygiene, safety, and social distancing, as it is about the destination and scenic views.
Facemasks, gloves, hand sanitiser, and other protective gear is going to be our staple partners and social distancing the new norm. But if there is one thing that the travellers are really good at, that is adapting according to the situation.
But for now, as we all try to find new ways to keep ourselves busy during this pandemic and pivoting special moments to virtual ones, let’s take this time to bond with ourselves and our loved ones. It is not the time to fret but to find goodness and excitement in our daily lives and stay safe and healthy.
Remember to stay positive and keep your bucket lists ready!