It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the travel industry. With virus outbreaks happening globally and no available vaccine, the idea of hopping on a plane to a new place full of strangers is definitely worrisome.
If you’re a travel lover like me who thrives on pressing that “book” button, it’s time to get creative with how to travel safely in 2020. Read on for my predictions on how coronavirus will change our travel habits in the future.
DISCLAIMER: Wear a mask at all times in the presence of others not in your household, social distance, and be smart. I am not encouraging travel during the pandemic, but offering suggestions to do so safely if you absolutely must!
Domestic Road Trips
Planes are probably the last place I want to be during this pandemic, and I know I’m not alone in that! The safest transportation mode for the foreseeable future is your own car. Road trips within your state or even cross country are a great way to see new places without being packed like sardines on a plane with 150 strangers. Just make sure you wear those masks and social distance at rest stops and when around people.
If you are crossing state lines, make sure to research each state’s rules and restrictions. Some states are requiring a 14-day quarantine depending on where you’re coming from.
Less Hotels, More Private Lodging
I’m predicting a rise in Airbnb and VRBO bookings over hotels during and after the pandemic. With Airbnb and VRBO, you can book private properties with no other inhabitants. Read the property description carefully and it will tell you whether you’ll be in a house with others.
Most of the Airbnbs I’ve stayed at even before the pandemic have a completely contactless check-in. The host will send me the entry keypad code via text or email. No human interaction whatsoever! Check out this post for 5 pandemic-friendly Airbnbs in the Carolinas.
Hotels, on the other hand, bring a risk of hundreds of people using the same shared spaces like elevators, stairwells, narrow hallways, and lobbies. That’s a lot of shared air and surface contact. If you do go the hotel route, make sure to read the hotel’s COVID-19 procedures before booking.
Scenery Over Cities
Opt outside! The safest way to be in a new place away from home during coronavirus is to limit indoor interactions with others. Most folks are now opting for scenic trips in nature over cities during this pandemic. Who wants to visit a city when you can’t eat at a restaurant, tour a museum, or experience a cozy cocktail bar?
For the next year or two, I’m predicting a rise in visitors to national parks, hiking trails, beaches, and mountains. Thanks for your hospitality, Mother Nature!
More Desire to Travel
Overall, despite the fear around traveling during a pandemic, I truly think that 2020 has a lot of us wanting to get out of the house ASAP to escape somewhere far, far away. Maybe it won’t be right away, but once it’s safe, I think we’ll see a long-term trend of more people taking those big, dream trips they’ve always wanted to book.
After all, life is too short not to see the world, and coronavirus has made us all acutely aware of our mortality. I hope this inspires you to travel more when and where it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, mask up!