Who wants to go on a vacation? I bet you do! I know I do! After weeks of quarantine, forced homeschooling, and limited human interaction we all need a holiday, a break from the monotony that has been forced upon us by the pandemic.
But the question is “Can we go on a vacation in the COVID-19 Era?” and the answer is definite YES.
What has happened to the Travel & Tourism Industry?
Practically every industry has been negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis, with the Travel & Tourism industry the most! Hotels have closed their doors to guests, airlines grounded across the globe and millions of people unemployed.
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) expects the airline industry to take five years to get back to the levels they were prior to the virus outbreak. Just to give you an idea of how bad that it is, it took three years post 9/11 and two years post the 2008 recession.
However, The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is more positive and believes once the outbreak is over it will take 10 months for the industry to start recovering. And with a vaccine 12-18 months away we are potentially looking at two year period before we can safely travel internationally. Yikes!
Is this end of International Travel?
For now, it’s not the end but a pause on international holidays. But travel will be back — it has to be back, for too many livelihoods and economies depend on it. It will take time for things to come back to normal. People’s fears will need to be allayed, new governmental & travel regulations put in place, and behavioral travel routines modified. Gone are those carefree days of packing your bags and just going. Social distancing and face masks are the new norm.
There are going to a lot of more boxes on your travel checklist to be ticked off before you can go on your holiday which may be a bad thing if you a spontaneous holiday-maker. At the moment that is a good thing!
So, what do we do till then?
The silver lining is that we now have time to perfectly plan a holiday. Taking your family on a holiday is a laborious process given the number of factors we have to consider like – vacation time, budget, type of holiday, weather, accommodation, and each one’s personal preferences.
You know when your national holidays are when the school is on break and how many days of paid leave you can take. Put that all together and you basically have the perfect holiday calendar.
Start with small with a day out at the park or beach. Preferably go somewhere open with enough space for social distancing as people still need time adjusting to the new social norms.
Once you feel comfortable, move it up a notch and plan for weekend getaways. Ultimately, your goal is to be able to go on an epic road trip.
If you pick the dates and locations properly you can have the best vacation year ever.
Things to consider when planning your holiday
Your destination depends on a few criteria;
- How much time do you have?
- What kind of experience are you hoping to have?
- How much travel time does it take to get there?
- When do you want to go?
- Does it meet your budget?
Once you have finalized your destination, you have to consider the safety factor – not about crime but the volume of positive COVID-19 cases and the potential of contracting the disease. Avoid places of mass tourism and look for eco-friendly destinations. For the next few months, I would recommend wildlife parks and sanctuaries.
Your personal travel routine will need to change. Now you don’t have to go all Naomi Campbell but there are some additional things you need to add to your packing checklist
Masks and gloves are a must. Hand sanitizers and wet wipes to scrub public tables, seats, armchairs. Basically sterilize your seats and table before you take off your gloves. Carry your own toilet rolls just to be on the safe side
Earth 2020 - A New Hope
COVID -19 has brought mankind to its knees but like a Phoenix, it will rise again! The universal lockdown has already had a positive impact on the planet. Global pollution has fallen, animals and plants have started to re-appear in locations once lost to the development of civilization.
This is the great reset we needed to help save the planet. As we emerge from months of social distancing, a more mindful approach to travel should be adopted; few, longer, and more meaningful trips. It’s creating awareness for a better kind of travel.