The world as we know it has changed. The familiar scene of crowded places with distinct human faces has morphed into a sea of masks and anonymity, the emphasis on real, interpersonal connections has shifted to virtual relationship-building, and as the world awakens from its pandemic-induced slumber, many continue to struggle with reconciling their online selves with the outside world. Those with the travel bug have long-awaited this day to come — the day when traveling restrictions ease and borders inch open just wide enough to let some travelers through. However, even as they long for the good old days, the truth is that travel will never be quite the same. Experiences, as we remember them, will have changed in the years that we have lived in the pandemic’s shadow, but that is not to say that your wanderlust cannot be satisfied. In truth, there are a million and one things you can still do as per pre-Covid times, and with countries having adapted to the pandemic lifestyle, it also means that there are fresh activities to look forward to. Of course, you may be concerned about your relative safety under these new conditions which has led many to compare travel insurance plans and research on the status of the pandemic overseas. If you are curious about what types of traveling will be the new trend. In this article, we will be covering what traveling after Covid-19 will look like.
The Borders And Your Safety
Many wonder about the safety of their journeys post-pandemic. The reality is that there is no real answer to the question of when it will be safe to travel after the pandemic. Too many factors can affect your personal safety. As the pandemic shut down many economic ecosystems, we can expect that even the basic services — such as getting travel advisories or receiving proper treatment in the event of a really bad tummy ache — cannot be ensured in the places of interest that you choose to visit. In other words, traveling at the capacity that you are used to can only return at a later stage — slowly, but gradually. How these stages are going to look might be difficult to ascertain. Several countries, such as Greece, are slowly staggering their border opening strategies, whilst other countries that are still struggling with their Covid-19 cases take a cautious approach to open their borders, opting to welcome tourists only in the fall or later.
There is great uncertainty over how fast the regions of the world can plunge into the recovery stage, but there is one thing that most experts agree on — the almost-certain rise of domestic travel, followed closely by the wary adoption of international tourists in the days to come.
Traveling With New Hygiene Standards
Remember how pre-flight checks became stringent following the 9/11 attacks? Well, with the pandemic, the new standard we have come to expect is heightened levels of hygiene.
Once you step into the airport, prepare to experience health protocols as you have never seen before. The gates to another country are lined with the newest health-monitoring technology, ensuring that each traveler is in utmost health before they board any plane. These devices include thermal cameras which measure tourists’ temperatures with relative ease and speed, preventing bottlenecks at every security checkpoint. Thick plexiglass barriers are installed at most customer help counters, lowering the transmissibility of the virus when conversing with the airport staff. Additionally, airports have stepped up their cleaning protocols, with Hong Kong International Airport even rolling out trial robots to automate the process of systematically disinfecting their floors and surfaces.
Cleanliness And Contact-Free Travel
The days of scanning your fingerprints for passenger recognition are soon going to be over. As hygiene standards grow increasingly stringent, more and more airports have started adopting contactless technologies, such as voice commands, to help reduce the spread of the virus at check-in counters and security counters. The familiar sight of fingerprint scanners might stop looking commonplace too, as iris and facial recognition devices come into play.
Airlines have also upgraded their cleanliness practices to ensure travelers are protected, choosing improved air filtration systems and adopting meticulous cleaning processes. The small little things that you’re probably used to in a good airline — like comfortable blankets and pillows — could be removed in the name of enhancing hygiene, and it is to no surprise that crew members and passengers will have to wear masks throughout their flight.
You can put your mind at ease the next time you board a plane. Airlines around the world have spared no effort to improve their sanitization processes to ensure every point of contact — from your food tray to the toilets — is as squeaky clean as they can be.
Further minimizing the contact between you and a stranger, airlines have also implemented the practice of leaving the middle seats empty. This means you won’t be too close to any fellow flier on your first-ever post-pandemic flight, through the enforcement of in-flight distancing.
Travel In The New Normal
Many travel experts predict that with the cautious return to pre-pandemic openness, most people who have been dying to satisfy their wanderlust would adopt regional travel first, choosing places that are closest to their homes. This form of travel — domestic travel — includes staycations, road trips, and self-guided tours. These offer an exciting sense of adventure with a comfortable mix of safety and comfort, through the minimizing of contact with strangers and ensuring contact with those you are most familiar with. Exploring the unknown or relaxing with the best facilities in a place close to home means that one enjoys their time without the fear of being barred out of one’s country due to sudden border closures, as we have become used to hearing about on the news.
As you pack your bags for your long-awaited getaway, there are a few things you must take note of. Adjust your expectations for post-pandemic travel — things might not be as ideal, and hygiene and safety protocols are always paramount. As long as you follow the guidelines, wear a mask, and sanitize your hands at every opportunity, there shouldn’t be much of a problem. Enjoy your trip — you’ve earned it.