Whether you’re going for business or pleasure, traveling after the coronavirus pandemic is going to be different. Huge changes in the travel industry and tourism are inevitable. So, what has changed? Here are 7 things to consider when you travel to your next destination post-COVID-19.
#1. Be prepared for crowds
Different countries will reopen at different times as their respective governments relax their lockdown regulations. As countries reopen, they may see a huge influx of visitors.
Companies with branches or investments in those countries will want to send representatives, accountants, lawyers, engineers, and other company officers to catch up with their neglected operations. People with relatives in those countries who have put off visiting during the crisis will want to go.
Also, tourists who have been trapped in their own homes and are now free will rush to the places that are opening up. This means that hotels will be busy and travel hubs crowded. Popular attractions will be overrun with tourists and business travelers taking in the sights.
#2. Book ahead
Given how busy destinations will be post-COVID-19, you need to book well in advance. Book your flights and accommodations as soon as you can. Flights may be limited to begin with, which makes it even more important for you to do your research and book as early as possible. Check what’s available using flight comparison websites like Omio or Kayak.
Accommodation may be in short supply, so book in advance to ensure you get the kind of room you want and avoid staying in a 1-star shack in the ghetto because you didn’t. Tours at the available tourist attractions will be fully booked when you arrive, so book them over the net before you set off and book them as soon as possible.
#3. Take extra care
Countries will only relax their restrictions when the danger from COVID-19 has significantly decreased, but you shouldn’t forget about the risk. It’s probably still a good idea to wear a mask in crowded travel hubs and city center areas. Observe social distancing as much as you can while traveling and in crowded areas.
If you’re going to sightsee, consider cycling instead of walking or taking a tourist bus. Cycling is great for your health and also is the least likely form of transport to expose you to the virus. Consider taking a picnic you’ve prepared yourself to tourist attractions and beaches along with drinks in a cooler and snacks for the day. Eating food you’ve prepared for yourself involves less risk.
Pickpockets, muggers, and hotel room thieves are likely to be more active after the pandemic. Sadly, unfortunate people who have lost their jobs may turn to petty crime, and thieves who have lost income while restricted to their homes will want to make up for the lost time. Expect more con-artists and beggars than you’ve seen before.
#4. Guidebooks will prove inaccurate
Many long-established companies and organizations will be forced into liquidation during the crisis. This means that airlines, hotels, restaurants, stores, and some tourist attractions may be closed or no longer exist when the restrictions are lifted. At the same time, new businesses may have opened up to replace those lost during the crisis.
This means that popular travel handbooks people use to help them travel the world will be hopelessly outdated. You’ll need to gain up-to-date information from the internet, preferably from local experts who are actually on the ground at your destination. Reliable information will prevent you from wasting time traveling to closed restaurants or searching for a store that is no longer open.
#5. Old reviews are obsolete
Many hotels, restaurants, attractions, and stores have remained closed for several months during the crisis. The staff that previously worked in these businesses may have moved on to find other employment during this time. Suppliers and subcontractors who worked closely with these organizations may have gone bankrupt or permanently closed while the restrictions were in place.
That means that when they reopen, the organizations will be run differently to before. They may be run by inexperienced staff who don’t really know what they’re doing. Alternatively, the organization might have lucked out and gained better staff or suppliers.
Most reviews found on Google or TripAdvisor will now be outdated. When looking through reviews, you can only trust those written after the coronavirus crisis has ended. Again, this is where local experts can gain you more relevant, up-to-date information.
#6. Take what you need along
Global supply chains have been disrupted by the pandemic. Wherever you’re going, it’s possible that there will be items you find difficult to buy in the stores. If you are allergic to certain products or brands or have other special requirements, you might like to take along whatever you need in case you can’t get it there. When you are packing, stop to brainstorm awhile. Compile a list of anything you can’t survive without and then ensure that you pack it in your suitcase.
#7. Budget carefully
Because of the disruption to supply chains, multiple bankruptcies, and economic problems cause by the crisis, prices of every commodity will be in flux. When you get to your destination, you’ll likely soon discover that some things are more expensive than you expect and others cheaper.
For example, the huge drop in oil prices means that transport may be more inexpensive than you expect. On the other hand, failure to bring in some harvests and closures of food factories may mean that meals are more expensive than you remember. When budgeting your travel expenses, don’t rely on out of date information. Get reliable information from local experts before you commit to any plans.