Wanderlust is like sunsets, the world might have come to a halt but the urge to travel just never stops. The pandemic disrupted everyone's travel plans for the year. While the headlines might be of the world starting to heal with the new normal, travelers' minds had never stopped planning for the next possible adventure!
Your restless mind might have been plotting the next trip, but before you do there are a few things you better know.
1. Time to stop paying $200 airline change fees permanently?
American, Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines, looking to urge more passengers on planes in 2020, stopped charging customers exorbitant fees (typically $200) just to vary or cancel domestic flights. They recently extended that policy to incorporate international flights (with some exceptions for Basic Economy fares). In 2021, says Jones. "I think airlines are getting to be doing everything they possibly can to urge people on flights.” With that being said, you can say goodbye to those extra airline change fees with content.
2. Last-minute getaways are going to be all the craze
This is another response to the unpredictability caused by COVID 19. Even those folks who want to plan their big vacation months may now wait to try to do so until on the brink of departure. Consistent with a recent trends report from the holiday rental site HomeToGo.com stated that the typical time before check-in between when the pandemic began and therefore the end of September was 50 days, a drop of just about 38 percent from the typical time interval before the pandemic. This more spontaneous, wait and see approach to travel is probably going to continue, says Jones: "There are just still numerous unknowns."
3. The rising trend of health documents
You might have to carry documents that prove you are COVID free. Proof of a negative test (and maybe vaccination) may become necessary for flying. A growing number of airlines and airports are partnering with destinations to develop travel corridors, where people flying between select destinations who show proof of a negative test can avoid quarantine mandates. Delta now features a COVID 19 testing program between Atlanta and Rome that permits Americans who test negative for COVID 19 quarantine free entry into Italy, as an example. "I think these corridors will still exist a minimum of through the primary half the year," says Jason Guggenheim, head of the travel and tourism sector at the research organization Boston Consulting Group. At some point, says Henderson, "the travel corridors may subside about testing and more about proving you were vaccinated." The Need to carry digital “health passports” that show you have been vaccinated
It's still unclear whether it'll become standard for destinations and travel providers like airlines and tour companies to need COVID vaccination for entry, but one tool for doing so might be health apps that will reliably confirm negative COVID 19 test results and proof of COVID 19 vaccination. The International air transportation Association (IATA) is developing one, the IATA Travel Pass, which will allow travelers to store verified test or vaccination results on their mobile devices. JetBlue is already preparing to use an identical app, CommonPass, developed by the non-profit Commons Project and therefore the World Economic Forum, on flights to Aruba; passengers are going to be ready to test themselves for COVID 19 reception, send their test to a lab, and have their results uploaded to the CommonPass app, which can be scanned upon their arrival in Aruba. With that in mind, we can all assume we'll all be needing way more paperwork than we used to!
4. Cruises are going to be tons less carefree
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is requiring cruise lines to point out they need strict infection prevention measures in situ before they will begin operating again, and lots have canceled cruises through the top of February or later. Once they do set sail, passengers can expect mandatory pre-travel testing for COVID 19, much conspicuous disinfection and clean onboard, and therefore the touting of the latest ventilation systems meant to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Like airlines, some cruise lines are considering whether or not they can require passengers to supply proof of vaccination. "Lawyers are watching it as we speak," the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings told Travel Weekly recently.
5. The good outdoors will attract crowds
With the stress on social distancing continuing into 2021, travelers will want their trips to incorporate outdoor activities, says Guggenheim. He notes that in the pandemic, many Americans splurged on equipment like boats, RVs, bikes, and camping gear, making "an investment into those activities." Henderson says that by the top of last summer, national parks had again become popular destinations for travelers looking forward to the adventure. "I think it's getting to be pretty crowded in national parks for the foreseeable future," he says. Outdoor picnics with good old sandwich baskets seem like a plan then!
6. You might have to wear masks through summer
"We still have a way to travel before we just open everything and everybody walks around with no covering on their faces," says June McKoy, M.D., a professor of drugs at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of drugs. While there has been speculation that folks who are immunized against COVID 19 will start rushing to require "vaccinations," McKoy urges eager travelers to twiddle my thumbs. "Hang in there and wait" until it's safe, she says. "Take all the security measures that we talked about when the pandemic broke, and confirm that you simply protect yourself and your family."
7. Pack the essentials!
Packing every essential is now more important than ever. Starting from your own hand sanitizer to disinfectant spray, make sure to pack them for you and the safety of your beloved ones. And lastly, don't forget to pack a few Paracetamols and thermometers just in case you start to show any signs of CoronaVirus. Lastly, don't forget to pack a few extra masks!