If you’ve considered yourself a globetrotter, the COVID-19 lockdown is probably hitting you especially hard. Not only have we been limited to the confines of our homes, but the concept of traveling has been completely stripped down, and we’ve only been able to speculate about what it will look like when the world reopens.
But for a look forward, here’s what the experts are predicting based on current trends. (Image Credits: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen/Unsplash)
Because going to an airport right now is risky, and we don’t know exactly when or how that will change, more people will be opting to stay closer to home. This doesn’t have to mean that you’ll physically stay in your home, though. You can take your staycation at a local hotel or campgrounds. Sometimes, just getting out of your comfort zone is helpful to make it feel like a vacation.
More road trips
Much like the staycation, people will travel by car more often. And this clearly won’t include overseas travel, but families will be more likely to take cross-country road trips than ever before. So if a New York family wants to travel to Florida, they’ll be more likely to hop in the car than board a plane.
New airport experiences
We don’t yet know exactly how airports will change, but we do know it will change. If you’ve ever waited on a long security line, you know that spacing things out isn’t always an option. So, how will airports handle the demand without putting people at risk? Travelers will likely all be required to wear masks and distance as much as possible, but this may not be enough. And we can’t forgo security or loosen security measures.
One alternative has been in use in Montreal airport for quite some time, and that’s appointment-based security. Travelers must signup for a timeslot in order to pass through security. We should also expect an additional health screening of some sort, including temperature readings. And this gets tricky if you happen to get sick away from home.
Even though we don’t know exactly what traveling through an airport will look like, we can definitely expect longer wait times, making layovers even more frustrating. You may want to consider applying for TSA PreCheck to avoid unnecessarily long security lines.
Fewer flight options
It’s no secret that this pandemic is decimating the travel industry, and even with a government bailout, airlines are going to struggle to recover from the losses as the industry eases back into business. And you might be tempted to think this would equate to some amazing travel deals, but that’s not likely to be the reality.
The airlines that make it through this difficult time will most definitely have fewer planes in the air. And on those planes, there will be fewer available seats for social distancing, making the price of each ticket more expensive. So not only will you pay more for your flight, but you’re probably not going to have nearly as many flight options as you’re used to. It’s not going to be as easy to coordinate your flight time with hotel check-in. In fact, when people really get back to traveling, you may even have trouble getting a flight on the day you need.
Traveling after coronavirus will change, and it may be some time before things go back to pre-pandemic norms. For the time being, do your part to keep your immune system healthy, be smart, and stay safe!