With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines and the continued distribution in early 2021, life may begin to return to a semblance of normalcy at some point this year. With that comes the return of vacations and travel in 2021, something I have desperately missed being part of my life.
However, as travel slowly becomes more normal, the world has changed and with it how we travel. No one knows exactly what will happen, but we do know travel in 2021 won’t be the same as it was pre-pandemic. Continue reading for the top travel trends and what travel may look like in 2021.
An Increase in Travel Advisors
Not only will travel advisors plan your trip, make accommodation bookings, and schedule outings, but now manage COVID-19 restrictions. Ever changing COVID-19 requirements (border restrictions, COVID-19 testing/vaccine requirements, etc.) would be hard to navigate on your own, and travel advisors can now help ensure the safety and enjoyment of your trip.
Domestic Trips Will Be More Popular
While international travel will come back, it will be slowly. As border restrictions change and lockdowns go in and out of place, it may be more sensible to travel within your own country. International trips also require lengthy travel days and public transportation, which is also discouraging for the near future. However, there are a million things i’m sure you haven’t done where you live (as there are a million things I haven’t done in the US) and fun experiences right around the corner. Trips to Discover has a great list of places in the US to visit in 2021!
Road Trips & Wellness Trips Will Be Favored
Socially-distanced trips that you can do with a significant other or small group of friends will (obvi) be very popular this year. I’m expecting trips like road trips, wellness trips, beach trips, etc. where you can easily be distanced from others to take precedent over trips to cities or the like (check out these 12 things to do in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for some beach trip inspo!). One of the best parts is that a lot of these socially-distanced trips can be very inexpensive if planned out!
Travel Insurance Will Be Necessary
Travel insurance may be mandatory in some countries, as plans can change on a moments notice. Even if it is not mandatory, travel insurance is definitely a good idea no matter where you are going. It’s better to delay tickets or bookings rather than being out a couple hundred (or thousands) of bucks. Many companies are also offering COVID-19 specific travel insurance right now, meaning if you tested positive before your trip you can be completely refunded.
Digital, Touch-less Experiences
Touch-less technology is booming all over the world right now and will continue over the next several years. Touch-less booking and payment options, virtual queuing systems, and more look like they will be widely offered around the world. Biometric scanners are even being tested at some airports in the US to speed up waiting lines and reduce potential for transmission of the virus.
Boutique Hotels & Airbnbs Will Be Booked More
I believe there will be a move from crowded chain hotels to less populated boutique hotels and Airbnb rentals. While the larger hotels have made a great effort to sanitation protocols, quality control is easier when smaller. Plus, boutique hotels and Airbnbs can still offer a personable touch which is needed during this time.