Most people were happy to see 2020 end, and while 2021 is already starting bumpy, it may get better with the large-scale roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world.
With the vaccine’s implementation may come more opportunities for travel in 2021.
The following are some of the possible trends and things we might see in travel this year.
While air travel has resumed somewhat, it may continue to be lower than usual throughout 2021 and into 2022. There are different reasons for this. One reason is that people simply aren’t comfortable with air travel right now until the COVID-19 vaccine is more easily available to the public at large.
In 2020, when people did travel, they often did so by car. That might continue this year.
Of course, with more road trips comes another set of risks. The roadways may be generally less safe if they’re more congested, and drivers will have to be increasingly cognizant of the risks of distracted driving.
Increasingly people are also using RVs as a means of travel, which again means that we’re all going to have to think about how to be as safe as possible behind the wheel.
Despite travelers’ concerns, flying remains one of the safest ways you can travel. Airlines have also taken significant steps to reduce the risk of being infected with COVID-19 on flights, but of course, as we’ve seen, nothing is foolproof.
More Travel Off-the-Beaten-Path
Some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations from the past decade are likely to see continuing declines in visitors through this year.
What many travelers are instead looking for are those destinations that are off-the-beaten-path with fewer crowds and more opportunities for social distancing.
Examples of trending destinations this year might include the coast of Alaska, known for its remote and rugged beauty, and island locales in the Indian Ocean.
Scandinavian countries might also trend in travel this year.
Many countries worldwide are offering unique opportunities for people to visit and work at the same time, meaning there could be a growing interest in extended trips.
Many countries that have been hard-hit by a lack of tourism are offering special deals and travel visas for people who want to come and work remotely for a period of time.
Another reason extended travel might become popular, in addition to the special deals and the fact that people have the flexibility because they’re working remotely, is that a lot of people are afraid of getting stuck in quarantine or lockdown.
If you’re traveling for an extended period, these unexpected circumstances become easier to deal with.
More People Using Travel Insurance
Before 2020, most people probably didn’t buy travel insurance. Now, there is so much uncertainty surrounding travel that it’s becoming a more commonly used option.
Travel insurance offers a range of protection, from covering the cost of trips that are canceled for reasons out of your control to coverage that allows you to cancel for any reason.
Travel insurance might also be important to people if they worry about being stuck in a foreign location while needing medical care or a medical evacuation.
With continuing uncertainty, it can be important to give yourself peace of mind.
There are always things you can’t control when you travel, but that’s especially true as people are cautiously returning to taking trips this year.
Outside of travel insurance, flexibility in bookings will undoubtedly be one of the biggest priorities for reluctant travelers. Airlines have eliminated change fees, and that may be something that’s here to stay.
Everyone from hotels to cruise lines is also offering a significant amount of flexibility when you book, which wasn’t the case before the pandemic.
If before last year the thought of last-minute travel filled you with anxiety, you might now be considering it. There’s a reason for this. When you plan a trip months in advance, you have no idea what to expect when the time actually comes.
Last-minute travel gives you more control over your travels.
Finally, will we carry digital health passports? This controversial topic has been floated around since the start of the pandemic, and we don’t know how it will turn out.
Some companies might start requiring proof of vaccination, or at least proof of negative COVID tests before you travel, but as it stands right now, there’s no definitive answer on what will be universally required to travel in the coming months.