How travel will be forever changed by COVID-19
The last time you watched a movie, did you experience a strange sense of dread? Something deep in your brain that told you something was off? That something being: crowded city sidewalks? House parties without one mask in sight? Handshakes and European cheek kisses?! You aren’t the only one getting worked up about a lack of COVID safety in a movie filmed pre-pandemic, and no, you aren’t crazy - it’s simply because our behavioral changes due to COVID-19 have become so deeply ingrained in us.
For better or worse, we don’t think this is temporary, either - our changed behaviors will likely last long beyond the virus.
So how will travel be forever-changed following COVID-19? How will the behaviors we’ve adopted during the pandemic extend once the virus goes away? We definitely think it will extend beyond wiping down your plane seat with Clorox wipes!
1 - More travelers than ever will be thinking about trip insurance - including cancel-for-any-reason coverage
As Coronavirus spread across the globe in Q1 2020, travelers began to question the safety of their vacation plans. Travelers who skipped out on trip insurance prior to their travels had the tough decision of canceling their trip and eating the cost, or risking their health to complete their planned travels. Because of this, more travelers than ever before will consider trip insurance prior to their next trip, especially cancel-for-any-reason policies.
Depending on how soon we’re able to travel internationally, it’s probable that COVID outbreaks will still be common once we travel. Prudent travelers won’t forget the trip-cancellation-frenzy that occurred once COVID hit, and they’ll be sure to get trip insurance that allows them to cancel, in case COVID-19 becomes a likely threat to their health.
2 - Travelers are more considerate about the health of themselves and others.
While we don’t foresee the entire country jumping on this bandwagon, the Aerogami Team believes that many people will opt to utilize masks during their travels - whether it be on an international flight or local public transport. Many folks have grown accustomed to the safety that masks provide from bugs and viruses beyond COVID-19. Once Coronavirus is a distant memory, we think travelers will still be using masks to protect themselves from any communal health threat in tightly packed spaces, and eager to take part in health screenings, like temperature checks at hotels and airports.
3 - Travelers will opt for paper-less travel documents
Prior to COVID-19, most travelers had seen a digital boarding pass: the paper-alternative plane ticket that can be saved to any smartphone wallet. In 2019, a third of travelers were already using digital boarding passes, but we think that percentage will grow immensely. During the pandemic, we've seen the largest adoption of digital and paperless technology across all demographics; COVID-19 safety precautions made many people expect to access documents, such as restaurant menus, on their smartphones. This trend will surely extend to all travel documentation - not just boarding passes. Using a digital alternative will no long be a nice to have for travelers, but an absolute requirement.
4 - Travel will be savored and craved
Seriously - have you wanted to travel any more desperately than amidst the peak of COVID?! We predict that once international travel is reasonably safe (read: not only is a COVID vaccine available, but rapid testing is commonly used when traveling and entering new areas), the demand will be through the roof.
See above: the Aerogami team, jetting to Italy - once we're allowed in the EU!