The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed life as we know it on hold. With most of the world putting social distancing measures and travel restrictions in place, the pandemic inherently changed or patterns of movement, preventing us from exploring the world in the ways we were previously used to. And as many countries have slowly opened their borders once again, the impact of the novel pandemic on travel becomes more apparent than ever, although not in the manner you might initially think. To explain this phenomenon further, here are some important ways COVID-19 has changed our travel habits:
We appreciate holidays closer to home
As most countries around the world were completely closed off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers were forced to become more creative than ever. For some, this meant experiencing the benefits of travel in their own home, planning exciting “staycations”, trying new restaurants, visiting local landmarks, or doing any other activity that kept the spirit of travel alive.
Others used this opportunity to explore the natural surroundings close to their home, choosing to visit national parks and local lakes and rivers, opting for camping and hiking trips, and visiting mountainous areas nearby. It seems like we are now more willing than ever to see the magic of travel even at our own doorstep.
Road trips have become the number one option
For many people across the globe, road trips were the only feasible travel option during the coronavirus pandemic, especially in countries like Australia and New Zealand where lockdowns were continuously in place since the beginning of the outbreak. Not only did this allow locals to appreciate holidays close to home more, but it also gave them the opportunity to fall in love with different forms of travel.
Road trips have always been considered incredibly liberating and pleasurable, but never quite as much as during the pandemic. This form of travel allowed individuals to expose themselves to new experiences, encourage a sense of curiosity and wonder, and change their perspective when exploring different corners of the world simply wasn’t an option.
Remote working encouraged new migrations
During the height of the pandemic, most people were forced to switch to remote working, performing all of their duties at home. In combination with the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, this encouraged individuals to move out of expensive cities into more lower-cost rural areas, or even entirely different countries.
We appreciate quality over quantity more
The lockdowns, travel restrictions, and health concerns that arose during the coronavirus pandemic have also allowed us to realize that travel is a privilege many of us take for granted. In turn, this encouraged us to think about travel more intentionally and less frequently, even if the world does go back to normal very soon.
Frequent travelers are now putting more thought into their trips, choosing more distinct and unique experiences, although they might happen less often. As we have realized that travel enriches our lives, exploring opportunities for passion and wonder is now the main priority.
Sustainability has been put at the forefront
Even though the pandemic has impacted our lives in a number of unfavorable ways, one silver lining is the fact that we are now significantly more conscious of health, not only our own but also the planets. Concerned citizens now demand greener and more responsible travel policies, and the industry must answer.
While these changes can already be seen in aspects such as mask mandates, sanitization, and other health measures, we shouldn’t be surprised if countries begin prioritizing eco-friendly travel, mandating “fly-free days”, and making other necessary efforts that will help the environment.
From sustainable practices and quality experiences to enjoyable trips closer to home, COVID-19 has truly had a significant impact on our travel habits. As we are now at a pivotal moment, we can only hope the future of travel becomes even more conscious and responsible.