It is no secret that the recent COVID – 19 pandemic has brought many challenges, and disrupted travel plans all over the world. As an avid traveler and owner of Accessible Cruise & Travel, it was disheartening for me to see travel plans shelved and postponed indefinitely. Now, more than a year after the pandemic was first declared, myself and many other travelers sense a light at the end of the tunnel. Travel is making its way back.
Of course, things aren’t exactly as they were before – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Challenges can bring new opportunities, and that’s the case with global travel post-COVID. While some options, such as cruising, are taking longer to recover, this is a great chance to explore some alternative choices while we wait for it to return.
In this article, we’ll look at what options are available for travel at the moment, as well as some tips for what to expect while traveling and how to make the most of your trip.
Travel during COVID – the options
There’s no denying that we’ve seen a big shift in travel, and we all need to be creative with our plans. Luckily, there are a ton of fantastic options that are also as COVID-safe as possible. Here are some options while our usual favorites, like cruising, are on hold.
While overseas travel can be difficult (although not impossible) at this time, domestic travel is proving much easier and more popular. It’s no surprise, then, that we’ve seen a surge in the popularity of the classic road trip. Many caravan and camping companies are reporting massive increases in demand as an epic road trip becomes a go-to option.
The great thing about road trips are the options are almost endless and you have control over your transport and itinerary. From short trips to extended round-the-country loops, there are limitless choices for a great adventure. Plus, your road trip can be as luxurious or budget as you like – a humble van is a classic choice, but these days well-equipped RVs are like hotels on wheels!
As someone who’s only experience with camping was a few muddy trips in my childhood, I must admit the idea of getting back in a tent didn’t seem very appealing. However, I soon discovered that “glamping” is much more my style, and it’s also a safe option, too – by definition, you’ll be socially distanced and out in the open air.
Glamping options range from comfortable safari tents in beautiful locations like wineries, right through to quirky options like treehouses with jaw-dropping views. Either way, you can expect all the luxe features of a hotel or cruise, such as cozy, good quality linens, electricity, wi-fi are more. It’s no wonder this is an endlessly popular option for holidaymakers.
While most cruise liners might be on pause until later in 2021, there are still options for enjoying a sensational vacation on the sea. Sailing boats and other vessels for hire generally aren’t the city-on-the-water that a large cruise liner is, but they have their own perks. Think privacy, flexibility over your itinerary, and attentive service for you and your guests.
You’d be forgiven for having discounted yacht or boat hire as the domain of the super-rich and out of reach for most people. The truth is, however, that this option can be surprisingly affordable, especially if you are planning to travel with a group of friends and family. Hire of the vessel as well as a captain can be cost-effective if split between a few, and it’s likely to be an unforgettable experience.
Another great option for traveling during COVID -19 is hiring your own property such as a villa, beach house or chalet. While many hotels are operating and adhering to very high levels of safety and hygiene, there is still a lot of peace of mind that comes from knowing your space is yours alone and that foot traffic is kept to a minimum.
Like hiring a boat, villas are not just the domain of the super rich. There are options for all budgets, and there are some truly amazing options out there. Whether you dream of waking up overlooking the ocean or would prefer to awake to the sound of wildlife outside your door, there are so many fantastic options to enjoy.
I’m a big fan of underrated travel destinations, and COVID – 19 has certainly reiterated the value in this. While some of the most popular travel destinations such as London and Paris remain difficult to visit, there’s a plethora of other amazing places that are still inviting guests to visit safely and have a wonderful time.
Islands such as the Maldives, Tahiti and Cyprus remain open for travelers with strict safety processes. These island nations have done a great job in keeping COVID under control and you can feel confident traveling there. Similarly, you might want to consider hidden gems in your own backyard as well.
Tips for travelling during COVID – 19
I hope the above has inspired you to start planning your next trip, even if 2020 saw some of your plans shelved! Although travel is definitely possible in our current world, there are a few things to be aware of.
Look up regulations before you go
It is important that you carefully research the rules and regulations for your destination to make sure there are no disappointments. Rules are varying greatly, and while some countries and places are open for business, others still have strict quarantine requirements or may be restricting entry altogether. Be sure to look up official government sources to be sure of the rules.
Follow safety precautions even on holiday
We’re all pretty good at following COVID – 19 precautions these days – washing our hands, wearing masks, and socially distancing. Although it can be easy to feel relaxed on vacation, it’s important to still be alert and careful. I’m a big fan of keeping multiple small bottles of sanitizer in my handbag, suitcase and pockets so I’m never caught without!
Be prepared for delays
Even in destinations that are largely open for business, there still might be delays as there is an added layer of safety and precaution. For example, if traveling through the airport, I recommend checking your ticket and getting there earlier than you normally would, as stringent protocols can cause delays.
Enjoy yourself and smile
There’s no doubt 2020 was a tough year, but things are looking up. As vaccines roll out across the world, case numbers drop and destinations reopen, things are looking positive for travelers and the travel industry. While things might not be totally back to normal, it’s important to still think positive and really enjoy yourself while on vacation – you deserve it!