Obviously, we love to travel and explore different lands and different cultures. We relish in meeting new people and mix with the locals. To see how people actually live. To experience their day to day lives.
The Caronavirus has put a stop to that, possibly forever. It has definitely changed the way we think of travel and how to move forward in a changed world. It has put a hold on our plans. We have already missed one trip, and now wonder if our other excursions this year will be affected. Does it disappoint us? Yes, absolutely. Are we upset about it? No.
Having been to over 70 countries, 5 continents and countless cities, we tend to roll with the punches. We have had to in our travels, and now have to while staying at home. We have to adapt to this changing world and if we want to travel, we are all going to have to get used a new reality. One where our travels will probably be changed forever.
What do we see will change in terms of travel? We see 7 significant changes on the horizon:
- Longer lines at immigration – This is a real downer as we fly out of Miami many times and the lines are already long. But expect them to get longer. Expect immigration throughout the world to actually take your temperature and pull you out of line if you register abnormal. Expect there to be mistakes made and trips ruined. Countries will worry about all types of infections coming from all over the world. Basically, double the time you go to the airport now to check in.
- You will have to show your Immunization Card – Similar to having a Yellow Fever vaccine when traveling to areas where there is a risk, we will all have to show an Immunization Card when traveling. If you do not have it and try to enter a country, you will either be turned around and sent back or put in quarantine for up to 3 weeks. We don’t think it will apply to traveling inside the US, but it would not be surprising to see New York, California and some other states enact that as well.
- More people will travel by train, car and RV’s and less on planes and cruise ships – Social distancing will continue to be everyone’s lives as we move forward with our lives but we will still want to travel. We will see more people traveling by train, car and RV’s so that social distancing is more possible and less on planes and especially cruise ships. This means more domestic travel and less international travel. This also means less airlines in the world and less cruise ships.
- Prices will rise on Air Travel and Cruises – With less people flying and taking cruises, we expect prices to go up over time. We expect some great deals when the shut downs and stay-at-home orders have ended, but over time we expect to see prices go up dramatically. It is a simple matter of demand and supply.
- Limits on the number of tourists – As we have already started to see before Covid-19, many areas will limit the number of tourists into an area. We see dramatic evidence of water being cleaner, air being less polluted and the affects of over-tourism being reversed during the time of the stay-at-home and no travel orders. This will have an affect on places that will still allow tourism and visitors, but more stringent in terms of numbers. It will be more difficult to see Machu Picchu or the Roman Coliseum in the future and again more expensive. Most countries will limit the numbers by charging visitors.
- Anyone in you group with a cold or sick will be looked at with disdain – People will become paranoid when you are traveling and become sick with a cold or the flu. They will look at you. They will shun you. They might come up and say something to you. You might not be able to get on the plane or cruise ship to get home. You will end up in quarantine. We think that overreactions are part of life and part of human nature. This will not be an attractive one and will end up with many people in arguments. Be aware.
- More people will buy Travel Insurance and pay higher rates on airlines so they can change – You will see an uptick on people buying travel insurance and even paying higher airline fees so they can change their flights or even cancel them without penalty. We lost more than $1500 because of the Coronavirus relative to reservations that were paid for and no refunds available. The travel insurance did not include Pandemics. We will definitely think twice for our next trip.
Will all of these come true? We think so. But they may not. The world could have a brief honeymoon period after the coronavirus and then go back to the way it was. After all, we all have short memories and all think that we are invincible. It will be up to each of us to decide how and where we will go. And what type of travelers are we. We hope that everyone adapts and travel actually becomes better overall, but we doubt that. Welcome to our new reality.
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