The current COVID 19 pandemic has really thrown the world into a tailspin when it comes to travel or anything else for that matter. The future of travel is going to be changing and has many people asking the question, “When will tourism start?”. People are also wondering what air travel post COVID 19 will look like and when will air travel resume. While we cannot be certain of what every single change is going to look like just yet, we can guarantee that travel after COVID 19 is going to be a lot different than what we are used to.
Future of Travel: 10 Things will Change Post-COVID 19
1. Going Through Security Will Look Different
The TSA has announced new guidelines for security clearance at airports during the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as what will continue during the future of travel. You will find signs that will encourage you to wash your hands both before you go through the security line and afterwards. All your personal items that you used to throw into the buckets to go through the X-ray scanner should now be placed in your carry-on bag. Social distancing guidelines are currently in place, as well, so it will be important to look for signage on the floor and the security area. You will probably still need to wear a mask, even with the social distancing in place. However, you should be prepared to lower your mask so the TSA agents can verify that you are who you say you are. These are only some of the many differences you will see with air travel post-COVID 19.
2. Strong Suggestion of Enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program called STEP
While the government is not going to be making it mandatory for anyone to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, they are strongly suggesting it for travel after COVID 19. When you choose to enroll in this program, you will receive lots of important information about the country you are planning on visiting. The US Embassy can also use your information to alert you of any emergencies or if you were in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID 19 or if you were in an area where new cases have popped up.
3. Potentially No Drinks or Snacks Offered During Flights
Back on March 24th, Southwest announced the suspension of their snack and beverage services during flights. There is currently no date when these items will be offered again, and you may want to plan on not having this available for quite some time in the future. This may mean bringing snacks with you to the airport or purchasing them along with drinks once you pass through security.
4. Travel Will Be Closer to Home
While the future of travel is not looking bleak, it will have many people like yourself traveling closer to home post-COVID 19. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is most people will feel more comfortable staying close to where they live. They will want to support their local economy and sleep in their own beds at night. This future of travel will not include air travel post-COVID 19, so it will be a lot of day trips or simply discovering new things to do within an hour or two of your home.
5. More Road Trips
If you are the type of person who does not mind staying in hotels for travel after COVID 19 but are still uncertain of air travel post-COVID 19, you are not alone. Many people feel this way already and will come to this conclusion in the future. Therefore, there will many people like yourself taking more road trips during the future of travel. These road trips will allow you to see all those destinations on your bucket list, while avoiding air travel at the same time.
6. Wearing Face Masks on Airplanes
Starting in the beginning of May, American Airlines was one of the first airlines to require all passengers to wear face masks while flying. Delta and United also followed suit to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew for air travel post-COVID 19. Once you know when your air travel will resume and feel safe to fly, this is one extra item you will need to make sure you have with you when you enter any airport. The mask you wear can be a regular disposable mask or you can choose to wear a scarf, bandana, or neck gaiter. The only guidelines are that the mask must cover both your nose and mouth. You may remove your mask to eat and drink on the flight, but it must be back in place when you are finished.
7. Extensive Screenings for Cruises
Choosing to cruise during the future of travel will have you proving you are not sick before you are allowed to board a ship. Norwegian Cruise Lines has a list of who they will not allow to board, as well as what they will do for that person when it comes to a refund. Basically, if you have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you will not be allowed to board for your cruise. In addition, if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID 19 or suspects of being positive for COVID 19, you will not be allowed to take your cruise. You will be asked many questions on Norwegian’s Pre-Embarkation Public Health Questionnaire, which may end up being common for almost all travel after COVID 19.
If you are not allowed to board for your cruise, Norwegian is planning on giving you a credit for a future cruise. It is uncertain whether other cruise lines will have the same guidelines when cruising begins.
8. Changes with Hotel Rooms and Amenities
Staying in a hotel is going to be very different when tourism starts. During our new future of travel, we will find that many hotels have shut down multiple amenities and made changes for how many hotel rooms are available each night. The Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts has worked with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to create the guidelines it will be using in their hotels. A few things they plan to implement include rooms being disinfected before bringing in blacklights to ensure the room is cleaned thoroughly, public areas cleaned hourly, social distancing measures, contactless delivery for room service, and reduced capacity in restaurants.
Over at the Venetian in Las Vegas, you will find thermal cameras at every entrance. They will be used to check the temperatures of those who enter and will refer those who have temperatures over 100.4 to the proper medical professionals. UV lights will be used in high-touch areas and social distancing guidelines will be marked in all high traffic areas. Pool seating and casino seating will also be created with social distancing guidelines in mind.
9. Use of Travel Agents
If there is one thing that COVID 19 has shown us, it is that travel agents are more important than ever. Anyone who was traveling when COVID 19 began, or who had plans to travel in the early weeks and months, had a ton of phone calls to make to get things cancelled and get their refunds. Those who had travel agents realized their jobs were much easier, because they could call their travel agent and their travel agent did all the work. These travel agent connections will be even more important in the future, as travelers like yourself are trying to adjust to this new future of travel.
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10. Travel Insurance Will Be Popular
In the past, many travelers would skip over travel insurance, because they never thought they would need it. However, with the current circumstances and the uncertainty that travel after COVID 19 brings, travel insurance is looking better and better to more people. There are many different travel insurance policies to choose from, so you can easily purchase the one that will fit your needs during future travels.
These are ten things that will change with travel after COVID 19. Travel is going to look quite different, as you are wondering when will tourism start and when will air travel resume. Of course, air travel post COVID 19 will be the most different and you may or may not be one of the people who will want to avoid air travel for some time. While there are no guarantees on how the future of travel will really look, the ten things listed above will give you a good idea of what you should expect as you begin to travel once again.