Traveling In 2021 and Beyond: How Will COVID-19 Reshape Our Journeys?

Omeron Travel
on 29th March, 2021
5 minutes read

The coronavirus in 2020 disrupted economic and social systems around the globe. The aviation industry, like many others, saw a sharp decline in business and profits. Currently, as vaccinations efforts are being sped up, one begins to wonder how traveling will look like in a post-COVID world? 

Well, don’t worry. We are here to shed some light on this issue and bring you up to speed on the aspects to consider while traveling in 2021 and beyond.

Proof of Vaccination

Last December, the first ever COVID-19 vaccination program began in the UK. Many other countries have also ramped up their own inoculation efforts since then. With that being said, proof of vaccination may become a necessity for traveling abroad in the near future. But, the exact verification process is still being mulled. 

Many companies linked to the aviation industry are testing technologies in this regard. The idea is to make a system where travelers can verify their vaccination status in a secure and authentic way. Moreover, many of the renowned mobile health apps like ICC, CommonPass VeriFLY and AOKpass are working towards this goal. 

There are many challenges in this process. Some type of universal health certificate or clearance form will need a tremendous amount of cooperation from countries to be accepted. If they don’t, the authenticity and acceptability of vaccination certificates will vary from country to country, which again would create barriers. For instance, a certificate issued in Thailand may not be acceptable in the United States. However, history tells us that the World Health Organization had success in this regard.

They came up with the International Certificate of Vaccination or yellow card in the 1930s. The documentation was extensively used as proof of vaccination against ailments like typhus, yellow fever, smallpox and so on. Actually, many countries still require proof of immunization from certain diseases prior to traveling.

In case of mobile health apps, there are many issues to address like privacy and standardization of individual health data. Forgery and hacking are common threats that need mitigation. Plus, there are many countries where English isn’t their main language. So, how do the parties involved resolve these issues? 

One thing that governments are stressing on is the need to standardize testing and vaccination requirements. Hence, as we just mentioned, cooperation among countries is of the essence. Hopefully, something will come to fruition like the yellow card of the 1930s.

Remote Working: Mixing Business with Leisure

Imagine vacationing near a scenic beach and getting your office work done at the same time! Remote working is increasingly being accepted as the new normal during a global pandemic like COVID-19. 

With the increased flexibility, you’ll now be able to choose where you want to work from. As long as you’re connected to the internet, that location can be anywhere in the world. It’ll keep your mind at ease as you work towards your professional goals. Plus, picking a beautiful destination means that you get to take care of business and leisure at the same time. 

The most important aspect of remote working is that you get to distance yourself from the crowd. Remember, social distancing is still a thing and working remotely is much safer than a crowded office space. 

During a pandemic, it’s vital to keep your spirits high when you work. Thus, vacationing and working is a win-win for both employees and organizations. So, take those safety precautions and fly to your dream destination for the ultimate remote working experience!

Remote working is showing no signs of slowing down. The concept of being a global nomad who works from a beautiful destination for months is now a norm. This is a good thing since it’s helping many hotels and lodgings to stay afloat. Relaxing with the family and working remotely at the same time is something that the older generation of employees are preferring.

Until the vaccination process reaches its peak, these trends are here to stay. It’s safer to stay for months at an exotic location and work peacefully rather than venturing the risk of traveling. Wouldn’t you agree?

Travel Will Return to Normalcy Soon

Industry experts are positive that travelers will be able to transition from searching to booking trips very soon. Approved vaccination programs in the UK, Canada, and the U.S. are going to help in normalizing travel. But, in a globalized world, every country needs to be on board with this train.

Inequality in terms of vaccine distribution needs to be resolved to ensure a swift return to mass travel. Many insiders strongly believe that a pent-up demand among eager travelers will send them rushing to book tickets. Alternatively, others think that passengers will be cautious and resume traveling gradually. The latter is definitely the safer route to follow. 

Until mass distribution is ensured, testing and more testing for COVID-19 will be the key. You can expect many hotels to offer testing as a bonus perk in the near future. Whether it’s before or after traveling, make sure to get tested.

Business Travel and Redeeming Flyer Miles

Just like regular travel, business class flights plummeted since companies went into survival mode. Thus, the frequency of paying for expensive flights went down. And that’s not all; the decline of business travel also dragged down the profitability of hotels and convention halls. Additionally, those frequent flyer miles and credit card points became redundant for a while.

But, there is nothing to worry about. Loyalty and points programs are far from gone. They are going to play an important role in retaining those post-COVID travelers. Loyal customers will be able to use points more easily on stuff beyond magazine subscriptions and airline tickets.

It is evident that the recovery for the aviation industry will be driven by vacationers desperate for a getaway. Business flyers will slowly albeit surely follow suit. It is expected that business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels sometime after 2023. Come to think of it, that’s not far away given the unique circumstances we find ourselves in.

Traveling With the Family 

The million-dollar question on everyone’s mind is regarding the outlook of family travel. By this, we mean taking your parents, or even grandparents, on a trip abroad. The reality is that most families in the US, for instance, already have made plans to do so this year. In fact, many of them plan on traveling more than pre-pandemic times! This is due to the fact that everyone wants to refresh themselves from the doom and gloom of the coronavirus.

However, it’s a good idea to avoid those multi-generational trips with your grandma since the elderly are most vulnerable to the pandemic. Plus, it’s important to take extra precaution while flying out to meet your older relatives. You don’t want to carry the virus straight into their homes. Instead, plan short trips with your neighbors for a change.

One aspect that is still untouched is vaccinations for children. Quite naturally, older people are in line to receive the jabs ahead of the younger bunch. While it’s necessary to prioritize them, testing the vaccines out on kids needs focus as well. Until everyone is inoculated, we aren’t fully safe as kids can be carriers too.

Being Safe During Travel: How Stakeholders Are Adapting

Adapt or perish; this philosophy has never been more relevant. Every party involved in travel like airlines and hotels are being forced to develop policies and procedures that can keep customers safe. It’s not just about the current crisis; companies are gearing up for future health threats as well.

Hotels, motels and other lodgings are ramping up their cleaning efforts since customers stay there for days. People are extra cautious to avoid crowded spaces and are prioritizing hygiene now more than ever. All of these efforts are an attempt to woo travelers by keeping them safe. 

Besides, focusing on cleanliness is a big win for cleaning companies since they get to team up with renowned hotels. Boosting hygiene in the hospitality industry can rake in profits for both parties.

As for airlines, they are taking safety measures like cleaning airplane seats and cabins before and after flights. Although this is costlier for the company, there is no alternative. Keeping the passengers and cabin crew safe is much more important. Moreover, airports are ensuring that all travelers abide by the rules and wear masks and gloves accordingly. 

And with that, we sincerely hope you have a safe journey in the post-COVID world.