Got a trip planned? Don’t forget your passport, vaccine passport that is. I’m not in the business of predicting the future or trends, but I expect to see proof of vaccination being a part of a traveler’s required documentation along with visas, plane tickets, luggage tags, and printed-out itineraries. COVID has turned the world upside down, and the travel industry has been particularly shaken. What other trends do you see in 2021 while the industry scrambles to be busy again? Following are a few of my guesses.
#1 Vaccinated Passports?
The vaccine has landed. Actually, two have landed in the U.S. to date. It’s too early to gauge their effectiveness, and, well, let’s face it, the best we all can do is be flexible and practice turning on a dime. I want you to give you the heads up that there may be requirements to show proof of vaccination before receiving entry into different countries. Similar to the yellow Health Certificates of yore that showed you had a malaria shot. Most likely the proof will be in a digital form, like a QR code. CNN did an interesting piece on a vaccine passport. Watch it here. Whatever is decided, I hope it’s uniform in its rollout for maximum benefit. Side-thought: I wonder if we’ll need some sort of vaccine passport to attend large-crowd events, like concerts, professional sport games, Oktoberfest, watching movies in a theater, school assemblies, and so on. I guess it could be a way to hasten the way to some sort of new normalcy.
#2 How Will We Get Where We Are Going?
Planes, trains, or automobiles. The travel industry has been working overtime to make getting where you are going as safe as possible. Lufthansa has put Herculean effort into its new health and safety measures. Sanitary and sterile are a couple of adjectives that come to mind. More details on Lufthansa reopening the skies for flying here. I’m sure other airlines are following suit.
#3 And Where Will We Stay?
You made it to your destination. Where are you going to sleep? The cleanest place you can find, I hope. Your hand sanitizer from home isn’t up to battling hotel room germs. You’ll want to look for a travel industry-related seal of approval for cleanliness. The Forbes Travel Guide and Sharecare VERIFIED® Safety Hotels have created such a designation. The list of hotels that made the grade are all bucket list lodging. See who made the grade here.
#4 Where Do You Want Eat?
All checked into the über-safe room, let’s get something to eat. With the emphasis on where to eat rather than what to eat, I certainly will look for outdoor dining. I always have been keen with outdoor dining, al fresco as the Italians call it. Perhaps the U.S. may start to adopt more of the pedestrian-friendly, outdoor-style dining favored abroad. Businesses certainly have had to pivot to stay afloat. Some have added masks to their merchandise lines, for example. To add patio dining, there’s the cost of inventory for things like outdoor heaters, more hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass sneeze guards, personnel to guide and monitor a safe atmosphere, and so on. The list is endless.
#5 Revenge Travel
Raging Spending is my term for making up for lost travel time with spending the money saved from not being able to travel during COVID. Industry insiders call it Revenge Travel.
For example, I have been saving money for leisure travel and will immerse myself in what the location has to offer. Guided tours, art classes, cooking lessons, luxury day at the spa, 5-star dining, and, well, you get the idea. I have always extended my travel on the front or tail end of each trip when able. Well, I will always extend on all future trips. Maybe on both the front and tail ends. Doesn’t Raging Spending (Revenge Travel) sound delightful?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Right after you hear the announcement, “You are now free to roam the globe,” where can we expect to find you? What continent? Adventure travel or the lap of luxury? Independent sojourn or group tour?
Me? I am an equal opportunity traveler and a wanderlusting soul. I always hear the siren call of all destinations, though, I haven’t decided my next port o’call yet. You’ll be the first to hear when I do.
In case you need some inspiration in deciding what will be the next visa stamp in your passport, here are some suggestions.
Norway. Now. No way should you put off visiting this Scandinavian country famous for its fjords and majestic scenery. It’ll knock your socks off! Guaranteed. To be a bit more specific, I recommend a cruise. Put it on your bucket list. Why? Read some highlights from my voyage to the Land of the Midnight Sun.
What and how to pack. Often, the most confounding parts of any trip are the luggage questions. Carry-on or check-in? How many pairs of shoes? Do I need a formal dress? Will my phone charger work below the equator? Here are a few packing tips. Let us know if you have a packing hack to share. Thanks. We can all use it, I’m sure. Or at least share it.
So excited to hit the road again! So many places to go and people to meet. Will keep you in the loop. You do the same. Here’s to traveling in 2021. And as always with travel, one never knows what to expect. Stay safe. Happy New Year!