The Future of Travel
To the end of the pandemic and beyond
We’ve just had a year to forget, as COVID-19 ravaged through the world, slowing down lives, destroying jobs and pulling families apart. Finally, as the dust begins to settle, we are beginning to ask ourselves about the future of travel, and what will change forever. With changing government regulations and a greater awareness of our fragility as a species, it’s possible things won’t clear up entirely for years. That said, it makes for a stimulating opportunity to adapt and move on, as humans do so well. So, what will travel look like in 2021 and beyond? Will there be any lasting fear and anxiety around manic city centres? Will people take to secluded and rural pastures for their vacations? We at Plum Guide have put our minds together, looked into our crystal balls, and envisioned the near future of travel.
Picky customers will become more common
Where we once chose destinations based on their beach access, museums or culture in general, some of us might begin to take stock of a country’s ability to control the pandemic. A particularly well-vaccinated, clean and careful setting could rise quite suddenly in popularity, while those places neglecting corona care might be in for a fall from grace. We wouldn’t want to speculate about which is which, other than to add that all of our homes undergo extensive cleaning, with a new, stricter regime implemented since the pandemic rose its ugly head. Also, you can get full refunds during the pandemic, should it be the reason for the cancellation of your travel plans. Check our website for more details.
A sleepy Tuscan village, Italy
Socially distanced travel may now be the norm
Even after the last of the pandemic has dissipated, it might have left a lasting trace of anxiety as we become more germ-conscious. Will people still be happy to cram onto small planes, or will airlines have to adjust and provide more space? Given that many are still cramming onto those planes, even during the pandemic, things might simply go back to normal. Yet, it could be years before we can travel without wearing a mask. It might even become the norm to wear masks in public life. Many of us might begin to choose airlines based on their hygiene practices rather than their cost or leisure. There may also be fewer group tours – as they would increase the size of your bubble – with a greater focus on trips for families, couples and individuals.
Skyline of Málaga, Costa Del Sol, Spain
Rural activities trump city breaks
During the pandemic, you may have noticed more and more people sporting jogging attire or cycling outside your window (if you’re by a street that is; it’d be weird if they were in your garden). With little else to do during the last year, people got into exercise in a big way, which is perhaps one benefit of an otherwise disastrous period of time. We can therefore imagine many of you taking to organised activity holidays. You’d stay at one of our excellent Plum Guide homes in, say, Cornwall, and embark on cycling trips with a tour operator around the Cornish Coastal Path, before dropping in at the re-opened Eden Project. It’s a great way to have fun, see the countryside, stay fit and, importantly, avoid crowds of potential corona carriers. (We should also warn against the paranoia under which we’re all going to be suffering.)
Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Reunion travel is likely to increase
Travel experts are discussing a new niche in the market: reunion travel. So many people have been kept apart by the virus that they are now desperate to see one another whenever possible (families: it won't last). Once the pandemic is over and we look to the future of travel in 2021 and beyond, it is probable that a large portion of travellers will be looking to meet up with loved ones from whom they’ve been kept apart for more than a year. As such, there’ll be a greater emphasis on hygiene practices, as stated above, as well as price, expediency and time. At the same time, there might be less demand for group city breaks and package deals that include hotels and other in-country activities.
Joshua Tree National Park, California