How will travel change in the post-pandemic world? As we all know, travel has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and the social distancing and stay-at-home orders implemented. We have all been wondering what our new travel normal will be like. In part one of this article, we looked at how hotel stays and air travel will be affected and changed in the post-pandemic world. For this part, let us look at how cruising and road trips will change in the post-pandemic world.
Limited Cruising in the Open Sea
Cruises are known for their distressing environmental effects and notorious skirting of labor laws. Therefore, we can expect big changes in the cruise industry in the post-pandemic world. This will give them the chance to review how they have been operating and implement positive changes. The environmental impact cruises have on the earth is severe. One of the transitions that cruise lines that operate in the United States market will make is working towards launching electric cruise ships that have zero emissions. This change is less to do with the pandemic, but having halted voyages and looking at how they operate, cruise ships need to change the way they sail to better our environment.
In direct regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise lines need to up their game when it comes to germ spreading on board. Ever heard the phrase “floating petri dish”? Sadly, it is not far off given the small living quarters and shared amenities that one finds when sails on a cruise. As cruise ships figure out the best way for them to stop the spread of disease in order to safely offer voyages again, the first thing they are doing is limiting the number of people on board and eliminating buffet-style dining. It is unclear what else will change following the pandemic, so as of now, travelers with underlying health conditions are being encouraged by the CDC to stay away from traveling on cruise ships.
Hygiene is the most integral aspect of preventing the spread of diseases. This means that this will definitely affect the usual hotel standard operating procedure.
Road Trips Increasingly More Popular
Not wanting to rent a room in a hotel or fly on a plane will lead many people to take road trips and stay close to home. Being in one’s own car will provide comfort and no exposure to more germs. As mentioned in part one, Airbnb and private rentals are likely to be more popular so as people are taking road trips, they may travel several hours away. And rent a private home, as opposed to staying in a hotel. This allows for a longer trip via safer means. Specifically trips to national parks and outdoor areas are likely to be most visited because the open-air decreases the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission. It allows people to space out, not jammed together in one room.
As driving becomes the primary method of travel, rest stops may change in the post-pandemic world, as well. Oftentimes they are small and compact so they will need to rescue contact by involving more drive-thru options. Also have individual restrooms that are open to the outside, rather than several that are solely accessed indoors.
Travelers Themselves Should Do Their Part
It is not only the travel industry but also the individual traveler’s responsibility to do what they can to reduce germ transmissions and prevent the spread. Hand washing and hand sanitizing have always been something that is encouraged. Now more than ever people really need to be sure they wash their hands for a full 20 seconds every time they enter a new place or leave the bathroom. Hand sanitizing after interacting with another person is also something to make a habit.
And of course, wearing a mask. A mask has shown that will prevent the spread of droplets that carry illnesses. While it is incredibly uncomfortable and irksome, masks play a large role in curbing the spread of COVID-19. As we move into the post-pandemic world, wearing masks will continue to be expected when traveling.