Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on almost every industry, from hospitality to the arts. But none has been hit in quite the same way as travel. Holidays are being cancelled left, right and centre, and there has been a record number of insurance claims over the past few months. So how has travel changed, and how will this affect an industry on the brink?
Staycations are on the rise
Although travelling abroad is far less popular this year, there has been a surge in staycations. Visits to Staycation Holidays increased 4-fold within just 24 hours of lockdown restrictions being eased. This is hardly surprising since the uncertainty of foreign travel makes staycations a lot more tempting. Although travel corridors have made it possible for holidaymakers to travel abroad without needing to quarantine, these corridors can be taken away with little to no notice. For people who cannot afford to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return, they have no option but to holiday at home. This is great news for the UK economy, but not so much for the travel industry. This increase in staycations means that we’re becoming far less reliant on air travel and travel agencies, two industries which are in dire need of an economic boost.
Travel insurance is changing
Unsurprisingly, sales of travel insurance have also surged this year. Although travel insurance should always be travellers number one priority, many of us either forget about it or risk going without. This has all changed in the age of COVID-19, as we are relying on insurance now more than ever. However, consumers must do their research, because insurance companies vary vastly when it comes to Coronavirus cover. Some companies have stopped selling travel insurance altogether, whilst others have stricter limitations. When shopping for travel insurance, the most important things to look out for are the medical cover and scheduled airline failure insurance (SAFI) – this will protect you if your airline goes bust.
Travelling will take a lot longer
Since social distancing measures have been introduced, life seems to be going at a much slower pace. We’re queuing to get into shops, abiding by the one-way systems, and taking the time to sanitise regularly. And the same goes for travel too – especially air travel. You may be advised to arrive at the airport 4 hours before take-off. Once you’re there, expect long waits for check-in, immigration and boarding. It isn’t just air-travel that will take longer than usual. Social distancing measures mean that in many countries, trains and coaches cannot be at full capacity, so be prepared for long queues. And once you arrive at your destination, your life will continue to move at the same slow pace as it does at home too. This slow pace of life isn’t necessarily a bad thing – you might even enjoy it. Just make sure that you’re prepared.
The travel industry will come back with a bang
This might be hard to believe now. The travel industry has taken a massive hit, and it’s likely to change forever as a result. But this doesn’t mean that it can’t get back on its feet. In fact, some people are predicting that the industry will become bigger and better than ever before. And this isn’t a surprise. Since lockdown was first announced, many of us have been dreaming of being far away on a sunny beach, with a cocktail in our hands. A lot of us have also been spending our time in lockdown planning our dream holiday. So although things may seem all doom and gloom now, the future of travel is bright. Maybe even brighter than ever before.
Are you hopeful for the future of travel? Which of the changes that have been made do you think will stick? Let me know in the comments below.