Planning Your Trip in the New Normal
02 Apr 2021
Several recent surveys from reliable sources indicate that the new normal will not be anything like what we had seen earlier. American travelers have indicated that they will not be traveling internationally any time soon. Most of the travelers are unlikely to travel any further than US destinations for a while. One thing is certain and that is international travel is going to be expensive. Although flight fares are down due to the lack of passengers, various airlines are looking to alter the cabin design for catering to the new normal. Governments around the world are taking into account the possibility of needing health certificates for traveling and they are already thinking about temperature checks. Travelers will have to plan carefully for their journeys in the future. Here are some considerations.
1. Consider the international trips as premium tours
A trip to Bhutan will cost you quite a bit due to the restrictions involved. You must keep in mind that you will be required to pay for additional documentation than normal to prove your health condition or for immunization. Those last minutes whims taking you to far and away destinations might be a thing of the past, at least for now. Although, this depends on your resources and budget.
2. Understand and use the miles properly
Various airlines are reaching out to their customers holding elite status to make sure that they know their miles will not expire immediately. You can also check the status and be on top of it, especially in the case of code-sharing airlines.
3. Book using a travel agent
This is not the right time to try and figure out possible refunds on your own. You need to consult a good travel agent who can get you those flexible travel arrangements. You are going to need them.
4. Keep in touch with a physician that is a travel expert
Before embarking on any tour for a period longer than a week to an international destination, consult a physician that is an expert in the travel niche. There are certain physicians out there that specialize in travel medicine and these doctors are updated about immunization requirements and the infection situation around the world. If you can consult one of these physicians before going on a trip, they will make you aware of the risks of contracting infections. They can help you plan a safe trip and also advise you about the best available options in terms of infection rate and time of the year.
5. Possibility of having a travel bond
Several companies will be thinking about floating travel bonds. These allow you to pay today for your travel later. The longer you hold on to the travel bond, the greater the value it accrues. The travel bonds help the hotels to stay in business at the time of quarantine, and can also help the consumers plan for more value-added tours in the future.
6. Select the destination wisely
Opt for travel destinations where you have family or connections with whom you can stay if there is a sudden lockdown. There have been several experiences in the pandemic period where several people ended up having over-extended vacations. When you have friends or family at the place you are visiting, you can stay with them if there is an issue and you have to wait to get back home.
Even straightforward things such as getting an Uber ride will have to be reconsidered. Think about the possibility of getting an international driver license to save on costs. It is difficult to imagine people returning home from the airport together with strangers, therefore, it is better if you rent a car and avoid being together with strangers in such a tight place.
7. Avoid trips with children and senior citizens and pay for flexibility
There is a risk involved in traveling with people that are over 60 or young children. Have the group trips down to the lowest possible number of people in the groups. Take the option of the more flexible travel plans available in the market. Try not to buy seats, products, tours, or hotels where you cannot get at least some refund in case of cancellation due to the shut-downs. Most experts are suggesting the possibility of a phased recovery that will force moving in and out of total or partial shelter-in-place orders.