Do you remember the day after 9/11? I remember not knowing what the world would be like. We were all worried about the future of travel. What would it be like to travel again? Is it going to be safe to be on an airplane? I’m old enough to remember being a kid and going into the cockpit during the flight, talking to the pilot and co-pilot and getting a plastic set of wings. Now that will age me! I also remember walking a loved one all the way to the gate, kissing them good-bye and watching them leave. Not anymore. And I’m sure that after COVID-19 that travel will look different again. Now my crystal ball is not working, and I don’t pretend to know the future, so these are just my opinions.
Hygiene, it’s not just personal anymore
I think that we will all be thinking in the future about hygiene more. I know that everyone now can tell you that you need to wash your hands for 20 seconds but I think that everyone will be thinking about not just personal hygiene, but how clean places that they stay are. How do they disinfect? Not only their accommodations but how they get there. They will be thinking twice about the airlines, or buses, or even renting that car. How safe is this?
I think that the cruise lines, hotels, and airlines are all going to be adjusting their policies and procedures as things progress. As travel professionals, we are already getting updates from all of them on how they are going to be cleaning and preparing for guests when they return.
Think about Travel Insurance
Another thing that I think will be different is how we all look at travel insurance. I’ve always heard people say, “No matters what I’m going on that vacation, why would I need travel insurance?” I think that after this pandemic people will be double thinking about insurance, and the types of insurance to get to cover themselves. I always say, I purchase car insurance because I don’t want to use it, not because I do. It’s the same with travel insurance, it’s better to have it in case something happens that is outside of your control instead of the nothing can ever happen concept.
Time to talk to a professional
I also think that using a travel advisor is something that will start to become the “in thing” again. Yes, you know that I was going to say that along the line somewhere. We are here for our clients, to give them assistance through all of this. When it comes to canceling or rescheduling their reservations, they don’t have to be on the phone blindly for hours, they have someone that they can just call who picks up the phone right away and takes care of their needs, and gives them the advice that they need. That’s what we do, and we are here for them to be of service to them when they need us. I think that travel advice will be even more valuable after all of this is over and we will be here to assist even more than before.
What about now?
So what to do right now? For most of us, we are still “Safer at Home” and going through the thick of it. And it’s hard, we are mourning the loss of what we used to know, and scared about what the other side looks like. I think that we all need to keep up daydreaming, and inspiring when we can get back into the world again. I know for our family we were looking forward to a big vacation this summer to celebrate our oldest graduating from high school. Instead, we are starting a bucket list of what to do next year instead. We can not wait until this is over and the new “spring” can return, and it will. Until then let’s all keep dreaming until we can return to travel.