Who could have ever envisaged travel in its current state? Airlines, hotels, tours, cruises – all at a standstill.
The onset of COVID-19 has made for some extraordinary days in the world of travel and I am sure the questions on everyone’s mind are – What’s next? Where do we go from here? And, how will travel rebound? They are good questions with, likely, many answers.
Firstly, the good news is that everyone still wants to travel! After experiencing this unique, world-changing pandemic, that’s exciting to hear. You see, sometimes it takes something on this scale to wake us all up and we sure have all been given a hefty shake. Now, we just want to get out there and explore again! Tick those items on our Bucket List, see the world, see our family & friends – and we want to do it now. We all know the future can change in an instant so when we are able to travel again, there will be no waiting – we’ll be jumping right in, seizing the moment and making the most of every minute of every day.
I thought I would share my predictions with you on how travel will look in the future, with the three below travel types/styles leading the way.
- Family Travel –
Some positives have arisen from this pandemic and the one that tops the list is that we have been able to reconnect with our immediate families. For young families, the extra responsibility of home schooling, doing what we can to keep the kids inside and entertained after the suspension of our usual extracurricular activities, the bond and connection is growing like never before. I believe that it is here where things will start when travel bounces back. As borders and regions start to open, families will want to escape the family home and get out and about. It may start small with maybe a few weekend trips within local regions just to test the water. Maybe then, a trip interstate to visit family and friends or to experience an event that has now become a family Bucket List item rather than an individual one – something like the Australian Open. In about 12 months, I see families lining up for Skiing holidays, trips to Disneyland and African Safaris. After the shock we have had, mums & dads have realized that they don’t want to wait until the kids have left the nest – they want to share these experiences with them.
- Group Travel –
As we have all been locked up and restricted for many weeks, there have been so many special occasions we have had to ‘celebrate’ in lockdown. Many people have been forced into quiet ‘ISO’ celebrations when normally they would have celebrated with a large party or gathering. There are a lot of people out there who have reached milestones – 21, 30, 40, 50, 60 but still have not been able to properly celebrate the occasion. Now that lockdown is over and restrictions are being eased, I can see many planning to not only celebrate those occasions, but also just to revel in the company of great friends once again. What better way to do this than taking a trip together? It may not be huge to being with – maybe a boys fishing trip, a winery tour for the ladies or a group of couples coming together for a weekend escape.
However, once the ball starts rolling, the confidence in travel will return. These small weekend getaways will expand and as the next celebration rolls around, it’s human nature to try and outdo our prior adventures! Quickly, these local getaways will turn into interstate footy feasts, girls shopping trips to Melbourne or visits to health retreats. Eventually we will see the return of international travel for those special celebrations – Bali, Vietnam, Fiji, New Zealand. What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than being away with your besties for a fun weekend!
- Health / Wellness /Fitness Travel
One thing that COVID-19 has emphasized to us is the importance of being healthy – giving you, and your body, its best chance if something like this were to ever happen again (I really hope it doesn’t). I read a meme somewhere that after lockdown, that we would emerge as either a hunk, a chunk or a drunk! 😊 Well, if you’ve looked after yourself and come out as a hunk – I am sure that you will want to continue all that hard work you have done in lockdown. If, however you fall into the ‘chunk’ or ‘drunk’ category, maybe you’d like to look into rectifying your situation!
Just before COVID-19 took hold, there was strong growth in travel for health, wellness & fitness. Now that we are coming out the other side, I believe that we will see continual growth in this area. Now more than ever, we are aware of our health and its importance, and we’ve also come to realize how stressful and over-complicated our lives ad become. Therefore, health retreats and fitness trips will be on many people’s agenda as they look to continue and expand on those positives they experienced during lockdown. Health/Wellness & Fitness travel can offer many options – a focus on skill acquisition, how to eat better and break unhealthy habits, refresh/rejuvenate, decompress & relieve stress, digital detox and revitalize your body and mind. There is so much you can achieve and now that you know you’re ready to be a better, happier and healthier you, this will be a very sought-after product.
Of course, there will be others that offer differing opinions on how travel will rebound and what types of travel will boom, but as we gradually ease our way out of this black hole, I thought I would share my thoughts with you. One thing I am sure we can all agree on is that travel will be back, and it will be back with a vengeance!
Currently, we are still crawling. Our first steps are not too far away and those with kids will know what happens after that – we’ll be off and running and won’t be stopped. So, for now, as we pick ourselves up, gaining the confidence to let go and take that first, scary step, just remember one thing. An infant does not do these things alone, they have someone there with them every step of the way.
Whatever stage you’re at – crawling, walking or ready to run – the TASA will be here to support you and guide you every step of the way!