Enjoying wine country in Franschhoek, South Africa
I think it’s safe to say that the travel industry as we know it is forever changed. Long gone are the days of hopping an Uber to the airport, taking a few flights to another airport, hopping into another Uber and checking into an overcrowded hotel without worry.
I think it’s also safe to say that we don’t know exactly what the future of travel holds. I am sure that travel will resume and we will enjoy visiting new places again, but there will likely be new restrictions and policies. The re-opening of the travel industry will be a phased approach and some will be more comfortable than others. One thing I know is that I will be traveling again – hopefully in 2020. I’ll just be a bit more cautious and meticulous when packing and planning to travel, both for planes, trains and hotels.
Here are some strategies I’ll be implementing in post-pandemic travel:
+ Invest in Clear. If you don’t have this, I highly recommend getting it for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it makes going through security an absolute breeze – even quicker than TSA Pre-check. Second, they can scan either your fingerprints or your eyes – with the eyes there is literally zero direct contact with another person or a machine. This option seems the safest to me when it comes to the pandemic concerns. With Clear, I can go from my house to the plane while touching not one person or thing. That is reassuring!
+ Dress properly. A solid travel outfit is key. As a creature of habit, I tend to wear the same type outfit each time I fly – jeans or thick leggings, a lightweight sweater layered over a tee, a scarf and slip on white sneaks with socks. I have my backpack and suitcase, if I’m not checking a bag. This foolproof outfit means I carry nothing in my pockets (read: nothing going into those general bins and back into my hands) and I can breeze through the security checkpoint without touching anything. A scarf serves as a pillow, eye cover, face cover and added layer for warmth. Going forward, I will likely bring a face mask and gloves as well.
+ Disinfect it all. Stocking up on travel sized hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes is going to be key. I already am that girl who wipes down her seat, tray table and seat belt. People may have looked at me like I was a nut in the past, but looks like I was onto something! It goes without saying that we’ll be washing our hands more often (after security, when touching anything, immediately after de-boarding the plane) but hand sanitizer is critical to use pre/post beverage service, while handling luggage, etc.
+ Pick Your Seat Carefully. Seat selection is more important than ever. Nobody wants a middle seat anyway, but especially now! I prefer the aisle as it is roomier and I can have more space to breathe / stretch out; however, I have heard many theories that the window is the “safest” in terms of germs because you can wipe the area and have minimal contact with anyone, including flight attendants and passers-by.
+ BYO...well, everything! I already fly with a refillable water bottle to remain hydrated while flying, but going forward I’ll be packing my own snacks, gym an hand sanitizer. It is unknown if in-flight beverage and snack service will resume but either way, it seems safer to bring your own – especially for short flights.
+ Pick Wisely. Safety ratings, cleanliness reports and high reviews will be more important than ever as we venture back into hotel travel. I know that I will likely choose hotels I have a familiarity with – when possible – and opt to stay at the more well known brands who can prove their cleanliness records. Typically, I am always inclined with daily housekeeping and room service but those are both options that may be luxuries of the past.
+ Wipe Everything Down. Travel sanitary wipes will be our best friend as we stay in hotels going forward. I foresee washing my hands upon arrival and then wiping down the TV remote, door handles, faucet handles and light switches. This is probably something we should have always done, so better late than never.
+ Bring your own pillowcase. A crazy thought? Maybe so, but it’s a “better safe than sorry” precaution. Limit your time in-room. Avoid overly crowded places. Travel will probably be limited at first to places with beaches, mountains, etc. versus an overcrowded urban setting)
The bottom line is, nobody knows what the future of travel holds! Will things be different? Absolutely. Will our travel styles and strategies change? For sure. Do we know to what extend? Not yet. The best we can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best.
How will you alter travel post-pandemic?