Travel in 2021
With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, many people are feeling hopeful about travel this year. Most people will probably stay cautious for another year or so, but in general, people look excited about travel in 2021.
So how does travel look in 2021?
Face Masks Will Play an Important Role
Many people think that wearing a face mask is the most important personal safety protocol in 2021. From airlines, hotels, and Tour Operators, blocking middle seats and sanitizing between flights and guests are top on the list of new expected procedures.
All eyes are on governments around the world as vaccines roll out and new testing protocols evolve. Most countries have closed their borders to international guests, and some are even limiting movement within the country’s borders. With the delays in vaccine distribution worldwide, some countries may not have the majority of their citizens vaccinated for another 2 or more years.
Testing before and after flights is already mandated by most international airlines. Some countries are mandating 14 day quarantine upon arrival, sometimes at the expense of the traveller. There is talk of bringing back a type of vaccine passport such as they used in the past.
As the percentage of vaccinated population goes up, and the daily infection rates go down, we will see a return to international and group travel. We project that for another year or so, most group travel will still require that all passengers get tested for COVID-19 before their trip and before they can participate in activities.
A majority of travelers will also avoid crowds in an effort to keep themselves and their fellow travelers safe and healthy. At VaFeltre Tours, our specialty has always been small-group private customized tours. We can easily plan an itinerary that allows you and your travel-pod to experience wide-open spaces and minimal to no crowds.
Europe Will Remain Hot (Once It Reopens)
Europe continues to be the most sought-after international region even though most of the continent is still closed to international travel. 2020 was expected to be a record year for tourism, and industry experts are projecting that for the first 6-15 months after the borders reopen there will be a travel boom as people are anxious to go from being trapped at home to getting back out and exploring new destinations.
Travelers Are Anticipating Longer Trips
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it is to SLOW DOWN and appreciate what we have. Global travel associations are seeing an increase in the number of days on future travel bookings. Many people have become “armchair voyagers”, completely revolutionizing virtual tours, tastings, and classes. After more than a year learning, researching, and dreaming about a location, we expect that people will want to take their time to actually experience a museum or site or location, instead of the old “snap a picture to say you were there” and stacking up the most cities on one trip. Many travelers are asking for only 1-2 hotels on a guided vacation, allowing them to immerse themselves in the experience, instead of constantly packing and unpacking their luggage during long-distance vacations.
Travelers Have a Lot of Vacation Time
2020 left a lot of workers with a store of unused vacation and sick days – more than they ever had before! After more than a year of limiting travel, contact with other people, and even changing the way we shop, people are ready to “get away from it all”. Travel will offer many people a welcome respite, and for many will be their step into our post-COVID future. Most people feel after the pandemic that they deserve time away from their jobs and routine, and booking a guided vacation allows you to maximize your experience while we do the thinking for you.
Travelers Have Money To Spend
Polls from industry experts around the world have found that many people have more money to spend on travel in 2021-22 than in a normal year. Many people are used to budgeting for their annual trip, and they feel like they can forward that cash on to their next vacation and combine it with this year’s vacation budget to create that truly unforgettable experience. In the past year, people have eaten out less and stretched their eating dollars, and they are eager to also use that savings towards their vacation. Whether you decide to upgrade your lodgings, add more activities, or lengthen the number of days on your trip, having an increased budget allows you to live your dreams like never before!
Travelers Are Planning But Not Booking Just Yet
When the world came to a halt in the first quarter of 2020, the amount of money refunded to potential travelers was unprecedented. There was a disaster in terms of the mis-handling of refunds. A quick internet search will bring up a trove of unfortunate stories from travelers who were unable to recover funds they paid towards a canceled trip. From the perspective of the travel industry, many Tour Operators, motorcoach companies, and vendors had to shutter their operations within the first 2 months of the Pandemic, and still more companies, restaurants, and hotels are still closing worldwide, as they simply cannot survive without tourism.
With that grim knowledge, where does it leave you in terms of planning your next vacation?
Here at VaFeltre Tours, we are ready to book your vacation the moment the borders open for your destination. We can go ahead and work with you now to create your dream itinerary, and price the entire trip minus the airfare. As soon as we know the dates the trip can run, we will quote you the entire package including the airfare. You can go onto our website and make your secure registration and set up your payment plan, and we will take care of the bookings and putting all of the plans in place. While many airlines and booking sites are offering all sorts of deals and savings right now, our opinion is that you are better to wait until the borders open up, rather than face disappointment later.