A Complete Guide to Travel Transformation in 2021

We’re all looking forward to the new beginnings. 2021 is a year of hope to come back to so-called “normality” and get our freedom of movement back. Throughout the long months of 2020, we have been spectators of the biggest shift in our everyday life. For many of us – the most challenging times since we were born. 

A whole generation will be shaped by these events – lockdowns, increasing restrictions and governments trying to handle the spread of this unknown disease without hurting people and economies too much. 

Having our freedom of movement taken away, the travel ban has impacted the whole industry – which we feel a part of, yet we tried to make the most of it, even when travelling was a grey area. We were impacted by last-minute quarantine rule changes, border closures and other manic ways of making travel less accessible and more stressful.

However, the situation seems to be stabilising and we are hoping to announce some emerging trends which will transform travel in 2021.

How Will Travel Change in 2021?

Face masks will still be mandatory

Covering your face has now become deeply rooted into our everyday life. Having to wear them inside & outside is now so normal, that it feels weird looking at people on videos or films before the pandemic, casually not wearing any face covering. 

Simple to mandate and check, also fairly effective in limiting the spread of the virus, they seem to be here to stay. 

Make sure that you’re packing your face masks along with your sun-cream and a toothbrush.

Increased health checks and border controls

You may have had your temperature checked a couple of times already, and it’s a non-invasive and effective method of ensuring the safety of all passengers on board and in public spaces. 

To be completely honest, it just makes sense to allow only healthy people to travel. Restricted places like airplanes, toilets and big transport hubs like train stations have always been prone to being full of germs and not-so-friendly, even if your immune system is only a little bit compromised. 

Travel is challenging enough for our bodies, minimising the risk of catching a disease is a great step towards making these areas safer. 

Additional documentation, like a PCR test result required before boarding the plane, fit-to-fly certifications or health passports are all attempts to take control over the spread of coronavirus and make passengers  feel comfortable about the health and safety of everyone travelling.

Covid vaccines - the key to safe flights?

Is the newly developed vaccine for Covid-19 going to bring back normality as quick as it has been taken away form us? 

It looks and sounds promising, but so far it has not been required in order to travel by plane by any flight operators or airport authorities.

Funnily enough, it seems that all discussion about safe travel is considering travel by plane, and overland travel has not changed much through the pandemic.

Travel cheap with Lion's Detour

Given the price of a PCR test, vaccines and the whole logistics of it, it seems that overland travel might be the emerging trend of 2021. Offering you not only more freedom and independence from unreliable flight operators and border control rules changing on the spot, overland travel remains fairly open and laid-back.

Social distancing continues

Generally, staying away from people seems to be a very important part of keeping yourself and others safe. 

Every time you come in contact with other people, you’re at risk of getting the disease. 

Through the pandemic, we have seen endless creativity from shop owners, taxi drivers, banks and official authorities coming up with solutions to limit the interpersonal contact between people. Whether you like it or not, you may need to try to be making friends in a new, socially-distant way for a bit longer. 

Limited capacity on public transport and planes

As a result of social distancing rules, to provide enough space to keep all travellers safe, transport operators (buses, coaches, trains, planes, etc) may need to reduce the amount of seats they are able to use.

This may cause an increase in prices, and further the need to book your seats days or weeks in advance to strictly fit into your travelling schedule.

It does take away some joy from the art of unplanned travel, but in my opinion, it’s better this way than no travel at all. 

Maybe we’re just so starved of freedom we’ll agree to anything, so we’re just allowed to leave our house and forget about all 2020 in general. 

The digital and contact-free revolution continues

Online booking, self-service check-in and check-out and vending machines selling more than just snacks… All these solutions will spread across multiple areas related to travel, visas, health assessment and so on. 

Of course we have not forgot about food and parcel delivery – everything is widely available right at your doorstep. Mix it with travel and it will create an interesting dynamic of cherry-picking which activities you really want to experience in the outside world.

That should make our life easier – not having to hunt for appointments, or take time off to sort out different daily tasks

All of this is here to keep everyone safe, minimise contact and increase the efficiency of travel and life after the pandemic which happened in 2020. 

The future of events - innovate or else

After all music festivals have been cancelled – the question arises – how can we bring these back? 

Festivals are often associated with large crowds, people having fun and being close to everyone around. Whether we choose get close to others or not, it all seems far from possible for the foreseeable future. 

Socially-distant events which still allow people to enjoy themselves could be the new trend in the years that follow. 

Events, as with travel, have to be reinvented to become compliant with the new reality of putting health and safety above all other aspects.

A loss of destination freedom, a time for creativity

Not every destination can be reached with your own transport , sometimes it’s simply not a financially viable option. 

What is the current reality of travel we’re used to?

Flights being cancelled, border closures and other restrictions. All of these require flexible planning and unfortunately, lowering the expectations bar. There are so many external factors that go into having a successful trip abroad.

Instead, many of us started embracing local areas – nature, neighbouring towns or even countries. They discovered amazing hidden gems just around the corner from their house; it doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it?  

Embracing the nomadic lifestyle

Many offices are closed for the foreseeable future. Those who can enjoy remote working arrangements are perfect candidates to try-out the digital nomad lifestyle. Working and travelling is a great combo because you can fund your travel on the go. 

Depending on the destination you pick, you may actually save some money this way too! 

Benefitting from a reduced amount of stuff to lug around and cheaper rent (if you lived in London, like us – everywhere is cheaper!) means less stress and more resources to discover new places. This will mean you have enough time to feel like you’re “at home” somewhere else on the map. 

Another thing that is highly recommended is the use of a VPN! Make sure to keep your work secure with cloud solutions to backup your data and keep your connection secure; safety first, in all aspects.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and book days off, you’re still eligible for them if you’re employed. It’s really important to charge your batteries and unwind. 

Health and safety first

We’ve become more knowledgeable about hygiene and protecting ourselves and others from dangerous germs and viruses than ever before. 

Hygiene is going to play a big role in the upcoming years. It’s imperative that the companies we use to organise our travel are trustworthy and transparent about their measures to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy.

This is something that deserves some appreciation. Big companies prioritising these values over slightly higher profit margins shows the human side of these companies. Remember, that every time you use someone’s service, you support their beliefs and policies; so in the long run, we all make a positive impact on our world.

The travel agent's role increases

However much you love to travel and try to stay up-to-date, there’s no better source of information than a reliable travel agent who can recommend you the best destinations according to your needs and wants. 

The approach is changing from selling standard package holidays to designing more tailored experiences. Combining this with access to the best deals, flights connections and generally being in-the-know of what’s “hot” in the industry, travel agents are here to equip you with great experiences. It’s their job to go the extra mile to help you fulfill your wildest travel dreams.

Mindful and sustainable travel

It’s inevitable that there will be many people involved in the travel industry, that are struggling for the next couple of years to recoup lost income in 2020.

Every time you choose a place to eat, shop or get souvenirs, you’re supporting these people (or corporations) – and voting with every cent while you travel. 

We highly encourage people to try local specialities, non-chain cafes and get authentic, hand made products for souvenirs. They may look a bit different than you’d usually expect them to look in the store, but the heart and soul put into the process of making them is the most valuable aspect of these items and will leave beautiful memories of helping small local business begin to thrive again.

Insurance is key

Feeling safe is a very important aspect of enjoying your time on holiday. 

In the unlikely event of any complications, it is essential to have adequate travel insurance. However, the pandemic has shown the flaws in the system when insurers started rejecting claims related to the coronavirus. 

Staysure is the only insurance company who created a policy specifically designed for the traveller exploring in the new normal. Their cover offers the utmost confidence to travel during these times. Featuring unlimited expenses cover and a flexible cancellation policy, it seems like no-brainer if you care about your health and that of those who hold dearest.

They are also rated as the #1 insurance company by Trustpilot – which is a great achievement and a confirmation of great service and commitment to keeping everyone safe and sound.

The first to travel will enjoy the space for themselves

It will take some time for tourists to fully embrace travel again. However, this is an opportunity for the brave (and impatient) to get the best shots for their Instagram and avoid the hordes of tourists typically crowding the most popular tourist destinations. 

Act fast and get the best deals on accommodation, before everyone else catches on to the idea. 

A win for the big outdoors

Nature, apart from great views, clean air and stunning landscapes offers us even more space. A place where social distancing doesn’t seem to be a struggle at all, we can feel at peace and embrace adventure, even by ourselves. 

Interest in local national parks and nature tourism has spiked tremendously in 2020. We are hoping that this trend will keep growing in a mindful way. We cherish and appreciate nature on all of our road trips, and we hope that you can jump on that trend too! We highly recommend Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. 

Hiking, horse-riding, road trips, camping are all great ways to keep yourself entertained.

If you’re okay with being a bit cheeky, we dare you to try wild camping in 2021!

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