Travel In 2021
Predictions for a year of possibilities
Travel 2021 – As the new year starts, so are there more questions about travel and COVID-19. There was only one day between 2020 and 2021, and not much changed overnight. As we move into 2021 with a spike in COVID cases and a vaccine ready to be administered, what are the predictions for travel?
1. Uncertainty and change – Travel Agents step in.
As more and more people are vaccinated and feel more comfortable traveling further than to local destinations and places close to home, travelers will turn to the experts for the latest travel news. They will reach out to travel agents to guide their decisions on where to travel based on what’s open, the latest mandates, and to find any deals.
Travel agents have always been a reliable resource for vacation planning and sorting out any interruptions during your vacation. During the pandemic, travel has already shown that the “new normal” of travel may include more uncertainty, especially as things pick up. Through the pandemic, travel advisors have been able to stay updated via webinars offered by destinations. Many of the ones I have talked with feel they will be ready when travel starts full-force again – they’ll have the latest info on the vacation spot and how to protect your travel investment.
2. Short-term-rentals vs. hotels
Throughout the pandemic, short-term rentals have grown in popularity. Airbnb was already becoming a global choice for travelers. The mandates to social distance and quarantine have families traveling together. Choosing to stay in Short-term rentals feels safer than hotel stays where you’ll encounter more exposure to people in close and confined spaces.
Short-term rentals also provide a way to control the budget for lengthy stays. Some people find short-term rentals a change of scenery from the shelter in place – stay home blues. Travelers can afford to stay longer and feel comfortable with limited interactions with people they do not know.
3. Deals, deals and more deals
Sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline, monitor fares and hotel rates, where you’ll find many bargains as we look for travel options. Travel during 2020 dropped to extremely low levels, leaving hotels, restaurants, attractions, and airlines struggling financially and having to cut jobs.
As travel picks up with domestic and international travelers, we will have more opportunities to support all parts of the travel industry. And there are deals to attract you to come back. As 2021 has an increase in travel, the deals will be there to inspire you to visit your favorite destinations and check out new ones. There will be many value-added opportunities to take advantage of and put you in the driver’s seat. Travelers should check with online travel sites (Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline) for deals. There is always the option of reaching out directly to hotels for any latest discounts they may offer.
The “new normal” will bring the attitude of “It doesn’t hurt to ask!”
4. What about all the fees
Airlines have dropped the fees as a way to be competitive in this time of limited travel. And, hotels have been notorious for extra expenses such as resort fees, and here’s another area where competitive pricing will be something new. Let it be another spot where you may be able to negotiate in the ever-changing travel world.
Customer loyalty will be paramount as hotels, airlines, attractions, and restaurants rebuild their customer base as travel picks up.
5. What are airlines planning
Look for overbooking – before, COVID airlines had a pretty good system of figuring out cancellations. However, with no fees for canceling a flight, there is less risk for flyers to cancel. To ensure seats don’t go empty, airlines are overbooking flights. Remember overbooking. It’s coming back.
And, Southwest’s policy for middle seats – Middle seats won’t be empty; refunds will be available if you do not want to fly in close quarters.
6. Road Trips
The quintessential family getaway of 2020 was the road trip. Vacationers opted to skip the airports, say no to the air travel, and hit the U.S. highways.
Road trips allow travelers to control their time and budget and how many people they encountered. Travel by car with people you know cuts down on exposure to others. It is the easiest way to social distance and get out and about. In 2021, road trips will continue to be the right choice for travelers to maintain social distance and control their exposure. With vaccines becoming available to the general population in late spring or early summer, road trips are an excellent choice for last minute adventures and early Spring Break 2021.
Another group of 2021 holiday-makers enjoying road trips would be the baby boomers, who may have concerns as a high-risk group and will want to limit their exposure to COVID.
Sanitize, disinfect, wash
The value of cleanliness in all areas is here to stay in 2021. We’ve become accustomed to cleaning and sanitizing protocols. That expectation has created travelers who look more closely for cleanliness and are less likely to overlook small things that would have been acceptable before. Things like how clean are remote controls, doorknobs, and even things like smudges on surfaces can make some discerning holiday makers take a second look.
Insure your travel investment
Unforeseen incidents can happen even with the best laid travel plans. Travel insurance has always been there to pick up the pieces and help you get back on track with your vacation plans. The pandemic has proven we can not become too comfortable with our itineraries and think all will be well. Sudden illness has always been a trip-breaker, however with COVID-19 health conditions can change over night and not only for one person, but the whole family.
Allianz Travel Insurance, offers various options to insure your travel investment and take the worry away. Coverage for your itinerary details and for medical care should be part of your plan. When you’re covered, you have the fun while they handle the worry.
The best news is that experts in the travel field are very optimistic, and we know positive thinking goes a long way. The way we travel has changed, but mostly for the better. It’s clear; the deals are out there, and expert advice is available to plan the perfect trip. You choose when you say “ready, set, GO!”