We have more on what to expect in the coming year in terms of travel. Travel, leisure and hospitality industries have been hit hard in 2020. Although there seems to be a light at the end of a very long tunnel with a vaccine on the horizon for all of us, we aren’t out of the woods.
Many people seem to think that 2021 will hit and poof, back to normal. I don’t actually think many people think that is reality but instead are hopeful that 2021 will see a return to normalcy.
But, what will travel look like? We are seeing a large number of people eager to travel again and taking to the skies and the road to get out of their little bubble to get a change of scenery. We are among them. We have traveled to the mountains, just a couple hours from our home and we have also traveled to Florida twice.
While many think we’re crazy to going to Florida we basically left one bubble for another because we didn’t leave the safe confines of the Disney bubble on those trips and we quarantined for two weeks upon our return on both trips.
Let’s Get Cruising
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its “no sail” order back in October. We were hopeful to begin cruising early in the new year. After several outbreaks on test cruises, it looks like we will be waiting longer. Our recently rebooked cruise in February was canceled and we hav enow come full circle in cruise cancelations. We rebooked for a May cruise which is actually the exact cruise we had booked for 2020, the first one to get canceled, just a year later. Fingers crossed.
Cruise lines are busy setting up policies, infrastructure and plans to get sailing once again. One thing we do believe will be a requirement for the majority of cruise lines once it becomes readily available are vaccines.
We believe that in order to ensure safety and health of guests and minimize the chances of an outbreak onboard, cruise lines will require proof of vaccine for all travelers.
Most major cruise lines originally planned to restart operations in early 2021, but the resurgence of the coronavirus has forced many of them to push back their start dates. Test cruises have resulted in outbreaks onboard even with required testing meaning that cruises have had to reevaluate their testing requirements.
The C.D.C.’s health and safety protocols include extensive testing, quarantine measures and social distancing as well as simulations for outbreaks.
Several cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, Norweigan and Royal Caribbean have all canceled sailings into March.
When cruising does return it will be with reduced capacity and limited excursions. Many cruises have already announced that excursions must be booked through the cruise line and not through outside companies. Don’t forget your mask because masks are likely to be required in areas where it is not possible to social distance.
The industry has lost billions of dollars and many cruisers are eager to set sail again regardless of what new policies and protocols are in place. We see a return to cruising in 2021 but it largely depends on the availability of the vaccine to the general public.
In a recent television special, Disney Cruise Line showed a glimpse of one of their new ships the Disney Wish coming online in 2022. It showed guests in masks. Masks are not going anywhere for a while folks so if you want to travel, find some comfy masks.
Workcations are on the Rise
If 2020 made people realize anything, it was that now is the time. People were stuck inside, in close quarters for months and with that became an influx of movement to the burbs.
With places starting to open up, even with mandatory quarantines, working remotely is taking on a whole new meaning. Have Wi-Fi will travel and work. People are starting to pack up and go on long workcations. Work by day, vacation by night.
People are tired of sitting and tired of being home. Expect to see a rise in people traveling to work. This is a creative way around the 14 day quarantine implemented in many places.
Call them “workcations,” “flexcations,” bleisure, whatever: By any name, the longer trips that remote working facilitated in 2020 show no signs of slowing.
People want to vacation but need to stay safe and still need to work. This is the perfect solution especially with a large number of people moving to remote in 2020 and many businesses realizing that in person work is not a necessary expense.
This also includes vacationing close to home. Traveling to a cabin or a nearby spot for a month or even longer and bringing the laptop along for the ride.
Will Travel Ever be “Normal”?
There will be a time, somewhere in the distant future where 2020 and COVID-19 is a distant memory. That time is nowhere in the foreseeable future.
Slowly, industries will begin to revive, people will feel safe traveling without risk of exposure or themselves or others. Whether you like it or not, masks are going to be around for a while, social distancing as well. You will be required to get tested for COVID-19 and you could be required to get vaccinated in order to travel or go to certain places. But, slowly, surely, things will get back to normal or a version of normal and slowly we will turn on the lights, pack up the bags and get out to explore the world again.
2020 showed us how vulnerable we are to the unknown and the unexpected. Industries, individuals and every aspect of our country, our economy and our world have been heavily impacted. Emotionally, financially, every aspect of our beings has taken a hit. Travel is a huge part of our society. We like to explore, we like to get out and go places and this year we couldn’t even leave our houses.