With a complete halt on travel in 2020 with no end in sight to the FCO’s travel ban. We’re forced as an industry to look forward. To inspire you for when we can travel again. And with that in mind I can’t help but think about what trends and types of holiday will be most important to people in a post-Coronavirus world.
Putting to one side, PPE, social-distancing and perspex sunbathing cubicles (does anybody want to enjoy a Tuscany beach in this way?!) Here are some of my thoughts on what we will be thinking about in 2021 for our next holidays.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Perhaps one of the most significant shifts that the industry is expecting is with multi-stop holidays and self-guided tours. Travellers are going to decide between air travel, long-train journeys and self drive. It’ll primarily be about personal space and social distancing. It will also be about availability. There’s no denying that the aviation industry is changed forever and the full impact of it isn’t known yet. So it could be that train and car hire are the most convenient ways to get from A to B in some parts of the world.
Top Tip: I’d recommend upgrading. Either get the car grade above or the train class above your original plans. Or maybe add a stop to slow your journey down a little.
If you’re thinking of a USA or Australia self-guided itinerary – get in touch to start planning today.
Ecotourism and sustainability
I don’t know how you’ve been spending these last couple of months. But one of the changes in our house is a more conscious approach to spending . Never has it been more important to us to help out other local businesses. So we’re ordering from a butchers, a bakers and a greengrocers and get home deliveries. They’ve been amazing and the quality of our food intake has gone up dramatically.
And in my opinion this will be something we carry into other areas of our spending. Including a more conscious approach to the environment and local communities when booking a holiday. Companies like G Adventures are really showing us the way. They’ve built their success on “Do the right thing all the time, every time. And as we’re all in this together, and we show kindness I think this will bleed into the experiences we have while away on our holidays.
Top Tip: There are more ways than ever to be a conscious spender. Whether you add a donation to the Travel Foundation, or stay at an eco-friendly hotel. Perhaps you have ideas on travelling carbon neutral or staying at a family-run B&B paying the rates they set and not the driven down tour operator rates.
Experiences of time
I really see Strawberry Holidays becoming much more than agents of travel arrangements. We’re really going to be expected to design people’s time spent while away. And that’s where our value really lies. Not only saving the client’s time and money in the planning and research phase of the holiday. We’ll offer experiences and opportunities to enjoy much more from a destination and journey. Whether that’s a cut above the rest upgrade, or a reservation at the must-eat-at restaurant.
When I think about this I think back to last summer, a client going out to Zakynthos. I know the family, I know they swim competitively, and love wildlife and the outdoors. So I arranged a turtle spotting tour. It turned out to be the highlight of their whole trip. It was a little extra from me, but it was a family experience they’ll chat about for years.
I no longer see myself as just a travel agent, but a designer of time and experience. Want some inspiration of experiences direct to your inbox? Sign up to the newsletter.
Wellbeing breaks for the body and soul
We’ve spent a lot of time, sedentary on the sofa, or garden furniture if you’re lucky enough to get to enjoy the amazing weather we’ve had during this period of lockdown. A wellness holiday might be just the thing you want to kick-start a return back to our daily lives. They are a unique as they allow you to truly unplug, harmonize you body and mental wellbeing getting your natural rhythms back on track.
After the anxiety and stress that has come to many, the idea of re-balancing and some reflection will be just what the doctor orders.
Top Tip: Before looking for a retreat, think about what your desires and needs are. Each retreat will have it’s pros and cons for your objectives. Check out this article from SunWarrior, 7 things to consider when choosing a retreat.
Those with access to wide open spaces have been the envy of everyone else during this lockdown. And I can see a real emphasis on that for those looking to get away. Huge skies, minimal crowds and plenty of space will have a fantastic psychological impact for those stuck in the towns and city centres.
There will be a reduced pressure on the once over-crowded, overburdened tourist sites. We will enjoy a rare window when many of Europe’s famous sites and museums will be relatively quiet.
In the UK, the great city sights will be much quieter as the international tourists that normally adorn the Tate, The National Gallery, The British Museum stay home. While beauty spots like the Lake District will more likely be busier than ever. So choose wisely.
There are many parts of the USA, Australia, Italy and Greece where you can avoid people all together. Ask me for more information on quiet holiday escapes.
Top Tip: If you want to visit Pompeii, or the Forum in Rome, or the Louvre, you may never get a better opportunity than this autumn – and probably right through 2021.
What do you think? Would you say I’ve got the trends right? Or is there something missing? I have no crystal ball, there will be more twists and turns, setbacks and surprises. But this is what I think the future holds for travel plans in the next couple of years.