You might feel guilty about the traveling you’ve done, and the ways you’ve had to skirt around official rules or guidelines to do it. If you’ve been really good about staying home, you might feel frustration towards the people who didn’t take the rules seriously.
Regardless of where you fall, what most of us have in common is that we’re all longing for the pre-pandemic days of travel, when the travel dilemma was deciding whether you’d spend your week on the beach drinking mai-tai’s or margaritas.
We’re not quite back to those days yet, but demand is quickly returning. A Deloitte study shows that consumer attitudes towards travel for leisure are starting to look a lot more optimistic and will likely continue to grow as vaccination efforts ramp up around the globe.
The way we travel – and where we can go – are both still largely affected by COVID-19 and can make trying to plan your summer holiday frustratingly uncertain. But knowing what to plan for can help make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
Let’s take a look at the biggest things you’ll need to consider.
Considerations and current travel restrictions for traveling during summer 2021
The first thing to keep in mind is that, despite major strides towards normalcy, the situation around travel can still change at any time — whether it’s the situation in the location you’re departing from, or traveling to.
Keeping in mind the following factors, however, can get you closer to the summer vacation of your dreams.
Avoiding air travel headaches by hitting the road
Road trips experienced a huge surge in popularity last summer for pretty obvious reasons. With air travel restricted and widespread uncertainty around the virus, road trips quickly became the only mode of travel that conveniently sidestepped both.
Reading reviews are a great way to make sure you're getting the best prices out there
As we start to transition out of the pandemic and current travel restrictions change, these may still be factors for you, depending on where you’re located. And with more and more travelers booking flights, the prices are starting to skyrocket.
Because of this, road trips remain a cheaper and easier travel alternative. But even if you’re planning a road trip, the recent travel boom will still make your life a little more difficult. Hotels will continue to be full with higher rates, so planning ahead will be key.
There are also a few things to keep in mind when taking a road trip, so make sure you take these tips into consideration.
International travel – what to know and where you can go
International travel is a little trickier and is going to look different for everyone. If you’ve been asking yourself Where can I travel? It will depend on where you live and where you want to go.
If you’re in the UK, they’ve established a stoplight system to help you determine which countries you’re able to travel to and the current travel restrictions in terms of quarantines and COVID-19 tests to travel and return.
If you’re in the US, you can check here to see which borders are currently open to you and what you’ll need to provide to be able to successfully enter the country.
Wherever you are, a common theme is that most countries will require negative COVID-19 tests upon entry. Some will accept vaccination cards in lieu of negative tests, but not all of them. So even if you’re vaccinated, you might not be finished with those pesky nose swabs just yet.
How people will be traveling during summer 2021
Assurance – and insurance – for a stress free holiday
If you’re already stressed about all of the extra things you’ll need to take into account while planning, you’re not alone. Between anxiety around safety precautions for those who aren’t yet vaccinated and anxiety around managing the current travel restrictions and guidelines, it can be really stressful.
That’s why travel insurance is becoming an absolute must have for travelers this summer and travel agencies – an industry that had previously been in decline – are seeing huge surges in business. And it makes sense. Why lose your mind over all of these details when someone who is more well-versed in pandemic guidelines can do it for you?
Just make sure you look into the fine print around what your package covers around COVID-19 as a cancellation reason – it can vary from business to business and you want to make sure that you’re aware of what your plan does and doesn’t cover.
Safety will continue to be a big concern for travelers throughout the year. In addition to more travelers opting for travel insurance, many people are choosing to only visit countries that have better healthcare systems and have a better track record managing the pandemic, as an extra safeguard in case anything were to happen to them while they’re abroad.
Essentially, in a year when many of us feel we’ve had too many things to worry about, people want to limit any worries they have as much as possible so they can sit back and enjoy their vacations.
Workcations and travel for flexible workers
The most intriguing trend that has been accelerated by the pandemic is the rise of the workcation. More and more people are taking longer trips and working from their destination. This offers you the flexibility to travel more often or spend more time in a location than you would otherwise be able to. It also means not dipping into your PTO.
And saving PTO isn’t the only perk. Many Airbnb owners offer pretty great discounts – sometimes up to 40% – for customers who are booking monthly instead of weekly, and there’s even a section on the site devoted to properties like this.
Companies like citizenM let fully remote workers pay a flat rate per month and stay at any of their properties throughout the world, giving you the freedom to be a true digital nomad. And Wyndham Destinations reported a 10% increase in length of stays at their timeshares in 2020. They’re moving to embrace a more subscription based business model to accommodate for lengthier stays and travelers with remote or flexible work setups.
With more and more offices permanently moving to remote or flexible work arrangements and more companies like Wyndham Destinations accommodating these types of trips, chances are that the workcation is here to stay. If you’re swamped at work and won’t be able to take a lot of time off this summer, a workcation might be the best way for you to make sure you still get some travel time in.
Booking in advance for better prices
Between the hotel prices that have been on the rise, rental car shortages that are affecting many tourist destinations, and rising flight prices, one thing is for certain – if you’re planning on traveling it’s best to book it as soon as possible. Prices are likely to continue to skyrocket as more and more people get vaccinated and plan their holidays. The longer you wait, the more you’ll spend.
Share your experiences with your fellow travelers for better vacations across the board
Although there are a few more things to consider than in a typical summer, there are still plenty of ways to safely travel and enjoy yourself. Because businesses are still getting their footing as we transition out of the pandemic, checking reviews will be more crucial than ever.
Staying at an Airbnb? Make sure you check out the reviews before you book the property. Heading on any excursion type activities while you’re away? Make sure to head over to head over to their business profile page on Trustpilot and check out what their customers are saying about them.
And as you’re enjoying your summer travels, make sure to leave a review for that bikini that saved your beach week — or the boating outing that picked you up an hour late and nearly capsized. Sharing your travel experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly – can help make sure that your fellow travelers have better experiences in the future.
Want to learn more about trends in the travel industry and how things could change? Check out our report, Trustpilot Consumer Insights: How COVID-19 hit the travel industry and what to expect in the coming months