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Travel after Corona

16 Jun June 16

travel after corona

How will we travel after corona? It is safe to say that the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the most dramatic change in nearly everyone’s life with entire countries completely shutting down. At the time of writing on June 15th, Germany and the EU countries are now opening up their borders in between each other again after successfully “flattening the curve” – with no guarantee that it will remain that way. Other countries like Brazil are facing the most difficult periods in their COVID-19 pandemic with high daily death rates. It shows us that the virus is here to stay for a long time and in this post, I want to talk about how future international travel could look like as I am personally waiting for various borders to open.

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Travel Show #002 – Travel after Corona

After kicking off my new interactive travel show on my Twitch channel, I wanted to choose the number one topic on everyone’s mind right now for the first proper episode: The COVID-19 corona pandemic. Personally, I had to skip my Asia trip this April due to it and am still curious if I will get the money back from the airline. I also had plans to start a second trip around the world in July, starting out in the beautiful landscapes of Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Japan. This will not happen for now and based on my personal plans, I have done a lot of research on the topic and wanted to share my insights with you guys!

travel after corona

 

Changing of travel habits

The travel industry is taking big blows right now, with most airports basically empty since a few months and only slowly starting to open up again. Prior to the pandemic, we reached 1.5 Billion arrivals globally in 2019, an incredibly huge number! 1 out of 10 jobs are somehow connected to the travel industry and traveling was just “normal” for most of us that could afford it or were lucky enough to be able to travel with work. That amount of growth in the travel industry will take a big hit now. Even once the virus has been fought off successfully around the world, the consequences of current measures will stay around with us for a long time, probably forever!

As a result, our travel habits will change as well. Rather than flying to remote destinations, many will choose to stay close to home as they are afraid of a potential new outbreak or being stuck in a remote country. Germany kept their advise against traveling to non EU countries in tact, stressing that should there be another outbreak, they will not get stranded citizens back to Germany. Should you decide to travel, it will be on your own risk and you might end up trapped in a random place should borders and flights shut down again.

 

Cost of traveling

This leads me to another factor that will influence many people’s decision: Will traveling become more expensive? Or maybe even cheaper if airlines and countries offer discounts rather than not having anyone come at all. While rumors that Japan will pay half of the trip for all tourists turned out to be wrong and is only meant as a measurement to boost travel within Japan for it’s citizens, I could imagine that other countries or airlines / tour companies etc will have to somehow convince people to use their service(s). So while it might appear that at first everything will become more expensive, especially if planes can not be filled with the same amount of passengers anymore in the future, I do believe that it might not become that bad in the end. We will have to wait and see how high the demand will be in the end.

 

New standards in hygiene

In order to avoid a second wave of the virus, we need to make sure to follow the rules outlined by governments around the world. Primarily this means to take care of our hygiene by washing our hands much more than we are used to prior to the pandemic and be mindful of how we interact with people. The 2m social distancing rules were put in place to fight the virus in its most dangerous stages, but at some point we will get back to hugging friends and loved ones as well and have more of a normal life. But we should all be mindful that in those new times, all of us make sure to raise our hygiene levels compared to pre-covid times. One thing we might not see in the near future are “free hug” movements on the next town square in a touristic city though.

Airlines will also adapt to the new rules, offer more space to passengers and improved air circulation systems. I have read reports that suggest that it will even go so far in that the air we breathe in the plane will be the cleanest possible and staff will have to constantly make sure to wipe the entire plan in order to provide a sense of safety for those who want or need to travel. Remember that many people also rely on flying around in order to see their families and don’t just want to travel for fun.

 

Border Situations

Many people (including myself) can not wait to start traveling again as soon as it is safe to do so again. Personally, i have skipped a bunch of places and moved the start of my trip to end of October and just hope that by then, we will not have experienced a second outbreak / wave, which would certainly bury any travel plans again. Over 90% of the worlds population are living in a place which has travel restrictions in place, so it means that where ever you want to go, there is a good chance that the border is currently closed, even if there are still flights offered to those destination. So be careful with that and double check if you are able to enter your destination country before you book any flights.

world map

As you can see from the map above, a lot of countries are currently still closed. This information updates on a daily basis though, so I recommend following a few sites for the most updated information on the country that you plan to visit. Your best bet is to check the official embassy websites and I am currently doing the same with the Nepal Department of Immigration, checking for any new updates on their end on when they will open up the border again. Another great resource is the wanderlust.co.uk site, giving you daily updates on anything that changed around the world in their “What’s changed since yesterday?” section. You should certainly bookmark that one!

nepal immigration

 

Longer waiting times

Another aspect we will have to get used to are longer waiting times at airports and any points of entry or tourist attractions. We will have to be screened and checked on temperature to avoid exposure with infected people, especially in our current situation where the virus is still hitting it’s peak. If you live in Germany for instance, you might think that we passed the worst with even Gyms opening up again, but other countries will have the worst in front of them and until the entire world fought off the virus, we will have to have a lot of extra checks, especially at airports. So this will result in higher waiting times. It’s something I could certainly live with personally as it would also give me a better feeling when boarding a flight, knowing that everyone in the plane has somehow been checked. We should also have faster corona tests in the near future which will help a lot with the entire situation!

 

Interacting with the locals

This last point is especially interesting for people like me as a long time Couchsurfer and Hitch hiker. I really wonder how much the Corona virus will effect people around the world and their way of welcoming strangers. This has always been one of the nicest parts of traveling as people are so friendly and welcoming, especially in the poorer parts of the world. They might reconsider that though in fear of infection. I do hope that we quickly get a very fast and efficient way of being tested and some sort of a “clean” stamp in the passport or so, ensuring strangers that they have nothing to worry about. I am not sure if something like that is planned, but do let me know in the comments if you know more! 

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That’s it for the first episode! I hope you like the travel show and would love to get some feedback from you in the comments below 🙂 Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel as well, all future episodes will be uploaded there in case you missed the Live stream on Mondays 20:00 CEST!

YouTube Video

 

Cheers,
Chris

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Posted by on 16th June 2020 in The Travel Show

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