The New Normal: How Covid-19 is Changing the Way People Travel

Many people have understandably put their 2020 vacation plans on pause due to Covid-19 concerns. The CheapAir Team has also discovered a lot of us are using this leisure-travel down time to plan and dream about where we’ll go as soon as it’s safe. Others of us are adjusting plans, but still out there safely adventuring. Here’s a few of the travel trends we’re seeing in the new, socially-distanced vacation landscape.

Staycations for the Win

couple in pool on floatsOne of the easiest travel decisions you can make these days is to pop into a luxury hotel for a little rest & relaxation, right in your own backyard (so to speak). Fine hotels have reacted to the pandemic by beefing up their cleaning protocols (check out our COVID Clean selections around the world), and many properties offer unheard of deals and packages to woo travelers back. If the thought of a big trip is a bit much for you right now, consider a staycation in your home town. We recommend choosing a hotel with poolside service and comfy, well-appointed rooms for maximum cocooning. In many cases you’ll get service and pampering at a fraction of the usual cost, and emerge refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to get back into the rhythms of daily life.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

telluride colorado downtown
credit: shutterstock

Has anyone else noticed friends and family skipping the “go big or go home” vacation destinations this year? With Broadway in New York shuttered, and the over-the-top amusement parks and professional sports still figuring it all out, we’re seeing a lot of people visiting small towns and quaint locales that oftentimes get overlooked by their big city counterparts. Not only are small town destinations great for slowing down and reconnecting with your loved ones, they’re also often spots that have walkable downtowns, hiking trails and outdoor spaces for al fresco dining and picnicking. There might be less high-end accommodation available depending on how remote you decide to get, but it’s all part of the adventure!

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Roadtripping in Style

couple sitting outside rv in mountainsNot only are more people venturing out on roadtrips closer to home, but how they choose to get there is taking a turn for the truly self-contained. Now the RV life isn’t for everyone. You have to be willing to pilot a lumbering, gas-guzzling monster, and you better have a good navigator on board to make sure you don’t go off track, but there are some pretty cool perks that go along with it, especially if you’re doing a longer trek. To start, you bring kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities with you. You don’t have to stop for snacks or bathroom breaks at all. Parents of little ones know this is a game-changer for road trips. In addition, putting together a road trip can be loads of fun and low stress (you decide how long you stop at the world’s biggest ball of yarn!) And an RV can usually find facilities at most campgrounds even without a reservation. Which leads to our next trend…

The Great Outdoors!

group in antelope canyon arizonaWhether you’ve finally decided the time is right for a National Park vacation or you’ve been mulling over the beach vacation your family takes every summer, we have good news! It’s now widely understood that outdoor activities can be undertaken safely – and when was the last time you voluntarily agreed to be less than 6 feet from your neighbor at the beach anyway? This country is vast, with so many underexplored outdoor destinations that we simply could not miss an opportunity to share what a lot of our fellow Americans are discovering – getting outdoors is a welcome and rewarding experience! It’s easily adaptable for families, couples and small groups of friends. Just be sure to check with park rangers for opening and closing times (which may be modified in certain locations). For example, the Grand Canyon is open for business but limits the numbers of people each day who can access more popular hiking trails. Avoid highly trafficked parks and you’ll very likely have no access issues at all.

Go Off-Grid for Multi-Generational Getaways

grandparents with grandchildren at lakeOk – maybe off-grid is a little too aggressive a move for most of us but we’re finding that multi-generational family gatherings are happening, albeit in less populated areas around the country. One popular idea is to take a larger family vacation together on one of the many lakes around the country or on a less commercial beach. Basically, somewhere you can all get together and not feel pressure to “do” stuff, unless it’s a nice game of cards, a chat with your grandpa or a hammock hang with a couple of cousins. Getting the family together has never sounded so attractive.

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