TRAVEL SAFE: Travel Ideas for Our New Norm

The New Era of Safe Travel

So, you’re starting to think of travel again. But you know that travel has changed forever. For months, the planes have been grounded and the airports closed. We live in a completely changed travel landscape. A travel landscape in which physical distancing, health checks, and cleaning measures are the new norm. But for smart travellers, this new travel era could be a time of unique opportunity. After decades of overcrowded airports and planes, frustrating and inefficient security protocols and environmental degradation, the travel and tourism industry is now being forced to think seriously about their customers’ well-being and peace-of-mind. They’ve started to introduce universal restart measures to keep people safe when travelling. And these changes may finally make travel a special experience again. As we enter this brave new age, here are several ideas on how you can make your journey a truly magical — and safe — experience again.

Liberty statue in mask
Photo by Dimitar Donovski

Travel in a Safe Bubble

Customised personal tours were once the exclusive preserve of the very rich during a bygone age of luxurious travel. But in our new safety-concerned norm, a more private travel experience has become a necessity. Travel agents are now offering travellers the chance to book their bubble. When you book your bubble, it means you don’t just choose where you travel, you also choose the people you travel with — close friends and family members, with as few as eight people. With the private or smaller travel options being offered by many travel agents, you can now travel with peace of mind and confidence surrounded by people you trust.

Book your customised and safe adventures with travel companies like
G AdventuresExplore!Paramount Cruise and Travel, and McTavish Travel, and Great Canadian Travel.

Smaller Tours Mean Safer Tours

With safe travel now a top priority for the travel industry, many travel companies have now switched their focus to tours with fewer guests — some consisting of no more than 12 people. Whether travelling in private vehicles or boats, smaller groups not only offer travellers more physical distancing and greater security, but they also allow much better access to those special travel destinations. No more descending on scenes of natural beauty in mobs. No more cramming together to visit historical sites. Now, in your smaller group you have a chance to make meaningful connections and truly savour your travel experience. The local experts are responsible for taking care of your travel needs while making sure that your health is protected. They’re been trained in First Aid, CPR, and all other safety protocols so that you can travel with confidence.

Book your safe and unforgettable trip with these companies which specialise in small-group tours: G AdventuresIntrepidMt SobekTusker TrailAbercrombie & KentAustin Adventures, and Tauck.

Safe and Savvy Backpacking

As we enter this new travel age, resourceful independent travellers could become pioneers in the management of safe travel. These savvy backpackers can satisfy their passion for meeting new people and learning about the world through carefully researched travel to safe zones and countries with strong pandemic records. Their journeys will be solo or with one or two close friends. They will travel at their own pace, much more slowly than in the past. They can choose to only book direct flights and avoid extra rules and spending unnecessary time in unfamiliar airports. These smart travellers can opt for less visited destinations with smaller populations. They can avoid the package tours, and savour instead short backpacking adventures or even road trips closer to home. On the other hand, if these independent travellers choose to venture farther afield, they can make the most of opportunities to wander the empty streets in Milan or Rome, places normally crowded with tourists.

For you imaginative travellers who seek secure self-guided travel experiences, here are some companies you can book your adventure with: Exodus TravelsIntrepidOverseas Adventure TravelPure AdventuresLonely Planet and Secret Food Tours.

Confident Domestic Travel

The restrictions on international travel and the health risks associated with flights and airports have caused a boom in domestic travel. Now is the perfect time to discover your home region and its surrounding area. You can avoid the worry of maintaining physical distance in the crowds and the constant risk of touching surfaces through check-in, security, border control, boarding, and baggage claim. Exploring closer to home means looking for less crowded and less risky transport options, like trains, cars, minibuses, motorcycles, or even bicycles. Regardless of your travel mode, you’ll have the opportunity to discover your city, your region, or country with autonomy and security. When you journey in your own vehicle, with private-hire transport, or by train, you’ll rediscover the romance of travel in terms of your new-found flexibility and spontaneity. In your search for local destinations that allow for social distancing, think of road trips, beaches, campouts, hikes, and backpacking excursions. You can go seeking adventure in nature. There are a multitude of local places for you to visit. A host of wonderful outdoorsy things that you can do while social distancing.

For those of you seeking to book trips to amazing domestic destinations in Canada, the US, and elsewhere, here are some companies with several inventive travel offerings:

Anderson VacationsVacations by Railthe independent travellerThrifty NomadsCanadian SkyTravel IndependentEnsemble Travel, and Railbookers.

Travel Responsibly in the Safe Zones

There’s no doubt that with today’s heightened awareness of health and wellness and the requirement for social distancing, there’ll be a much greater demand for more hygiene and sanitation in tourist destinations. But many travellers won’t just be looking carefully at what protections are in place for them. This pandemic crisis has inspired a greater sense of responsibility and duty of care to people and the planet. If you’re the sort of person who sees this pandemic as a harbinger of what’s to come from the climate crisis, you’ll want to act like a responsible global citizen as well as a passionate traveler. Nations like Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan will be attractive destinations to you not just because of their swift responses to the pandemic and their top-grade medical facilities but also because of their reputation for good governance and environmental responsibility. Conscientious vacationers like you are much more mindful of local residents and of your responsibilities as a guest. For so long tourism has been part of the problem for conservation, but in this new travel era, you realise it can be part of the solution. You now have travel options which will reward those companies that collaborate with communities and demonstrate genuine care and respect for local residents, culture and environment.

If you want to venture out on more responsible journeys, here are some of the exciting new possibilities available for bookings: Responsible TravelIntrepidgreenloonsUndiscovered MountainsThe Blue Yondermuch better adventuresG AdventuresAdventure AlternativeJustice TravelBetter Places TravelGlobal Himalayan Expedition, and European Safari Company.

Travel Has Changed Forever

The travel and tourism industry is experiencing a time of unprecedented change. Safe travel is now our top priority. But in this new age, people have a unique opportunity to redefine their approach and attitude to travel. This pandemic has served to remind us of what is truly important about the experience — the magic of connecting in a meaningful way with other people, other cultures and with the world that we live in. We may not be able to go abroad in the same way we used to, but as restrictions ease, we will venture out into the world again — with changed perspectives and taking necessary precautions, of course. Nevertheless, we will journey out again because travelling is something that we will always need to look forward to.

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