By Brittany Loeffler

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been itching to pack your suitcase and hop on a plane to an exotic destination. I think we all need a vacation after the year that was 2020, and with the COVID-19 pandemic taking the world hostage. 

We are seeing the light at the end of the (what felt like neverending) tunnel. The European Union announced it would reopen its borders to third-party nationals who are fully vaccinated. As cases go down and vaccinations increase, restrictions are easing, and people can enjoy living again. 

While life seems to be getting back to normal, some things may have changed forever. Travelling is one of these things. Sure, we’ll be able to go on our much-needed vacations again, but it may look a little different. Here’s what you can expect to be different when you hit the road in a post-COVID world. 

Continued Travel Restrictions 

Before COVID, it seemed like the world was completely open for us to explore – save for some countries. Then borders closed, and restrictions on movement were put in place. 

While some are easing again—thanks in part to the vaccination campaigns—the idea of travel limitations could be here to stay. Now that we are so used to countries being closed off from each other, governments could start curtailing travel whenever they deem it necessary.

Proof Of Vaccination

I hope you have room for your vaccination card next to your passport. As countries start to reopen, you’ll likely be asked for both your passport and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before being allowed to board flights or enter countries. 

Not only will this make immigration lines longer due to more information being checked, but it could influence what other vaccinations are checked in the future when travellers arrive from foreign countries. 

For the time being, you can expect to carry around proof that you are either vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID while making any cross-border journeys in a post-pandemic world.

Travel Will Become More Expensive

Already a pricey activity before the pandemic took over our lives, you can expect it to become even more expensive as countries welcome tourists back.

The global travel industry lost a whopping $935 billion in 2020 due to the health crisis-inspired travel bans. While some governments supported companies like major airlines, the industry is still operating at a loss. 

So, to make up for these unexpected and grave losses, you can expect to see higher prices when booking flights, accommodation, and tourist activities. While paying more isn’t something we want to accept, it is the price of returning to a normal world that we can actually travel around and experience.

New Items To Pack

Underwear, shoes, makeup, hairbrush – these are things you definitely cannot forget to pack for a trip. But in the post-COVID world, you’ll instinctually add hand sanitiser, wipes and masks to that list.

One beneficial habit that I hope we all leave this pandemic with is washing our hands often and covering our mouths when coughing and sneezing. It’s disturbing how we had to remind everyone to do this at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis. But, hopefully, it’s become a globally adopted habit now. But we will still need the sanitiser etc.

Alternative Methods Of Transportation

When you thought about travelling before COVID, the first thing you did was probably check airfare prices and schedules. After practising social distancing for so many months, people may feel more inclined to skip the shoulder-to-shoulder seats on an airplane and opt for taking a road trip or a journey by train instead.

Let’s be honest, flying was never an overly enjoyable experience, especially if you’re like me and always fly economy. Our eyes have been opened to other methods of transportation that might stick around in the “new” world.

Long-Term Travel Will Become Popular

Since more and more people are working remotely full-time, long-term travel will become more popular. Now that people can work from wherever they want, they may decide to take extended vacations of up to a month or more.

Some people may even decide to make this their lifestyle, become digital nomads, and travel the world full-time while working from their laptops. There’s a whole new world on the horizon post-pandemic.

As the world slowly gets back to normal, travel will look slightly different during the next few years. Travel restrictions, vaccination requirements, and our mindset, in general, will all influence our plans for seeing the world. 

Not all changes are bad, though! Before you scrunch your nose at these new travelling habits, remember how much you missed it and how grateful you are to get back out in the world to experience different cultures.