A lot has changed in the world. This we know. And when it comes to travel, things are looking pretty different right now; and even more so when travel bans begin to (finally) lift.
We have had, and are going to face, difficulties and challenges navigating our world. But all these changes and new precautions that we will need to take (especially whilst traveling) are only in place for our health.
Andrea Nadon, co-founder of Travel Agents Take Action, has some tips on traveling once lockdown restrictions are lifted, preventing your next vacation (aka the escape you’ve been waiting for) from being your worst one.
She stresses the importance of knowing that we are in this together as well as taking care of yourself and everyone else.
“If we are all in this together, we make it a win-win situation for everyone,” says Andrea. And getting there (which is usually half the fun) is the first step: Don’t be that guy who doesn’t want to wear a mask on a plane, stopping everyone from getting to their destination.
“Be on the same page as everyone, follow the rules, and go with the flow” she says.
Plus, don’t regret not using a travel agent! Especially while there are gaps and uncertainties in your travel plans, it is the perfect time to dive into your relationship with your BFF (your travel agent). You are going to need to review your situation, your insurance plan, and be prepared for unexpected changes. Not to forget, you also need to research (new) rules and regulations in your travel destination, and for departing and returning home. With a travel agent, you have another set of eyes on all the important details, and someone on your side throughout the whole process.
“For a smooth process and a smooth transition back into an active travel world, we need to all be aware and conscious, and simply follow the processes so that everyone can walk away with an enjoyable experience,” says Andrea.
Overall, Ms. Nadon provides us with a good reminder to “come together with compassion and kindness.” And after going abroad to change your environment and your mindset, maybe we could also come back with a different perspective about our force as a collective.
Speaking of the environment, we can now clearly see how overtourism, airlines, and cruise ships negatively impacted the earth and the benefits that the planet received from the reduction of travel. Yet, the tourism industry has also suffered, and we no-doubt want to get on with our bucket list again. Traveling is only in our human nature!
Post-COVID though, the world is going to see a shift in how we look at travel, both industry leaders and tourists alike. This means becoming a responsible global citizen and traveling with a more sustainable and eco-conscious mindset.
You can also read our Top Three Takeaways from the event here:
- Travel like a local: Immerse yourself in the culture as if you live there. That means knowing the local laws (including recycling and reducing waste as you would at home) and respecting the people, communities, and culture wherever you are.
- Change consumerism: Experts say that to travel better we need to rethink what’s really important to us and how we are going to make our time count while abroad. We travel for curiosity and for the experience, plus we could make an impact – and how we spend our money holds a lot of power. Along with traveling like a local, it’s important for us as consumers to be conscious and support good businesses. Pro tip: Avoid chain hotels and stay local.
- Change your mindset: Building off curiosity, being a better traveler also includes engaging in relevant conversations and thinking more critically about communities and identity. This means studying country leaders, being involved, and asking the right questions with open ears. Industries will need to adapt to how we respond to their ethics and values (and especially if they have a corporate social responsibility mandate, for instance), thus changing the way they conduct business for the better of the planet.
“The world needs people to travel, local communities need people to travel. More people understand the power and privilege they have and take that seriously in the decision when they want to explore.” – Bruce Poon Tip, Founder, G-Adventures.
I'm a curious, creative, enthusiastic individual with an eye for a good story. As a Bachelor of Public Relations graduate from Humber College, I am passionate about communications and DE&I and sustainability issues. Find me happiest while drinking coffee, snuggled up to my dog, and reading a book or learning about local cultural hotspots.