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Itchy Feet? How Traveling In A Post-Pandemic World Will Look Like

  • 8 min read

7 Future Trends of Traveling

With travel restrictions and closed borders now the norm, how might we imagine traveling in the future?

The pandemic has been hard on me. Besides not being able to see friends and family and so on, I’m desperate for a holiday.

Instead of exploring the big wide world, getting lost in vibrant cities, or crossing oceans to exotic, magical islands, I’m sitting at home. Waiting for the ‘play’ of the pandemic to end, the curtain to fall on this terrible performance, and to leave the home sweet home theater of my own four walls.

To be honest, I’m feeling grumpy and sassy. Yesterday, I said to myself, I want to travel. But where? To the park? To the balcony?

How I long to feel the magic of real traveling again.

Do you share this insane calling of being where you’re NOT?

The Magic Of Traveling Starts With The Anticipation Of Wandering

There are many things about wandering that I like. First of all, for me, planning before booking travel trips is an essential part of the experience. I love to play in my head a film of how I’ll travel to this or that place I’m yearning to be. The pure anticipation makes me excited before I even get there. Normally, I start researching, planning, and dreaming about the next trip right after I get back from the previous one.

But this time, I’m at home and will be staying at home at least for the next few months (maybe even years!).

So I opened the grey laptop and started a mental journey by Googling colourful destinations.

But I found quickly, there were only two burning questions in my head:

1. Will we travel again?

2. And if yes, how will we travel in the future, after the curtain has fallen on the pandemic?

Let’s Dare To Look Into The Crystal Ball

There’s much speculation about the future of this former boom industry and there are many different opinions about the future of traveling in general. I’ve found a recently-published book called ‘Tourism after Covid-19’ by Westreicher, Zolles, Bauer, and Neiß that deals with the future of the tourism industry.

Its core question is: What will the time after Corona look like? It dares to look into the crystal ball.

As a passionate traveler, I would like to share the exciting key messages with you and take you on a mental journey into the future of tourism…

Good News: Traveling Won’t Die

The word tourism is based on the French word ‘tour’, meaning journey or circuit. And by definition, tourism means: leaving the centre of one’s life.

The good news first: tourism in the sense of shifting the center of my life will continue to play a dominant role after the pandemic.

We human beings will continue to go on holiday and the tourism industry will be on our side to explore the world.

Traveling is and remains part of our lifestyle. Since the beginning of time, wandering has been our natural ‘way of living’.

As human beings, we have this inherent Wanderlust — A strong desire for or impulse to wander and explore the world.

So one thing is for sure: human nature won’t change. We have an innate drive to keep trying, seeing, and experiencing new things.

Thus, we can breathe a sigh of relief and already look forward to the future of wandering. But how will traveling look?

Let’s quickly skip past Covid’s curtain-call to the part of our lives where we can travel again.

7 Future Trends Of Traveling

Looking into their crystal ball, the authors see, first of all, instead of ‘Where do you want to go?’, the most powerful question will be: ‘What do you want to experience?’ This means, more attention will be paid to individuals’ needs because people’s desires for experiences are as diverse as they are.

Despite this social trend, there are seven other future trends that will shape the future that I’d like to explore with you.

These Are The 7 Trends You Can Look Forward To In A Post-Pandemic-World:

1. The warm feeling of ‘hygge’

The Norwegian word ‘hygge’ means a cozy feeling of well-being. My husband and I prefer to be in places where we feel at home.

There is, for instance, a special hotel in the mountains we love to visit. There’s more to it than a warm bed and a beautiful view. It’s the cozy, ‘hyggelig’ atmosphere created by the people who work there. They manage to make us feel like temporary locals.

Is there such a place for you in the world? In the future, more and more places will try to make you feel at home with their personalized behavior.

2. Staycation or Experience Economy

It will be a time of contrasts: either we will stay close to home and experience something new there, in the sense of a ‘staycation’, a holiday at home.

For instance, a day trip to a special VIP-event at the local museum. Or we’ll want the other extreme: far away, on the other side of the world to discover exotic places like Hawaii, but with very individualized itineraries, in the sense of an ‘experience economy’.

3. The golden WHY?

More than ever, after Corona, holiday time will be used to search for meaning, for Simon Sinek’s WHY? More than ever, getting a fresh outlook will be in the foreground.

There will be new offers to help us find ourselves in these fast-moving times and to (re)orient ourselves. Yoga retreats or Ayurveda cures, but also overnight stays in tree houses, relaxing winter holidays by the sea could be a possibility.

4. Off-the-beaten-track experiences

Collecting data doesn’t have to be all negative. In the future, by using data from market research and digital insights, hotels will offer more personalized services by picturing our emotional interests and hobbies.

I’m thinking of a trip we took to South Tyrol in Italy. Beforehand, the hotel asked us to fill in a questionnaire to make our travel experience even more enjoyable. And indeed, it was! They created unforgettable moments for us. For example, we went on a night hike through the snow to a chapel and drank homemade schnapps together.

5. Precious Time-outs

Under the motto: ‘Simply let your soul dangle’, there will be new forms for individual time-outs that will embrace the small and simple things in life.

For instance, hiking and relaxing will be big trends. People long to spend time in the great outdoors to nurture their nature. More and more people want to travel sustainably. They want to avoid peak seasons and more travel in the off-seasons. These could be, for example, walking time-outs at the sea in the winter.

6. Hotels as an anchor of trust

I remember when we were looking for a hotel for our trip to New York City. Of course, we looked on relevant online platforms and even asked at the travel agency, but we also checked with friends and acquaintances because the hotel was crucial in a city that was completely new to us. The options are so diverse and can seem unmanageable. Of course, you can go by (partly paid) reviews or by stars (which vary from country to country), but here too, the best hotels will, in the future, more than ever to offer not only ‘overnight stays’ but experiences.

In New York, we ended up staying at a hotel in the middle of Broadway and Times Square. From the window, the typical Manhattan busyness could be heard. But the hotel itself was a small oasis of calm amongst the hustle and bustle.

Moreover, at reception, we were given insider tips to guide us away from mass tourism. If we wanted to get back into the ‘typical’ New York, all we had to do was step outside the door and we were right in the middle of it. Our hotel was like an anchor of trust in a rough sea far away from our comfort zone.

7. Places with points of attraction

Places will also reinvent themselves and consider how they can increase their attractiveness for us travelers.

For example, within Germany, we like to travel to the Allgäu area. There, you’ll find the famous cover picture of Germany, the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle, as well as hiking tours in the footsteps of King Ludwig II, and many more attractions like the Zugspitze with its igloo hotel. In addition, there is a ski jump tour, Langlauf skiing, and many other special events.

Final Thoughts

It’s bad manners to keep a vacation waiting. But I think, in the light of current travel restrictions, a wait-and-see approach is important.

Just writing this piece has triggered my thirst for travel. On the one hand, I really feel how much I miss traveling, but on the other, by anticipating that there will be a future of traveling, I’ve got new energy and I’m looking forward to it even more.

When the pandemic’s paralyzing threat diminishes, I won’t take it for granted when I can fulfill my wanderlust dreams again. I really hope I could cheer you up, too, with this mental journey!

Here’s to the future of wanderlust dreams🌅🚀!


Kristina God

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