Remember the days when traveling simply entailed booking your flight and hotel, and you were off to start your vacation? Now, with this pandemic, things are a little different.
Just to board a flight, you need either a vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test. Instead of looking up things to do at your destination, you look at travel restrictions and COVID procedures. When you’re making sure you’ve packed enough underwear, you’re also double-checking your number of masks. As we edge closer to 2022, the question that is on the forefront of every traveler’s mind is: Will traveling return to normal?
The truth of the matter is no one knows for sure. With more and more countries opening their borders, including the United States, there is some reassurance that things are moving in the direction of normalcy and safety. However, for those dying to ease their wanderlusting souls, here’s what you can expect from the travel industry in the coming year.
Will 2022 be the year of “normal” travel?
Bottom line, 2022 isn’t projected to be the savior of the travel industry. Domestic travel will most likely be the most readily available option, and possibly travel to some European countries with fewer restrictions. According to 65% of a surveyed group of managers from airlines, airports, and aviation suppliers in APAC (Asia-Pacific), traveling as it was before 2019 for those regions won’t be the same until 2023 or later. But don’t worry, you’ll still have options when traveling.
What will the travel restrictions be like in 2022?
Whether or not a country opens its borders to tourists or puts into place some restrictions to enter can depend on the vaccination rates of the country. Countries with higher vaccination rates tend to allow visitors from outside countries. However, you can continue to expect some type of restrictions when traveling. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization in one of their latest travel restriction reports, 36% of all destinations will ask for a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival and maybe even quarantine. When traveling it’s best to expect to be required to do one or all of these three: vaccination, negative COVID test, and possible quarantine. Remember to check with not only your airlines but global restrictions for the country you’re visiting.
Which travel trends should you look out for in 2022?
Yes, it’s going to be somewhat of a hassle to make sure you’re complying with new rules and regulations; however, there is some good news. Travel trends are coming in hot and with them the rise new experiences that will enhance your travel capability.
Eco-travel is one of them. With global demonstrations around climate change happening over the past years, more restaurants and companies have become more eco-conscious. More and more it’s hard to visit any travel venue without seeing the recycle symbol posted somewhere in their business.
If hotels becoming more eco-friendly isn’t enough of a reason to stay, many hotels are offering other incentives. After the intense economic hit hotels received in 2020, they are now making a comeback. Hotels such as the Four Seasons and the Hilton are offering to extend your stay with a free night.
These promotions can be taken advantage of close to home as staycations become more common. With so many hoops to jump through for international travel, it can be easier and just as luxurious to travel within your own borders. Staycations are when you decide to stay the night in a hotel in your local area. It’s an opportunity to support local restaurants and businesses only a few miles outside of your zip code. You’ll be surprised what gems your town, city, or state has to offer.
Lastly, a popular trend that is on the rise is traveling with pets. Gone are the days when you’d have to ask your neighbor to feed your cats or walk your dog while you are enjoying a margarita on a white sand beach. Pet traveling is becoming increasingly popular. Many airlines allow you to travel with your best friend perched up on your lap. Even hotels such as the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile in Utah welcome guests and their furry sidekicks.
How should you prepare for travel in 2022?
Look for the travel deals. More and more destinations, hotels, and tour companies are offering discounts if you book in advance. In addition, stay up-to-date with travel restrictions and follow them. Other important preparations include getting travel insurance and staying flexible with your travel plans and dates. As we’ve seen things can change at a moment’s notice. So, when you’re planning your vacation, give yourself some leeway. Make sure you schedule a few extra days before and after your trip to allow yourself to prepare for your arrival and departure.
Remember, no matter where you go, make sure you travel safely, consciously, and intentionally.
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Kiersten is a freelance writer and coach. As a writer, she has written for Travel Noire, Passion Passport, BAUCE mag, and various travel and lifestyle blogs. As a writer, her goal is to write content that inspires others to take action. As a coach, her goal is to empower women to be their most authentic selves. In her free time, you can find her dancing to any song any where.