Globe Trotting Post COVID-19

From air travel to hotel’s safety measures, as an avid globe trotter, here are some questions I might consider having answers to before travelling the world, post COVID-19.

When the UN declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, one thing was certain; travel would take a heart-stopping halt and all our plans of exploring the world would stop too. Roughly 5 months after its pandemic-status, the world is slowly, but surely kicking back up again. Daily activities like grocery shopping are resuming again, ports of entry are gradually being reopened; albeit in phases, and the world as we know it is starting to liven up again.

With everyone determined to restore their lives ‘back to normal’, the question that begs to be addressed is, ‘ do we really want to go back to normal’? Or should we move forward and change the way we act, behave and travel? Shouldn’t we welcome a ‘new normal’?

Going back to travelling, how exactly do I think COVID-19 will affect the travellers? The age of digital travel was ripe, pre-pandemic, and there’s no better time to juice it (let’s all agree that metaphor was bad).

Overseas Travel

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Since 2017, I’ve travelled overseas at least once a year; it was the best thing and it’s something I hope to continue in 2020 too, post COVID-19. I planned to visit Turkey towards the end of the year, but now, instead of my usual questions on travel, I’ll have more important ones to take into consideration. When initially planning a vacation to a foreign land, there were various factors to take into consideration; from cost-effectiveness of the entire trip, flight deals, history, culture and cuisine of the country to name a few. Although this would not change the scale drastically, the other considerations on safety and hygiene measures will be at the forefront of my decision-making.

Should I still choose to travel, whether this year or the next, here are some questions I, a traveller, might take into consideration before booking my holiday.

The Country

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Evaluating your chosen country to travel will be a key factor in determining your entire holiday; but not in the same way as before. While questions on the impact of COVID-19 and how quickly it recovered will be in the back of our minds, how the country fares post COVID-19 will take prominence. What hygiene and safety measures are followed around the nation and ports of entry? Will medical care be provided and accessible to tourists, in the (un)likely event of another pandemic, or if there’s a second outbreak of the disease, how will I be supported by the country? Will flights be arranged to send me back home, how will I be contacted by officials if so? And if and when travel resumes, how exactly are the other establishments going to function? Safety measures and operational protocols on how restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, retail outlets, outdoor sites and historic & cultural attractions will need to be as clear as day. 

Airports & Flights

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I, personally, love airports and flying. While I can’t wait until I get on a plane again, there are certain things to consider first. How easy is to jet in and out of the airport with almost zero contact? Has the airport implemented the use of biometric recognition (iris scans instead of fingerprints). Countries like Sri Lanka, with neither of these options available currently, will need to jump on the first flight out to digitise their systems, from immigration to emigration. Printed boarding passes will be reduced, as airlines and airport security get comfortable to accept online passes and tickets instead. Once inside the plane, passengers will need to be reassured on the cleaning and safety mechanisms in store; from the tray table and screen, to the seat and washroom hygiene should be clearly addressed, but probably not on the inflight pamphlets and magazines. While everyone will continue to check and monitor body temperatures, what happens when a passenger either next to me or three rows down has an “average” flu? Will airlines also address how often air is pumped in and out of the plane to ensure a better flow of clean air? With all of these systems in store, this will definitely affect the cost of flight tickets; but by how much?

Online Bookings Will Rise

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I generally book everything online; whether hotels, flights, transport if need be, etc. But online bookings are available for only the big guys; while the smaller establishments have not felt the need or lacked the capital/resource to implement it. But online bookings will surge post COVID-19; especially for domestic travel (for countries like Sri Lanka), and that’s a positive thing. All hotel owners will be obligated to implement mechanisms to make it easy for guests to book online, thus having to deal with less human interaction during check-in too. Companies will look to implement digital systems for everything and anything; movie tickets, bus/train tickets, etc.

Safety Measures Will Need to be Transparent

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Paper trails will be at a minimum. Special notices on the degree of cleaning and maintenance should be communicated to guests, safety measures will decorate tabletops and walls of hotels and villas. And as a traveller, I’ll look for properties that are transparent on these measures, especially in terms of the common facilities, like the pool, gym, restaurant. And in the worst-case scenario, how will that hotel handle or support me, if there is a sudden lockdown, with an immediate close on ports? What degree of trust can I have with an accommodation provider in this instance?

Travel Insurance is Compulsory

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Pre-COVID-19, travel insurance was a secondary thought, required only to get a visa processed, and if there was an option to; we wouldn’t think twice about not getting insured. But globe trotting post COVID-19, it’s going to be the main thing to consider. Travellers will look for insurance providers who not only covers medical expenses for accidents and/or loss of life, but also their coverage on COVID-19 and other diseases. Coverage will have to include quarantine facilities for 14-21 days, PPE tests and other relevant expenses in the event of hospitalisation too. How adaptable is my insurance provider and how flexible are the policies? Have they adjusted the coverage policies to suit the situation, or is it a vague, loop-hole-ridden clause? Would I travel to another country without an insurance, even if a visa doesn’t require it? Definitely Not. Is this a good time for travel insurance providers to step-up their game? Definitely.

Sustainability & Eco Tourism

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The COVID-19 virus is not going anywhere and while we slowly enter into a ‘new’ world, and get used to this new normal, adapting to our situation is our only option. But what else do we have to worry about?

As a sustainable traveller, how will this affect our consumption of single-use plastics, from face shields and sanitizer bottles to masks and gloves? Would companies produce eco-friendly options at a mass scale that not only protects us but also the environment? How are we geared to deal with all this excess single-use plastics and other waste? Will this affect travel patterns? In other words, how do we move 3 step forwards without moving 5 steps back?

Maybe companies will adapt. Maybe the way we consume and implement proper recycling methods will take the front seat now that we have no other option. Maybe sustainable travel will be given a higher importance. One can only hope.


As I got to the end of this article, one thing became clear. There are too many unanswered questions that no one will have the answer to in the near future. I’ve raised a fair number of questions on various aspects, but these are not the only ones I’ll be considering. Until I can find a few satisfactory answers as life adjusts to a new normal, globetrotting post COVID-19 will be on pause.

Got answers? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

Until then, world, stay safe and remember to act responsibly. 


Imperfect Traveller.

This post has been extracted from the author’s LinkedIn post.

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