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How will Covid-19 change the way we travel?

A lot has changed in the travel-sphere since Covid, I haven’t spent this much time at home for over 20 years. With health and safety of utmost importance, the travel industry has seemingly ground to a halt. I has personally been really challenging to see an industry I love struggle so much.

I reached out to a handful of other avid and professional travelers to talk about what they’re missing about travel, and how this moment in time has changed the way they think about travel. Also—will anything positive happen to our industry as a result of Covid? Yes, it’s been devastating, but there’s always a silver lining. Read on to see how Covid may change the way we travel.


Heather Greenwood Davis

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Heather Greenwood Davis is a Contributing Editor and on-air storyteller for National Geographic Travel and a freelance Feature Writer with The Globe and Mail. She has been reporting and writing stories professionally for more than 20 years. She is also the voice behind GlobetrottingMama.com – an international, family travel blog that features the adventures she takes with (and without) her husband Ish and their two sons, Ethan and Cameron.

Heather Greenwood Davis

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
How carefree it was. We all complained about security headaches and long boarding times, but what a small price to pay to zip off to another side of the world? Just like after 9/11, I imagine we’ll lose a bit of that when travel comes back. I just hope that instead of missing what was, we remember how close we came to losing it altogether.

Has covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
A bit. I always knew it was a privilege but that was definitely hammered home. It was also a reminder that we can’t count on “someday.” We have to make the most of opportunities while we have them.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to covid?
I hope we’ll all be a bit more patient with each other.

Mickela Mallozzi

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Mickela Mallozzi is the Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance which airs on PBS member stations nationwide and on Amazon Prime Video globally.  She has been featured in The New York Times, O Magazine, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR, and more.

Mickela - Travel

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
We really took for granted the ease of travel – I miss not having to plan every single step and process of the travel journey (literally, from the protective gear we need to having masks and gloves and hand sanitizer to mapping out all the possibilities to make socially distancing possible plus limiting contact, and more ).  It’s exhausting, and right now, the question is, “Is it worth it?”

Has covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
100% it has.  Before, I wouldn’t have thought twice about having to fly six times in one month, but now that we’ve all been “grounded” from unnecessary air travel, I am already more conservative with what “necessary” air travel really looks like.  For now, no air travel is in the cards for me in the near future, and until I feel safe again to do so, I’ll be home and traveling locally.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to covid?
Unfortunately, so many small businesses and small tour companies have been decimated by COVID.  But I think once safe travel is available again, people are going to travel with more purpose and intention – they are going to relish in their travels rather than just visit a destination to get that perfect Instagram shot. The quantity of travel may go down, but the quality of the experience for the traveler will grow and become a priority.  And that’s a beautiful thing.


Rudy Maxa

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Rudy Maxa, one of America’s premier consumer travel experts, is the host and executive producer of “Rudy Maxa’s World,” the Emmy Award-winning, public television travel series featuring destinations as diverse as Korea, Argentina, South Africa, Tuscany, and Thailand.

Rudy Maxa - Travel covid19

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
I miss different foods.  While I live in an epicenter of American agricultural (at least in the summer), I do miss specialties from around the world.  Especially in Thailand, where I spend a lot of time.

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
Covid-19 has led me to treasure the freedom to travel as never before.  Almost every July 4th, I write about how as an American, I’m blessed at being able to travel to almost every country in the world without even a visa.  When we celebrate our freedoms, we don’t often think of the freedom to travel.  It’s been quite a revelation to find Americans are suddenly on the world’s Don’t-Invite-‘Em List.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
I certainly think there will be a sustained emphasis on cleanliness on the part of airlines, hotels, and cruise ships that will last long after Covid-19 is in the rear-view mirror.  I also hope the world comes to appreciate more the hard workers who don’t always get a standing ovation—restaurant waitstaff, flight attendants, ship and hotel housekeeping staffs, the folks who clean our airports, and so on.

 

Andrew Zimmern

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Andrew Zimmern is a four-time James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate. In 2020, Andrew returns to television with two new programs. What’s Eating America premiered on MSNBC in February and Family Dinner, currently in production, will air on the forthcoming Magnolia Network.

Andrew Zimmern - Covid travel

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
The energy I get from people in other places, other points of view, the calm and spiritual moments that allow me to be transformative in my own life here at home

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
I think it increased my belief in my own personal responsibility. We all need to take a positions on this and live it out truthfully.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
I can’t think of a single way a global pandemic positively affects the travel industry. Travelers will hopefully be more grateful for what we took for granted for years.

Caz and Craig Makepeace

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Caroline and Craig Makepeace, global travelers for 22 years and founders of ytravelblog.com one of the world’s largest family travel blogs. They’ve been traveling full time with their two daughters for seven years. Follow their adventures on Instagram and YouTube.

yTravel - Covid

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
I miss live music, festivals and events. I miss being fully immersed into a culture and feeling the vibrancy of the people.

I miss hugs – even with strangers – and smiles and body language that is hidden behind a mask. I long for this deeper connection. 

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
It hasn’t really impacted how I think about travel too much, I’m just concerned with how this impacts millions of people around the world who rely on it, and I want to do all I can to safely get it moving again to help those who don’t have governments that help them during these trying times.

As someone who doesn’t like the flying experience in normal times, I have no interest in flying for some time!

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
I think a positive of this will be how cities and regions suffering from over tourism can use this period as a time to reevaluate their tourism plans to reduce the impact this has on local communities and environments.

I also LOVE the rest Mother Nature has been given. I feel she can breathe a little easier again.


Mike and Anne Howard

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Mike and Anne Howard left on their honeymoon in January 2012 and never came home. They created HoneyTrek.com to chronicle their journey across all seven continents and help people mobilize their travel dreams. They are the authors of National Geographic’s bestselling book on couples adventure travelUltimate Journeys for Two, and North America’s first glamping bookComfortably Wild.

honey trek - covid19 travel

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
When the pandemic broke out, we thought the travel magic of connecting with locals was over. But having road tripped to four European countries and 15 states since April, we know firsthand that the kindness of strangers is still alive and well. While we’re all be a bit more cautious (as we should be), heart-warming encounters are still to be had…just a few feet farther apart.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
We’ve learned that mass tourism is not the safe or sustainable way forward. A cruise ship, resort, or theme park shouldn’t be catering to thousands at once. Going forward, we’re excited to see boutique, locally-owned businesses take the lead for more mindful travel experiences.

Oneika Raymond

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Oneika Raymond is an award-winning travel and lifestyle expert, journalist, and television host whose adventures have taken her to over 115 countries on 6 continents.

oneika - covid travel

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
Being unable to/restricted from travel has made me realize what an immense privilege it is to be able to do it in the first place. It’s also forced me to explore closer to home and take stock of the beauty in my literal and figurative backyard.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
I see a huge uptick in domestic travel– due to travel restrictions and general uneasiness/uncertainty I think more travelers will naturally seek out adventures closer to home.

Cory Lee

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Cory Lee has traveled in all 7 continents in his wheelchair, while managing to run his travel blog CurbFreeWithCoryLee.com, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not so accessible, travel adventures with others.

cory lee - covid19 travel

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
I never thought I would miss the airport experience, especially as a wheelchair user. Getting patted down in security, being physically lifted out of my wheelchair and thrown into a plane seat, and worrying if my chair would be damaged during flight was never my idea of a good time, but I do surprisingly miss it all. I would give anything to safely get on a plane again.

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
Covid-19 has definitely changed the way I think about travel. I used to think that traveling meant that you had to go somewhere far away from home, but now I see that travel just means stepping, or rolling in my case, out of your everyday routine.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
As someone that is immunocompromised, I am hoping that some of the safety measures implemented over the past few months will stay in place. I think that hotels, airplanes, and attractions will be much safer and cleaner going forward.


Johnny Jet

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Johnny Jet has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited close to 80 countries. On his website, he writes about how to maximize your credit card points, how to find travel deals, cheap flights, and how to benefit from insightful travel tips. He travels the world with his wife Natalie DiScala, who writes the travel + style blog Oh! Travelissima and their two children.

johnny jet - travel covid19

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
I miss everything about travel but mostly being able to hug and hangout with family and friends. Also miss the views, tastes, smells and the miles/points!

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
It has. I think I took it for granted and I wouldn’t think twice about jumping on a plane to go across the country for a party or meeting. Suddenly, the world has gotten a lot bigger and I can’t imagine doing that now.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
I think people will take more meaningful trips and live more in the moment instead of thinking ahead. People won’t travel as far for a while and there won’t be so many planes in the sky. Also think people will have better manners when it comes to being sick. Hopefully, they will be more comfortable wearing a mask, covering their mouths when they cough or, better yet, staying home.

Sarah Von Bargen

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Sarah Von Bargen is a teacher, speaker and coach who teaches people how to spend their time, money, and energy on purpose. When she’s not doing that, she’s probably planning her next roadtrip.

What surprising thing do you miss most about travel?
How much I miss the novelty of new places. But the good news is – many of us can scratch that itch by simply going to a different neighborhood in our own city!

Has Covid changed the way you think about travel? How?
FOR SURE. Prior to COVID, I’d been thinking that it was time to ramp down my air travel, but since seeing the dramatic reduction in pollution, now I know I really need to. Yes, I know the statistic about how 70% of pollution comes from 100 companies, but many of those companies are creating pollution by making things we all buy.

In what positive ways do you think the travel industry will be changed due to Covid?
We’ve seen how a space can recover + flourish when it’s not oversaturated with tourists.

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