After spending a year locked in our homes thanks to COVID-19, we’re all eagerly awaiting the day that we can go traveling again. While it’ll take a while for the tourism industry to return to normality, we can expect to be able to start traveling within the next few months. If anything, the pandemic gave us a newfound appreciation for being able to travel and experience new cultures and environments. It has made the idea of travel more meaningful for us all. We’re rounding up five things you can do to create a more meaningful travel experience in 2021.
Before when we would travel, everything would be fast moving. You would be running to a dinner reservation one minute and then going to a museum the next. Most of us are guilty of over planning our vacations down to the tiniest detail. In 2021, slow down and appreciate the experience you’re having. You can make little changes like choosing to take a train to appreciate the view or adding an extra day or to onto your multi-city vacation to let you fully experience the area.
Not everyone is going to be able to jump on a plane and go anywhere in the world. It’s uncertain which countries will open their borders and when. Start by travelling locally. You can support your local economy with a staycation at one of your favourite hotels. You might have just as much fun discovering restaurants and bars in a little town an hour away from your home, instead of ten hours away.
For 2021 travel, we’re all going to have to be a little more flexible. Most airlines are now offering you the option of being able to change or cancel your flight without the typical penalty. When you’re booking your holiday, make sure you keep an eye out for these options. It’s worth paying a little extra for the peace of mind if this flexibility isn’t included in the standard package. If your flight or travel is cancelled due to the pandemic, keep your reservation and change it to a later date instead of going for a refund.
After 2020, we could all do with disappearing for a little bit. Whether it’s a remote island or a cottage in the countryside, give yourself a digital detox and disconnect from the madness of daily life. You can reconnect with nature and enjoy a peaceful holiday without the chaos of tourists, long queues, and struggling to get a dinner reservation.
When we’re able to travel again, we should all make a pledge to look for sustainable options. Being conscious about your carbon footprint doesn’t mean you can never step back onto a plane again. Do your research and find out if there’s any conservation programs you can visit during your holiday. It can be a lifechanging experience and make your trip more meaningful. On the practical side, you want to see if there’s any airlines that have sustainable strategies where they give back to environmental projects. British Airways is one airline that is committed to achieving net zero in their fleet by 2050.
Natalya was born in Moscow. She later worked for top marketing agencies and tech companies in the U.S. She now lives in Paris.