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Four Questions and Takeaways from This Pandemic

Alexandra Huetter

Contributor

As travelling for leisure has come to a screeching halt, no one knows what the future will hold in terms of tourism. Will the industry pick up where it had left off before the coronavirus? Or could new trends be shaped that emphasise more mindful ways of travelling?

Could you travel less choosing higher quality offers?

When you think about a post-pandemic future, are you planning on making up for all of those months in lockdown by booking twice as many trips as originally planned? You’ve got a valid point, but before you hit the purchase button and go on a travel binge, take a few moments to think about the way you’re travelling.

Times like these are perfect for resets, cleanups and fresh starts. Could your post-COVID-19 self be a more sustainable traveller? Maybe staying at home increased your appreciation for your neighbourhood park. Maybe you’d rather save your money for a higher quality trip and spend the rest of the year exploring your part of town a bit better.

Flying less frequently results in a smaller carbon footprint, and that’s a positive for our planet. The money you save could be used to book one major trip per year, where you can really put emphasis on the value of your vacation.

Can a staycation be as much fun as an inexpensive trip abroad?

Going out for dinner at your local restaurant post coronavirus will probably feel like a mini holiday, after months of home-cooked meals. Just the thought of relaxing at my favourite café with a book watching people and sitting in close distance to friends has me really excited. No exotic trip needed.

Local restaurants, bars and cafés will need every last bit of support to get back on their feet and you can easily help out thanks to frequent visits and much needed socialising on their premises. A staycation can be a very nice transition out of isolation mode.

You can re-discover art galleries and museums in your neighbourhood, eat at your favourite restaurant again and spend hours strolling around, browsing shops and relaxing in parks. Instead of packing up and leaving on a cheap quick trip abroad, you could give yourself time to breathe again after a prolonged period of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

Could you book your next trip considering your carbon footprint?

Sustainability has already been on many travellers’ agendas before the pandemic. Coming out of it, it is still as relevant, if not more so. We’ve seen in the past few weeks how a collective halt in movement can have a positive effect on the environment.

You can keep this momentum going by looking at ways to make your trip more sustainable like swapping unnecessary short-haul flights for carbon emission-friendlier train rides, for example. If you can’t avoid flying, it’s best to look for direct flights. After reaching your destination you could rent a bike, make use of public transport options or explore your new surroundings by foot.

Another point to consider is to opt for slow travel instead of packing several destinations into one holiday. It can be hard to minimise your travel list when there are so many beautiful spots to be discovered. Being selective, however, is not only beneficial for the environment, it also lets you dive deeper into a place so you can truly immerse yourself in its culture and get to know its people.

Can you be mindful of the companies you travel with?

If you’re thinking about your carbon footprint when booking your next trip, like mentioned above, then this is the question that will most likely pop up next. Who can you travel with to make this trip as sustainable as possible?

You probably already came across a system called carbon offsetting when booking some sort of transportation. This system is set up as an aid to compensate for the carbon emissions that will be produced during your trip.

The money received from it is used for development projects like installing renewable energy sources or planting trees. As an individual traveller you’re just paying a small amount, but in sum it can make a difference. When you book your next trip post lockdown, try to opt for airlines or other transportation companies that offer this scheme.

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