Travel tips and insights post-pandemic: Safer destinations, packing differently, planning ahead
Here's the current down low for leisure travel right now — in limbo. While countries are slowly pulling open their borders and permitting inter-state travel, much is yet to be said about when and where our next flight out could be at. People are already skittish about the thought of public transport, not to mention boarding a flight for a full eight hours.
One thing's for sure, the situation will only be warranted safe once a vaccine is conceived. Even then, things post-pandemic will probably never be the same again. To shed more light and an optimistic panorama on vacation dreaming, we speak to guest experience manager of Scott Dunn Singapore, Teck Heok Koh who creates exceptional itineraries for clients at Scott Dunn.
Changes in the way people travel
"Travel and tourism thrives off of the personal elements that human interaction brings and has been an invaluable way to add to and elevate a guest's experience, even with the rise of technology and automation processes in recent years. From the warmth and friendliness of the local people to the experience and service staff in hotels & properties provide, the human element is key to enhance the overall experience and stay. This pandemic will force many to rethink how this can be done as safely as possible without compromising on human interface and contact. This also means we will start to see more monotonous processes being automated or improved through technology to limit contact. Packing for travel will also change as masks, hand sanitiser and face shields become mandatory. We are already seeing an increase in guest preference to travel in smaller groups and opt for private/exclusive ways to travel to a destination so that it reduces their chances of being exposed to the virus."
Plan for the future, book way in advance
"Most of our clients that have started to enquire are looking to plan for trips in 2021 and even 2022. At Scott Dunn, we have seen an uptick of interest in once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list trips that require a longer booking time to places such as Rwanda where we advise guests to book at least a year in advance to secure the best guides and allow sufficient time for permits to be secured. Remote destinations with wide open spaces are also popular with our guests looking to head to places like Iceland for a winter escape or a private villa in the picturesque Italian countryside. In such unpredictable times, we understand that peace of mind and flexibility are key to ensuring our guests feel confident to book a holiday with us so we are offering increased flexibility terms and our team will be on hand every step of the way to help guests navigate through the sea of ever evolving advice and news."
The safer places to travel to
"I would suggest booking a private villa or estate that comes fully serviced with a personal chef, butler and a car at your disposal. This allows maximum flexibility and privacy and will feel like a home away from home. You can kick back and relax in the villa and when you decide to head out and explore, it can be done at your own pace. Alternatively, for those feeling more adventurous, there are many off-the-beaten-path lodges and properties in destinations like Iceland where you can immerse yourself in nature and the great outdoors, away from the crowds. Countries which have handled the outbreak well, with good access to high quality healthcare and excellent airport connections, will also definitely appear more attractive to guests."
The popular destinations to flock to
'It can go two ways really. People might look to closer-to-home destinations for a quick getaway to cure their cabin fever. Or, as many have learnt this year that travel is a luxury that can be easily taken away, travellers will plan to complete their travel bucket-list and be more adventurous with their choices, choosing countries that are much further away and are more exotic."
A different packing list
"Hand sanitiser, disinfecting wipes, masks, vitamin C boosters and even face shields are likely to become new essentials. Personally for me, depending on the destination, I plan to travel with some of my older clothes and socks as I can dispose of them after the trip."
Get creative in our own country
"To help cope with cabin fever, embark on a culinary adventure by trying various cuisines that are available on our island. We have a wide variety to choose from. There's really good Argentinian food at Bochinche or try some Grecian dishes at Bakalaki. For a truly different type of break, give up your gadgets and try a digital detox staycation with loved ones. It's a chance to getaway from daily routines and reconnect with each other."