Summer travel in 2021: Of lockdowns, quarantines and Covid-19 testing

Something is different about travel.

Maybe you’ve noticed it. But what? And how will it change the way you travel this summer?

If you want a by-the-numbers-answer, you can consult the Deloitte State of the Consumer Tracker, which offers a monthly read of travel sentiment. It suggests travelers remain reluctant to travel and waiting for the pandemic to subside. Generally speaking, more than half the country wants to stay home – or at least that’s what they say.

You can also look for yourself. Airport terminals and hotel lobbies continue to look like hospitals, with all those masks and latex gloves. And that will continue, according to experts like Rudy Dunlap.

“Even in destinations where vaccination is relatively widespread, mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent sanitizing will continue to be the norm,” says Dunlap, a tourism expert and associate professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

What should you expect when you hit the road this summer? Travel will feel different. Americans will be visiting the same places, but for different reasons. Safety and reliable travel advice are more important than ever. And, for at least the next few weeks, the travel scene will still be relatively quiet.

People are thinking of travel differently. It’s shifted from a short-term activity to a lifestyle during the pandemic. Nancy Charles-Parker, a retired diplomat from Denver, visited the Big Island of Hawaii during the pandemic and decided to stay. She’s been on the island for the last seven months. Instead of attending cultural events and exploring new places, she’s led a quieter life. “My friends have been sea turtles, colorful birds, and bright-colored fish while I’m snorkeling, and occasional wild goats,” she says.

Domestic destinations are big this summer. But as the rest of the world struggles to reopen, Americans’ options for international travel remain limited, says Christine Buggy, vice president of marketing at Travelex. “Most Caribbean islands have reopened to international tourists and many Americans are traveling or planning trips to Turks and Caicos, Aruba, Bahamas, and other popular island destinations,” she says.

(This article originally appeared on USA TODAY) 

Image courtesy of Tejram Sharma | Welcome to The South Asian Times

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