We’re still living in the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic here in London, but slowly the rest of Europe is starting to come out of restrictions, with the Germans and French set to re-open their borders in mid-May. They have a fresh optimism – with people finally starting to be able to dream about going on holiday again. But as the dust begins to settle, we start to recognise that travel will probably never be the same again.
Whilst airlines and travel companies have taken huge hits, with many struggling with the sheer number of refund requests (and possibly also the expense), the fact that the governments around the world are continuing to play-up the importance of ‘Social Distancing’ suggests that there are still some pretty bleak days ahead.
The biggest impact on holidays might well be caused by airlines, who have had bumper profits for the last few years because of stable oil prices and huge demand for international travel. However, with the most profitable elements such as business travel now all but abandoned (in favour of the much more environmentally friendly, and not all that bad video conferencing that everyone is pretty much used to by now), prices will have to go up. Throw into the mix that some seats might also have to be left empty, and you can quickly see how flights become either unaffordable or unviable, or both.
But even after you’ve donned the face-mask and had the anti-bacterial wipes out for the airport part of the trip, you won’t be able to relax in some places. Even if they are allowed, not many people will be flocking to the typical Brits-abroad All Inclusive resorts in the Costas. – sharing a pool and sun loungers with so many strangers, eating in the same room of hundreds of people everyday, with not much of your own space, no thanks!
Does anyone fancy joining the thousands of people who are crushing their way around the backstreets of Venice, or Rome, or any of the other typical tourist hotspots?
The truth is that international holidays are about to get a lot more private – we’re thinking villas rather than hotel complexes – with staying away from the beach possibly actually both cheaper and more attractive! We’re thinking hiking in the mountains or the countryside with your own tent over hostelling in dorm rooms across Europe. We’re thinking private yacht charter (with just your own merry band of friends for company, and the opportunity to sail to completely isolated places), over cruise ship holidays.
In fact, a yacht holiday might well be the best bet, as you can combine home comforts with beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, whilst also staying as far away as possible from anyone else!
It might well be that a vaccine is discovered and implemented across Europe sooner than we can imagine, but the reality is that social distancing is here to stay, for at least the next 18 months and possibly longer, which means trying to stay away from the crowds, and make your own unique experiences.