How COVID-19 Will Affect Holiday Travel Plans And Family Gatherings
COVID-19 Holiday Travel
Traveling during the holidays will look a lot different this year. COVID-19 will cause travelers to have to take more precautions, and they may not be able to take part in all of the holiday traditions that they have in the past. For those that still plan on traveling for the holidays, here’s what holiday travel will look like this year.
Shorter Lines At The Airports
Travelers will be able to enjoy shorter lines at the airports. With less people traveling, they won’t have to wait hours to get through security checkpoints. However, that doesn’t mean that they should wait until the last minute to get to the airport. There will be enhanced sanitation protocols, and this may cause some delays. Airports have added hand sanitizer stations, and passengers will be encouraged to use them often. Passengers also need to keep in mind that a lot of restaurants in airports have temporarily been closed. They may have less options as to what’s available to eat or drink while they are waiting for their flight to depart.
Airlines don’t want to put their passengers or crew in harm’s way. Because of this, passengers will have to wear a mask while they are on the plane. While this might not seem like a big deal for a short flight, some passengers will find it difficult to wear a mask for those very long flights. Airlines aren’t budging on their mask policy, so passengers will need to wear a mask most of the time even if they are on a long international flight. Passengers will also need to wear a mask in public places throughout the airport. The exception to this is when they are eating and drinking. Despite all of these inconveniences, passengers may enjoy cheaper fares as airlines are trying to entice more people to book flights.
Less People At Family Gatherings
Homes probably won’t be as full of people as they were in the past. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, many families aren’t allowing more than 10 people to come into their homes. Families may opt to utilize video conferencing rather than actually visiting their loved ones over the holidays. We will also probably see a lot more family gatherings that will take place outdoors. Parks, beaches and outdoor spaces will allow families to still celebrate with one another, and these types of places will allow them enough space to be able to socially distance as well.
Many Amenities Won’t Be Open At Hotels
Guests may be surprised to find that a lot of hotels will have limited amenities available during their holiday vacation. Things like breakfast buffets, gyms or pools may not be able at the hotel. However, a lot of hotels will be taking this into consideration when they are setting their room rates. While travelers will have less amenities to enjoy, hotels are also offering deeply discounted hotel rooms. Some travelers may be able to get five star accommodations for three star prices. Hotels may sell out quickly as they are trying to adhere to new capacity guidelines. Some hotels might only allow 25%-50$ of their rooms to be booked. Passengers need to book their hotel rooms early in order to ensure that they are able to get a room at their desired hotel.
Some International Destinations Will Be Off Limits
For those that like to travel internationally during the holidays, they may be out of luck. Some international destinations may not be so willing to let tourists into their country. Even some local destinations, like Alaska, are requiring that travelers have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel. It’s important that travelers check to make sure that their intended destination will be allowing travelers during the time of their vacation. They should also keep in mind that closures may happen at the last minute. It’s imperative that travelers are aware of refund policies just in case travel plans will need to be cancelled at the last minute. Many airlines and hotels are offering refunds or credits on cancellations up until the day of travel. However, travelers may need to provide proof that they are cancelling because COVID-19 has impacted them. Travelers also need to keep in mind that just because a destination is welcoming travelers it doesn’t mean that everything else will be open. A lot of popular tourist attractions may be closed to travelers. There may be limited activities for tourists to take part in at their destination when they are traveling this holiday season.
More People On The Road
A lot of people won’t be comfortable flying this holiday season. However, we will most likely see more people on the roads as they choose to travel by car. Unfortunately, this will also cause a lot more traffic on the roads, more accidents and more delays. Travelers may need a lot more time to get to and from their destination than they have in the past. For those that plan on renting a car to travel to their holiday destination, they will probably need to reserve one several weeks in advance. If they don’t, there might not be cars available for them to reserve. Rental car rates will probably skyrocket quite a bit as they will be in high demand this holiday season.
Even if a vaccine comes out before the holiday season, COVID-19 will still affect holiday travelers. While there are some negatives and positives that will be occurring, passengers need to be prepared for the fact that their travel plans and holiday traditions will probably be impacted in some way. However, families can still safely enjoy the holidays with their loved ones if they plan accordingly.
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