From graduation ceremonies, weddings to our next vacation, the pandemic has affected our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. One of the worst-hit industries is travel and tourism. Confined in our homes, we realised the importance of travel and the difference it can make in a mundane lifestyle more than ever before. Left with no option but to curtail the wanderlust, people longed for the pandemic to end but looks like that’s not happening anytime soon. So, after months of being locked in their homes, gradually travel enthusiasts took off to new places. With the several airport check-ins, tests, masks and shields, the way we travel changed forever. Let’s have a look at these new travel trends.
Workcations – When offices came to people’s homes, they took it to the mountains, beaches or any place which gave them a sense of belonging. Bored of sitting at home and working, people needed a change along with their work and what better way than working with a view! Some would argue that why to work on a vacation but to some people, the stunning views and rejuvenation at a different place gives the motivation to work and enjoy simultaneously. In the pandemic a lot of digital nomads chose “work from mountains” and this trend seems to continue.
Road trips – To avoid crowds at airports and railway stations many people chose to enjoy a road trip instead. A short weekend trip seems ideal when travelling via road. It’s safer and gives you a chance to take the less travelled paths and treat yourself with views you might not get otherwise.
Domestic destinations – Because of the pandemic, many people preferred to visit places in India rather than abroad. As many countries closed their borders for tourists, domestic travel increased and people had a chance to explore their own country. However, as soon as Indian tourists were allowed in other countries, people went on their dream vacation.
Offbeat places – The quest to explore new places and ditch the touristy ones has increased ever since the pandemic began. Manali used to be one of the most famous places in Himachal Pradesh, but with the changing travel trends and people’s will to escape the ordinary, many small villages like Jibhi, Tosh, Kalga, Chitkul and many such places have attracted travellers and increased the scope of travel to the remotest areas. These places might not have proper Wi-Fi but can connect you to the mountains and valleys in ways normal tourist destinations cannot. Such offbeat places can be found anywhere, even in your own city, you just need to have an eye for it.
Solo travellers – Want to step out of your comfort zone? Travel solo. Many people are driven towards solo travel in recent years. Why watch other people’s schedules and preferences when you can do it all by yourself and be more confident. Solo travel teaches you to enjoy your own company, discover things about yourself and meet other like-minded people. There are several travel companies which organize group trips. So, although you are alone you get to enjoy the company of people you have never met, at places you have never been to, to have an experience you won’t forget. There has also been an increase in the number of female solo travellers lately because of the services available. Solo travel can give you a new perspective and a different way of looking at life.
Hostels and homestays over hotels – We see a massive change in people’s preference for accommodation in 2020-21. Instead of luxurious stays, many travellers are inclined towards hostels and homestays. Apart from being economical, hostels and homestays also offer an amazing environment for fellow travellers to interact and get knowledge about a place from the locals. People choose to stay at hostels and homestays for their workcation as they are equipped with all the facilities including Wi-Fi and transport links.
Responsible tourism – Remote places that were once hard to reach are now easily accessible. However, it can also result in the destruction of that place. The pollution caused by mountaineers has destroyed the beauty of serene places. Responsible tourism refers to travelling without polluting or causing harm to places, keeping in mind the welfare of the local communities. There has been awareness about ecotourism and sustainable tourism both by the travellers and the hosts. The fear of the spread of the virus has also resulted in more hygienic stays and travel. However, we need to amplify the need for responsible tourism.
After the pandemic, travel is not just a luxury but a necessity. People’s outlook towards travelling has changed. People don’t just travel for pictures but strive for an authentic, meaningful experience. But don’t forget to follow all the protocols if you decide to take a vacation in such difficult times.
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