It is very exciting to see regular reports of countries re-opening to U.S. travelers and travel restrictions slowly being lifted around the world. However, the reality is we are not out of the woods yet. Experts predict the travel industry will not fully recover until the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023, but that is not to say you should close shop until then. Your industry expertise and global knowledge are sought out more than ever by those itching to take a trip overseas.
Safe travel is possible in this new landscape! Yes, it is different. It will involve more caution and eliminating crowded events from the itinerary, but it will still fulfill clients’ ravenous craving to FINALLY GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
When Considering Where Clients Should Go, Look For:
- Destinations that have had fewer cases of COVID-19 compared to others (China, Australia, and some countries in Africa had less than 100,000 confirmed cases)
- Destinations that are not imposing a curfew
- Destinations that have not suffered from overcrowded hospitals
- Destinations that are following safe COVID-19 protocol
Check if a destination is open to foreign leisure travelers here.
Safe Types of Travel during COVID-19
Adventure travel has huge appeal in this COVID-cautious world. The outdoor setting allows travelers to better control their spacing between others, and the consistently filtered fresh air keeps harmful germs from re-circulating. Trips revolving around time outdoors lend several options to travelers who want to break from the city in favor of natural surroundings. Because camping is generally done solo or with people you know in spaced out areas, it is considered one of the safer types of travel during COVID-19.
Research the national parks at your clients’ destination and explore the campgrounds onsite. The world is full of countries applauded as the best places to camp because of their all-encompassing beauty and wide open spaces that have scads of recreational activities in addition (hiking and mountain bike trails, fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.).
New Zealand and Canada are well-known favorites for their wealth of remote camping areas in the most beautiful settings. Campgrounds in Norway, Iceland, and Indonesia attract those who seek the paths-less-traveled. Desert camping is popular in places like Egypt, Morocco, and Dubai. This unique excursion introduces people to a posher version of camping where campers are set up in their own furnished Bedouin-style tent.
In the same vein as camping, spending time at beaches has been an acceptable activity during the pandemic because they are outside and give people control of their spacing. We are not suggesting you send clients on holiday to famously populous beaches like Jumeirah Beach in Dubai or the ones on Koh Phangan Island in Thailand. At this moment, it is best to avoid the ones that invite large crowds and fighting for towel space.
When researching beach destinations for your clients, go ahead and look at countries that are known for having the world’s best beaches, but shift your search to the lesser known or “secret beaches” of that same destination. For example, the beaches on Phuket and the previously mentioned Koh Pangan islands in Thailand aren’t recommended during this time of social distancing, but Thailand’s lesser visited Ko Chang island equally satisfies that thirst for soft white sand met by stunning blue waters. Greece also hosts a cornucopia of remote beaches that are reached by hike or boat, adding an edge of adventure to clients’ arrival.
Private Vacation Rentals
Hotels that prioritize guest safety continue to be a good option for lodging, but private vacation rentals are reaching a higher level of popularity during pandemic travel. Plus, people appreciate the extra independence and privacy during their stay.
The increased effort to avoid crowds at this time has brought a positive justification to splurge on vacations in places like French Polynesia, the Maldives, and Seychelles that offer all-inclusive resort experiences. All have individual lodging options, like personal bungalows or condos, which heavily reduce the risk of spreading the virus through close contact with others.
Maybe your clients aren’t interested in escaping to a clump of resort islands or a remote cabin in the woods. This amazing era of Airbnb, Vrbo, and TurnKey, lets you secure private and affordable vacation rentals at most destinations without having to vet offers on untrustworthy rental sites. Searching accommodation on the WINGS Booking Engine allows you to filter options among hotels, apartments, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, hostels, etc. Choose what your clients are comfortable with under the Accommodation Type tab to see available types of lodging at your clients’ destinations.
As air travel and other public modes of transportation decreased in usage during the pandemic, rental cars and private transportation increased along with people using their forced time off to remedy their wanderlust with cross-country road trips. Road trips already have a romantic and attractive reputation of independence and spontaneity, and they are deemed as a safe travel option during COVID-19.
Now that air travel is emerging again, clients have the opportunity to take their fantasy road trip overseas. Self-drive tours and programs like Iceland: Natural Wonders, Delicious Detours by our tours division, Sky Vacations, include full itineraries and a rental car with unlimited mileage. Travelers are guided throughout the world’s most glorious countries via advanced apps and a GPS system. These programs literally put clients behind the wheel of their own adventure, but also include accommodation, detailed routes, suggested stops, and other amenities in the price. Sky Vacations has several Self-drive tours in its collection and all are commissionable to travel agents. Check them out here.
Yes! Travel is possible in this new landscape and people are looking to you, the travel agent, to make it happen for them. Use these ideas, your travel creativity, and the WINGS Booking Engine to deliver a safe and fun experience that will keep clients coming back to you long after the pandemic is over.
**Keep yourself updated on openings, travel restrictions, and other requirements during COVID-19 on our COVID page.