The New Normal: How Covid-19 is Changing the Way People Travel

Many people have understandably put their 2020 vacation plans on pause due to Covid-19 concerns. The CheapAir Team has also discovered a lot of us are using this leisure-travel down time to plan and dream about where we’ll go as soon as it’s safe. Others of us are adjusting plans, but still out there safely adventuring. Here’s a few of the travel trends we’re seeing in the new, socially-distanced vacation landscape.

Staycations for the Win

couple in pool on floatsOne of the easiest travel decisions you can make these days is to pop into a luxury hotel for a little rest & relaxation, right in your own backyard (so to speak). Fine hotels have reacted to the pandemic by beefing up their cleaning protocols (check out our COVID Clean selections around the world), and many properties offer unheard of deals and packages to woo travelers back. If the thought of a big trip is a bit much for you right now, consider a staycation in your home town. We recommend choosing a hotel with poolside service and comfy, well-appointed rooms for maximum cocooning. In many cases you’ll get service and pampering at a fraction of the usual cost, and emerge refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to get back into the rhythms of daily life.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

telluride colorado downtown
credit: shutterstock

Has anyone else noticed friends and family skipping the “go big or go home” vacation destinations this year? With Broadway in New York shuttered, and the over-the-top amusement parks and professional sports still figuring it all out, we’re seeing a lot of people visiting small towns and quaint locales that oftentimes get overlooked by their big city counterparts. Not only are small town destinations great for slowing down and reconnecting with your loved ones, they’re also often spots that have walkable downtowns, hiking trails and outdoor spaces for al fresco dining and picnicking. There might be less high-end accommodation available depending on how remote you decide to get, but it’s all part of the adventure!

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Roadtripping in Style

couple sitting outside rv in mountainsNot only are more people venturing out on roadtrips closer to home, but how they choose to get there is taking a turn for the truly self-contained. Now the RV life isn’t for everyone. You have to be willing to pilot a lumbering, gas-guzzling monster, and you better have a good navigator on board to make sure you don’t go off track, but there are some pretty cool perks that go along with it, especially if you’re doing a longer trek. To start, you bring kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities with you. You don’t have to stop for snacks or bathroom breaks at all. Parents of little ones know this is a game-changer for road trips. In addition, putting together a road trip can be loads of fun and low stress (you decide how long you stop at the world’s biggest ball of yarn!) And an RV can usually find facilities at most campgrounds even without a reservation. Which leads to our next trend…

The Great Outdoors!

group in antelope canyon arizonaWhether you’ve finally decided the time is right for a National Park vacation or you’ve been mulling over the beach vacation your family takes every summer, we have good news! It’s now widely understood that outdoor activities can be undertaken safely – and when was the last time you voluntarily agreed to be less than 6 feet from your neighbor at the beach anyway? This country is vast, with so many underexplored outdoor destinations that we simply could not miss an opportunity to share what a lot of our fellow Americans are discovering – getting outdoors is a welcome and rewarding experience! It’s easily adaptable for families, couples and small groups of friends. Just be sure to check with park rangers for opening and closing times (which may be modified in certain locations). For example, the Grand Canyon is open for business but limits the numbers of people each day who can access more popular hiking trails. Avoid highly trafficked parks and you’ll very likely have no access issues at all.

Go Off-Grid for Multi-Generational Getaways

grandparents with grandchildren at lakeOk – maybe off-grid is a little too aggressive a move for most of us but we’re finding that multi-generational family gatherings are happening, albeit in less populated areas around the country. One popular idea is to take a larger family vacation together on one of the many lakes around the country or on a less commercial beach. Basically, somewhere you can all get together and not feel pressure to “do” stuff, unless it’s a nice game of cards, a chat with your grandpa or a hammock hang with a couple of cousins. Getting the family together has never sounded so attractive.

12 Comments

    1. Hi Emery, I don’t see a booking under your name in our system. If you booked with us, email help@CheapAir.com with your 10-digit booking number, and one of our travel advisors will go over your options. We are getting most airlines to refund when the airline cancels the flight and doesn’t have a similar alternative which is happening a lot. If they don’t cancel the flight, then airlines are offering full credit for future travel. You can read more about it in this blog: https://chpair.co/c7cef. Thank you

  1. Oh great! This is the kind of travel we discovered and have done for a long time ( esp. the lesser known and visited National Parks), and now these kinds of places will get overrun by rude and careless people who only care about themselves, loud and obnoxious ‘campers’ who throw their trash around and get drunk and loud all night, and who don’t actually give a damn about the beauty of the parks or the tranquility of small town life and the charm of small towns. I have seen this happen, and the damage will be done, trust me. For each of us who actually care about things, there are several who believe all of these good things are theirs to trash. This is not good news and the pleasures of this kind of travel should not be publicized by the likes of Cheap-air or any other site like this. Sorry, but this article really depressed me.

    1. Hi Joe, we definitely understand your concerns. We hope that everyone looking to travel and safely explore respects nature and these small towns. Thank you

  2. Hello,
    I hope to travel from France to Australia (Melbourne) in late August or early September, and to return in early to mid December. I have accommodation and am not looking for a tour.

    Thank you if you can help me find safe and healthy transport or advise me re this.
    Regards,
    Jocelyn Dunphy-Blomfield

    1. Hi Joyce, that sounds like a lovely trip. You can explore airfares on our website, CheapAir.com. Or if you prefer, you can email help@CheapAir.com and one of our advisors can go over airfare options with you. Thank you!

  3. The way you handle the airline tickets is awful. You can’t get any help from you when your ticket is no longer usable as is because of the virus. Got completely new ticket Again it was on one of f the canceled flights. Wasn’t informed the flight was canceled until a day before when I tried to check in . So I had to go to the airline directly &make another change pay $50 for the change Now I’m stuck with one Ticket one way used a completely new round trip ticket All my trues for help from you was call the airline I wandered if there was any one on the other end to answer the phone Like the saying goes you know someone well in time of need

    1. Hi Anahid, I am sorry for your experience. We cannot locate any booking under your name, we often get confused with other travel companies with similar names. If you have a 10-digit booking number, please email to help@CheapAir and we will review the airline’s COVID-19 policy. We do everything possible to help passengers retain their credit or get a refund from the airline as allowed due to COVID-19. Most airlines have extended credit and waived change fees and our agents are happy to help our customers. Thanks you

  4. I’m planing to fly from Tampa FL to Las Vegas NV on the last week of july.can you tell me if I have to be on quarantine when I get there and on my way back to Tampa fl

    1. Hi Norma, You will not need to quarantine in Las Vegas or in Tampa. Currently, neither Florida nor Nevada are requiring travelers to quarantine from each other’s states. We hope you have a safe and fun trip. Thanks

  5. We purchased tickets from you from Little Rock to Savannah for August. We bought the travel insurance with our tickets. Would we be able to get a refund on our tickets due to covid? I am concerned about flying at this time and the hospital I work for strongly discourages it

    1. Hi Alicia, You may need to review your insurance policy to see if allows a refund due to a pandemic. A lot of policies, only allow refunds if you get sick before the travel or cover you during travel emergencies. The good thing is airlines are allowing flexible changes during the pandemic. They will allow you to postpone your trip without a penalty. I cannot locate a booking under your name in our system, if you booked with us please email help@CheapAir.com with your 10-digit booking number and one of our advisors can review the change policy with you. Or contact your booking source directly if not booked with us. But also contact your insurance company to see if COVID-19 is covered. Thank you!

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