( by Louis Toffoli )
As COVID continues to change the landscape of numerous industries, no industry has made more significant changes than the travel industry. With one of the leading causes of the virus’s spreading being travel, drastic adjustments were needed for everyone’s safety.
But, what exactly does post-COVID travel look like in the United States? Well, each state has used a different approach to their travel restrictions. This article will explore some of the biggest changes throughout these different regions and some travel changes made nationally.
Taking a Trip to the Airport
For those who have flown recently within the United States, it’s undeniable that things have changed. With required facemasks, temperature readings, and social distancing orders—airports have created a safe environment for travelers.
These changes have been made to every airport within the United States. And, while it’s not perfect, these new requirements have helped stop the virus’s spread. Along with these changes in the airport, the airplanes themselves have also adjusted to combat the virus’s spread.
While on the plane, airlines have been making various changes to how they operate. Some of the most common changes being:
- Using hospital-grade disinfectants between each flight.
- Handing out sealed bags of food and beverages for guests.
- Requiring facemasks to be worn by everyone on-board.
- Using HEPA filtration to filter inside the airplane cabin.
- Adjusting the seating to provide more space in-between guests.
With these adjustments, airlines have done their part in creating the safest environment possible. Some of these modifications will most likely stick around even after COVID is long gone, as it will protect passengers from other viruses in the future.
Crossing State Lines
Each state has taken a different approach to the virus, with some being more strict than others. For entering more strict states, like California, Connecticut, Kentucky, or Maine, you will be required to take a COVID test or do a 14-day self-quarantine.
Some states have exempted specific areas that have a low positive test rate that is below 15%, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University. Whatever your state, be sure to check the travel restrictions if you plan on crossing state lines.
If the state has taken a mandatory stay-at-home order approach, many of the locations you wanted to visit will be closed. Places such as hotels, tourism spots, and restaurants will all be closed.
The New-Era of Hotels
The hotel industry has had to make some quick changes to adjust to a post-COVID world.
One of the most significant changes being their attitude towards disinfecting and cleaning rooms after each guest.
While hotels cleaned after each guest, the disinfection process has been taken up a notch to stop the virus’s spread. Using hospital-quality disinfecting methods has been implemented, and more time is spent ensuring the rooms are clean.
However, with tensions running high and the fear of the virus still running rampant—hotels have started to include a free room cancellation policy. These policies give guests the ability to cancel their room without any charge if the virus disrupts traveling.
While these policies have impacted hotel owners, it has also given guests the comfort of no-stress canceling if they have caught the virus.
The Future of Traveling
The traveling industry has taken a significant hit from the coronavirus, with significant changes in all aspects of the traveling process. However, not everything has been negative when it comes to the changes made by the virus.
The Rise of the Road Trip
There has been a rise in road trips taken with people moving away from public transportation for traveling. Road trips are a great way to connect with family and friends while also experiencing new local things you wouldn’t have seen while flying.
Increase in Travel Advisors
Utilized rarely, a travel advisor wasn’t seen as a necessary service that you needed while you traveled. Well, things have changed as people search to have the safest vacations possible while traveling. As more people see a travel advisor’s helpfulness, this occupation has taken on a new meaning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the travel industry as we knew it. But, these changes have been necessary for ensuring that we increased the safety of the traveling process. Like all industries during this time, adapting is the best thing you can do to continue experiencing the world.