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What will it be like, another perspective.....

As a follow-up to my previous thread, I thought it might be interesting to ponder what travel might be like in future from the perspective of a traveller. As mentioned before, none of us know what will transpire several months in the future, but it's still interesting to think about possibilities.

A few that come to mind.....

  • Schengen or other Visa - I wonder if the Schengen Visa will remain the same or whether the E.U. might want to exert more control on entry into Europe by implementing something like an E-Visa. Now that Brexit has occurred the U.K. may require a more formal Visa? The resumption of travel to some countries around the world may be delayed longer than others.
  • Air travel - Transport Canada announced today that air travellers will now have to wear face masks - . Masks may be required in airports, such as going through security, in the departure lounge, etc. Will European airports or airlines have the same rules? Air travel has already become somewhat of an annoying experience and it looks like it may be more so in future. While I can understand the rationale behind the new rules, that doesn't make them any less annoying and I'm sure it will affect my enthusiasm for travel, especially on longer flights.
  • Flight costs - airlines will be recouping lost profits so will be working to establish pricing that encourages people to travel but also provides the airlines with as much profit as the market will bear. Some airlines may not survive and with fewer airlines operating that may cause an upward trend in prices. When airlines resume operations, the cost of jet fuel will rise with demand so that will have a bearing on prices too.
  • Hotel bookings -I wonder what changes might occur with hotels? Will they encourage or require payment in advance with non-refundable deposits? I fully expect there will be changes.
  • Travel insurance - as I mentioned previously, travel medical insurance will likely have solid exclusions for pandemics. Travel policies which have "cancel for any reason" coverage may increase in price.
  • Packing - I expect all of us will be packing more in the way of disposable face masks, disinfecting wipes and other "PPE" items. Masks may be required at some places in Europe, at least until a vaccine is developed.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine -when a vaccine is developed (which may take 12 - 18 months), it will take time to manufacture in sufficient quantities and then to vaccinate people from many countries. Presumably that means that the number of travellers won't be back to pre-pandemic levels for awhile, possibly a year or more. What will the situation be for people who prefer not to be vaccinated?
  • Tours - I wonder what might change with the "tour experience"? Will those taking tours have to provide a medical certificate?
  • Budgeting for travel - I wonder if if would be prudent to add to the budget for each trip, to allow for the possibility that I may have to foot the bill for a government-arranged flight home or provide funds for a 14 day stay in a quarantine hotel? I saw one news story yesterday on the experience of a person who had to use a government-arranged repatriation flight. They were asked to sign a promissory note with no dollar amount specified to pay for their flight home. The actual cost would only be revealed when they arrived back in Canada, and they would be expected to pay that amount in full.

Again, I don't have any more insight than anyone else and I'm not making predictions, but just pondering different scenarios of what a travellers perspective might look like in future.

Posted by
4116 posts

Visa - although the U.K. has left the EU, we are still in the transition period and therefore in practice, nothing has changed. The government has been distracted from progressing negotiations due to other events. We need to buy an ESTA in advance to travel to America, even if we are just transiting and staying airside. Something similar could be introduced for North Americans.

Air travel - I voluntarily wore a face mask on my last flight home from Sri Lanka. It’s no big deal to wear one.

Flight costs - some airlines are likely to go out of business. There may initially be social distancing as much as is possible by leaving the middle seat free. Will they only occupy every other row too? That will push costs up. Oil prices have been very low recently and maybe the airlines have secured cheap future prices for a while.

Hotel bookings - initially, people maybe more tempted to hire a cottage rather than stay in a hotel as there will be less social interaction. Some hotels will have gone out of business.

Insurance - costs will rise and the exclusions will increase.

Packing - I always take wipes and hand sanitizer on holiday but I never travel with just hand luggage. I did buy a face mask whilst in Sri Lanka.

Vaccine - maybe you might have to show that you have been vaccinated before you board the plane. If it’s a requirement of the country you are visiting, if you don’t want the vaccine, then you don’t travel. The U.K. government is suggesting that high risk individuals (aged over 70 or with underlying health issues) may have to self isolate until a vaccine is developed. Is it right that tourists aged over 70 or with health issues are allowed in to wander freely, whilst a similar local person shouldn’t?

Tours and cruises - probably fewer operators, therefore pushing up the cost. Far less demand - who wants to be stuck in a small space with many others? Tours seem a big thing with North Americans - in the U.K. you only go on a tour when you are too old to drive yourself, so the average age is about 80.

Budget - if insurers won’t pick up the tab for Covid 19 related issues, budget for additional medical costs plus possible quarantine and flights.

Europe has obeyed the lockdowns without mass protests and has put health before the economy. Those travelling as soon as the skies reopen maybe viewed with some suspicion and may not get as warm a welcome as they were anticipating.

In 5 years time, we will be back to where we were a year ago, but there is likely to be much short term disruption.

Posted by
1646 posts

Boarding flights - Emirates Airline has already announced they have "begun conducing [sic] rapid-on site COVID-19 [testing] for passengers." The analysis is a blood test with results within 10 minutes. "The testing accompanies other changes on Emirates. Passengers are now required to wear masks throughout boarding and flight. Gone are in-flight magazines, and carry-on luggage isn't permitted – only small items like handbags and briefcases."

Posted by
6544 posts

I've been traveling to Europe since going to the University of Innsbruck for Summer School in 1970. If travel gets too expensive or too difficult to execute, it's sure been nice visiting so many places. Our list of must see's is pretty short.
I'd just hate to think my international travel life comes to an end while I'm capable of traveling safely. My wife and I just don't have the desire to go many places domestically (in North America.)
And we agree that the future of travel will require changes.

Posted by
6661 posts

The testing began with passengers on a flight from Dubai to Tunisia on Wednesday. The analysis is a blood test with results within 10 minutes. The airline says it is the first to roll out rapid testing.

Emirates says it is working to scale up testing capabilities and extend it to other flights

Seems to be specific to just one route, at this time. Doing this for jumbo jets...??????????

Face masks I get; carry on luggage being banned..??

Hopefully NASA kept the specs and assembly instructions for the space suits used in the early astronaut program. Sealing everyone in that type of suit is no more impractical than what Emirates is embarking on.

Posted by
8785 posts

I predict:

Flights--you will have to go through a full healh screening before your flight and once you arrive. Ths will incude blood tests, urine tests, temperature tests, breathing checks, etc. If you are found with anything out of the norm, you will be immediately transported to a hospital where you will be locked in for at least 30 days. You will be required to show up at least 24 hours before your flight to get everything completed.

Visas will be required for each country and each one will require at least three doctors notes from physicians you have seen in the past 48 hours.

You will be requuired to wear a mask the entire flight so no food or drinks will be served because that would mean removing the mask.

No luggage brought on board for any reason because the virus could live on anything. You will be required to just sit still.

Every other row will be empty with only one person per row. Flights will cost between $10,000 and $15,000 each way.

Hotels will require you to pay up front, and leave an extra deposit in case you get sick and they have to do special cleaning of your room.

All museums and tourist sites will require health screening just like the airlines. Only one person will be allowed in at a time. With social distancing, the line to get into the Sistine Chapel will stretch to Verona. The line for the Eiffel Tower will end near the Spanish border. No skip the line due to the screenings.

Tours will require all particiapants to wear hazmat suits. . One person per seat on the bus and every other row must be skipped for social distancing. If two non-related people should sit next to each other, the police will be called and the passengers will be sent to jail--separate cells, of course.

Restaurants will be required to keep tables six feet apart. That pizza you looked forward to will cost about 250 euros. But you won't be able to eat it because you have to wear a mask.

Klingons will be brought in to work all airlines, hotels, restaurants and health screening because they can do so without getting emotional.

Armed civilian patrols will be out and about with the authority to shoot anyone who coughs.

The above may seem ridiculous but then so is all pondering of what will happen in the future. Pondering=speculating=predicting. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. The more speculation, the more pondering, the more confused people will be when real information comes out. They won't remember which is true or which is false.

This is a travel board. We all love to travel. Let's talk about places, food, sites, etc.

Posted by
1381 posts

Schengen or other Visa - I wonder if the Schengen Visa will remain the
same or whether the E.U. might want to exert more control on entry
into Europe by implementing something like an E-Visa. Now that Brexit
has occurred the U.K. may require a more formal Visa? The resumption
of travel to some countries around the world may be delayed longer
than others.

The EU has been working on an e-visa called ETIAS for a while now, the original plan was that it would be required from next year but the implementation has been delayed.

Posted by
6661 posts

Klingons will be brought in to work all airlines, hotels, restaurants and health screening because they can do so without getting emotional.

No, that should be Vulcans.

Klingons would be much better suited as the police force.

Posted by
43 posts

"No, that should be Vulcans."

I disagree, it will take too long to get them in place, what with visa requirements, etc. It's just an unworkable plan, sorry to burst your bubble.


Droids are the obvious answer. Building more will jumpstart the economy. Some speak with kinda British accents, that will calm nervous flyers. AND, based on my knowledge of Droids, we can build models with sensors integrated. Airports can pick between the walking kind or the rolling kind, maybe have them decked out in the local team colors?

How much would you pay for this? Wait, there's more!....

Posted by
617 posts

So far no one has stated the Crashingly Obvious, so just let me jump in here. When I get back to Europe, there is going to be a whole extra dimension of appreciation, of not taking for granted that (say) Italy is accessible, and always will be, when I have the time and money to spend. In so many ways, normal life is going to feel like something valuable that had been somewhat hard to appreciate.

As for US travel, wife and I plan to do a lot more of that. We've lived in the East so long (though I grew up in CA) that the West is like a fascinating country in its own right.

Posted by
9464 posts

Droids become Cylons and we know THAT won’t end well.