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 - https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/non-medical-face-masks-travel-1.5536702 . 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.