Ohhhh Travel. How we mourn and miss you! It has been incredibly hard to not be exploring hasn’t it. For so many of us, travel is at our very core. However, we have all been grounded. All trying to keep sane while half the world is on lock down. Nik and I have been in a situation recently where we could not go over seas for a while. But this is different. We can’t even explore our home country at the moment. The business of travel and tourism has been hit so hard by the covid 19 pandemic. I know lots of industries have, but travel feels like it could have a long wait before it recovers. My March trip to Sofia seems like years ago, not just months!
Travel in every Country, and of every type has been affected. It is not just the high end, luxury resorts, or the budget friendly hostels and apartments. It is every area of the business of travel and tourism. Cruises, individually owned accommodation, the resort business, even travel related retail items. I appreciate that for many of us, our own income has also been wiped out overnight, (mine also). It is tough times all round! But, if we can offer any support, it is good to right?
So, I have been looking onto ways that we can support the travel industry, from staying home.
Supporting Travel and Tourism from home
Spread some positivity – Now is a great time to put some positive vibes out in the travel world. How about getting busy on trip advisor? That hotel you stayed in and loved recently would appreciate a review. Let others know if there was a tour you did that was worth the money. A resort trip that met or exceeded expectations that deserves being shouted about. Any positive reviews that you could write will give them some welcomed feedback. These places have been hit hard, so seeing a lovely review on their service etc, could really boost them. It could of course, also encourage someone else to book.
Maybe hold off from cancelling? – I know in these uncertain times, we are all feeling a little unsure of what to do. Travel plans are being cancelled left, right and centre! None of us are sure that our future plans will still go ahead. But, if you do have any travel booked for later in the year, especially if it is in your home Country, why not hold off cancelling? We do not know when we will be able to travel again, but as long as it is not detrimental to you, hold that booking. It will really help hotels etc if they are opening back up again with some bookings lined up.
Or Postpone? – If upcoming travel plans you have, are not looking likely to go ahead, you could consider postponing? If you are able to, it would really help to postpone rather than cancel. Again, it gives the hotel a reliable booking and helps them plan for re-opening. I totally appreciate that this is not always possible as money can be tight for us to. It is purely suggestion if you are able to.
Booking future travel plans – Now, I know that this one is scary. I am nervous to about making plans. However, you can make future booking’s that will not cost you any money if you have to cancel. For example, Nik and I are keen to get to our Cotswolds trip that was cancelled in April. I can book the hotel that we were staying at with no risk to our deposit. As long as we cancel 48 hours prior, which of course we could if Covid is still restricting travel. If I am honest, I am making future booking’s as much for me as the business of travel and tourism! I need something to look forward to travel wise! I have some great UK Mini Break suggestions here.
Keep reading travel blogs – Those of us that write travel, have seen the traffic to our blogs reduce considerably. Totally understandable. People are not travelling so they are a little uninspired to read about travel! I get it. However, this current situation will pass. We will travel again someday. Now is the ideal time to be researching! As I wrote in my “will we travel differently post“, the price of travel could be higher initially. We will be looking to travel, of course, but to places that we really want to see. I think we will be a little more choosy and, not take the ability to travel for granted. Researching and building a wanderlust list is one of my favourite things to do! Now is the absolute best time to do it. A little arm chair travel! Read and share your favourite travel blogs. Leave them a comment on a post. Let them know you are still there, keeping the faith….
Travel Books – I also have a fair old collection of Lonely Planet books. I LOVE them and tend to have at least one on every Christmas and Birthday list. One of my favourites is the Ultimate Travel list one. I pour over the pages on a regular basis! Last year, I bought Nik the UK Ultimate Travel list. That has come in very useful for our UK trip planning. Travel books are beautiful to peruse, and sales have really suffered. If you know someone that also loves travel, you could always gift them one. Or of course, treat yourself. The travel book companies could really do with our support.
Support Travel Media – On that same note, travel focused books and publications will be hard hit. I have a subscription to Wanderlust and Lonely Planet magazines. There has been nothing nicer than pitching up in the garden with a cuppa and a mag during lockdown! My magazines have been transporting me else where than Costa-del-Essex. I would fully recommend subscribing to a travel magazine. They give a real boost when they arrive on my door mat each month.
Travel Brands – If you have been thinking about buying new luggage, or travel related items, now could be a good time! I am trying to find a good travel phone charger, (preferably solar powered) so I am on the look out for that. I bought a new cabin case last year, but would like to find a travel back pack for those one night breaks. Supporting the brands that are travel retail is another great, online way we can support the business of travel and tourism. The ripples of this pandemic are pretty far reaching for the industry!
Keep it Positive – Now, I know this one can be tricky. Trust me, I am a very positive person, but I have had a couple of days where I have struggled. But, I think it is important that we don’t add to the negative noise. I do not tend to read negative things on the internet. We all know that the travel industry is massively affected, but saying we will never travel again is not helpful to anyone. This will pass. We will return to some version of normal. We do not know what that will be yet, but sharing misinformation and rumours helps no one. Try to keep your thoughts positive ones. Try to limit your consumption of negative news. I know it can be hard!
Support Travel business online – There has been some amazing business pivots hasn’t there? I have been in awe of how people and companies are thinking outside of the box. That fight to survive has brought out some ingenious ideas! We have been able to travel on safari via webcams. Visit museums on virtual tours. Even go under the sea with virtual dives. I may or may not have spent almost 2 hours one night watching out for possible elephant sightings at a watering hole……. It has been amazing and I urge you to seek some of them out. Lots are free, and some are small fees. Some are interactive like virtual wine tasting! It is all support for the tourism industry though so go on tour from your arm chair!
Order from local business – I do not live in a tourist area, but my local businesses are still being hit hard. Restaurants, pubs and cafe’s especially. We have been having a regular weekend take away (all contactless) delivery, and it has been lovely. A local pub near us has started doing take out cocktails, again, all contactless. Businesses need whatever support we can offer. If you live in a tourist area, perhaps even more so. Their whole year is usually geared up to rely on the busy tourist season. Why not have a virtual pizza night with friends over zoom. Or have a family game night with a curry. Any way you can support your local economy will aid in the countries overall recovery. We are all in this together and Community spirit has never been more needed!
My round up on supporting the business of travel and tourism:
Do not be afraid to travel again someday
This one is a tough one for me. I will be totally honest and admit that the thought of being on a plane right now terrifies me. Let’s be honest, areoplanes can be little germ fests at the best of times! I do not think I will be tempted to get on a plane for at least a few months.
But, I WILL be travelling. I will explore the Uk when safe to do so. I will get the train up to Scotland. When allowed to, I will get the train into Belgium and explore Brugge as I have always wanted to. I will 100% be out exploring again. We do not know in what capacity travel will resume initially. But I guarantee I will be off when it is safe to do so. The fear of travelling for many is very real. I totally understand that. We have been in our little safe bubble for so long now. But, when, and only when, we are advised that we are safe to adventure a little, I urge you to do so.
So, I hope this was at least a little use to you. I want to say again, I know it is not just the travel and tourism industry that has been affected. My own “day job” industry has been decimated! But, we have to keep looking forward. We have to always believe that something better is on its way. This will pass. We will return to a new normal. Living in fear is not living right? let me know your thoughts. If you have any other ways that we can support travel, please feel free to share. All suggestions are welcome.
For now, stay safe and stay home! We will all be free to travel again someday.