India. Delhi: Covid-19, or ‘The Traveler’s Pandemic‘ as most travelers and tourists around the world would call it. The pandemic has forced most of the travelers to look at a canvass where everything is blank.
The positive side for most of these travelers is that it can be a new beginning where they can plan and paint a colourful landscape. Also, travelers can devise new ways of looking at the travel industry by just following certain measures to improve the way people travel.
This is not a multi million dollar question but a multi trillion question for many in the travel industry.
So What Should A Die-hard Traveler Do Now?
It’s time now to get ready for the changes that are going to come in the travel and tourism sector. There certainly will be more decentralisation of services and an increase in individual organizations dealing with and providing quality services to the tourists, etc.
And This Will Be A New Beginning.
Travelers will have to come forward and save this industry by being more vigilant, aware of the developments and be prepared for the changes in both Business to Customer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) sectors.
B2C, B2B styles also need to change and follow a similar course, maybe slightly different as they have to look from the commercial angle too. The travel agents will have to return to the business scene.
For everyone, the travelers or the B2B organizations – unless they prepare now, everything they’ve worked for all their lives could be lost forever.
It doesn’t matter how experienced a traveler is, traveling is like learning new lessons every time. Just a little travel research can add depth to the next travel experience. These corrections are very important once travel re-starts, some of these steps are:
Keeping Documents Ready
You need your personal ID documents when you travel, and keeping them handy in a folder with extra copies is a good habit which helps a lot. Keeping a digital copy also is a big help. Having a Travel Insurance is also important and will anyways become a necessity now.
Planning The Trip
There are a lot of questions when people start planning for a trip. The answers are all available there; only a little research at proper places like the Tourism board offices, collecting maps and travel brochures, and also from online sources is required.
Reading Local News Sources
Setting Smartphone homepage to the local newspaper of the destination to keep a tag on what’s happening and how people are reacting. Also, keep a check on the weather forecasts.
Get a few guide books and consult them.
Talking to People
Firsthand experience is quite valuable when you want to research a travel destination before you go there.
Learning Basic Phrases in Local Language of Your Destination
Just a few things like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you!”, “Where’s the bathroom?” will go a long way to endearing yourself with the locals.
Reading Good Quality Blogs & Vlogs by Travel Bloggers (for example: http://exatraveller.com/)
There are so many travel blogs today which are first-hand perspectives on the destination. Vlogs can also show what the landscapes look like, and actually show footage of the attractions that you might want to visit on your trip.
Forums are a great source of information and can be checked out to and ask questions. TripAdvisor and similar travel websites are another great way to research; TripAdvisor is a great tool for B2B operators too.
The Staff of Your Hotel
Hotel staff deals with travelers all day, every day. They know exactly where to go for authentic meals and attractions, and also help you in getting the best local food.
Look Up Hashtags
Hash-tagged posts are a great source of travel information and inspiration.
Searching for In-expensive Ways to Travel
Plan and book your trains/flights early, advanced bookings are always inexpensive.
Using Public Transportation
It’s the best way to get a feel of a city. Local buses help you move at your speed and understand the locality.
Plan to Enjoy The Night Life
Even if you were 17 years old some 40 years ago, whether or not you’re a night owl, there’s always different energy in the atmosphere once the sun sets for the day.
So, even if you are dead tired, plan to dive into whatever fun awaits, this certainly will infuse energy in you to be fresher the next morning.
Check Out For Free Walking Tours
Besides being great money savers, these tours allow you to orient yourself in an unfamiliar city.
Eat Local Food
When in Rome, do as the Romans do; yes, that’s a must, taste a bit of everything local while you travel.
Plan To Get On The Off-Beaten Path
It’s not a touristy thing, but for the traveler in you it’s a must. Do some research and seek out interesting and unusual places that don’t see much tourism.
For B2B – this means offering many more options to a prospective client and obviously more business.
And for the photographer, Always pack an Extra Camera Battery
Certainly, the ‘Travelers’ Pandemic‘ is going to be devastating.
But that’s not the end of the world; so take a deep breath, relax, enjoy and let life unfold. Don’t Worry, You Will Travel Again.
It’s a big, beautiful, exciting, and fascinating world out there but you have to be safe to explore it, and it’s not the right time currently.
STAY SAFE, do your homework, and be a Traveler – a few months later. Though the new experience will be different from your earlier experiences, it certainly will be rewarding.