Who would have believed a year on from the first UK lockdown we would still be living under coronavirus restrictions? We are all hopeful the vaccine roll-out will allow life to open-up in the coming months. But, with international travel grounded, life doesn’t look to be getting back to normal any time soon for the travel industry.
You don’t have to give up on the idea of having a break during 2021, but you may have to get used to the fact that your holidays will be a little different, for the next few months at least.
So, if you’re thinking of booking a getaway, here are 6 ways travel will look different in Summer 2021.
- Staycations will be popular
No-one can predict how international travel will work this year and perhaps even further into the future. This means that if you want a holiday, you will need to look closer to home. As many people experienced last year, a staycation can be an excellent choice for a summer break. And this is certain to be the case for 2021. Expect campsites to welcome lots of first-time campers, and an increase in people looking for cottages and holiday villas to rent during the summer months.
Ross Grieve, Managing Director of the 5 star spa resort, Seaham Hall in County Durham says: “The desire to holiday at home has never been stronger and, in 2021, there will be a thirst to explore the UK and all it has to offer.
“At Seaham Hall we have the luxury of space – 37 glorious acres – and being situated right on the Durham Heritage Coast (Seaham Beach is just a five-minute walk away) means that our guests benefit from the sea air, with effortless social distancing. 2021 will see more guests exploring our blissful rural surroundings, whether experiencing one of the many local cycle routes, or pulling on their hiking boots to enjoy the coastal footpath, an 11-mile stretch through spectacular grasslands and magical denes, from Seaham to Crimdon”.
It is expected that people will travel further for staycations and stay longer than in previous years, allowing guests to enjoy more of the local area surrounding hotels and holiday lets.
2. Working from home gives option of a workation
As much as we appreciate the comforts of our own homes, living and working within the same four walls, week in, week out, can leave people with a sense of living at work, rather than working from home. Matt Brayley, Marketing Director of holidaycottages.co.uk explains: “Almost 47% of those in employment are working from home, at least in part, according to the Office for National Statistics. And, as long as people are able to do their jobs remotely, many employers, in line with guidance, are happy for this to continue.
“A change of scenery is, to many, more welcome than ever. Blending work with a proper break – a coastal walk at lunchtime, a morning run in the countryside, or perhaps splitting a week away between work time and holiday time – is now a viable option that can keep spirits high and leave people feeling refreshed.”
3. Bookings will be more flexible
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our plans can change, and quite dramatically, at the last minute. This is especially true when it comes to any holiday plans that we may have. To help overcome some of the uncertainty experienced in the last year, travellers have come to expect more flexibility when booking holidays. This can be anything from facilitating changes to the date of travel to allowing people to cancel their break altogether — all without having to lose a deposit or make an extra payment.
4. Last-minute holidays will be the norm
While uncertainty is increasing the need to cancel holidays last minute, it is also leading to more people choosing to book holidays last minute too. Last bookings leave little time for planning. So as specialist tour operators who can offer expert advice, tailored itineraries and reassurance on flexibility and refunds should the trip have to be cancelled.
5. Covid passports are possible
We need to do whatever we can to stop the spread of Covid-19, and whilst some of us may not entirely agree with the idea that you have to prove you are Covid free or that you have had your vaccination in order to travel, there is a good chance that this is going to happen. As all countries struggle to get the pandemic under control we need to be prepared that travel outside of our home country will mean that we can show we are not going to cause the outbreak to worsen.
6. Social distancing sparks desire to exploring the great outdoors and reconnect with nature
After being cooped up at home on and off for the past 12 months, it makes sense that one thing we are all going to want to try and do more is to explore the outside world. We don’t expect Covid to curb people’s sense of adventure but we can expect that an increased desire to seek those adventures in the great outdoors. So expect to see holidays in rural areas, those in the countryside and those close to the sea, rise in popularity. If you are thinking of booking into national parks, then this is the year for it!