What Are The New Travel Preferences In The New Normal?
“I’ve always vacationed before the pandemic. But I feel, only after the pandemic have I actually started traveling.”
This response by one of our followers beautifully captures the essence of everything you’re going to read next.
No one would contest this - the pandemic changed the way we think about life.
From the smaller aspects of our daily lives to the big picture, we relooked at every single thing. All those changed perspectives were bound to reflect in the habits of our post-pandemic lives and many agree that most of them have. It’s safe to say this includes travel, as we’ve seen it first-hand! Thanks to the trips we hosted since the last year when lockdown relaxations were introduced.
So, first, let’s cover the basic and expected changes (no prizes for guessing!).
Where there is hygiene, there is me!
Almost all travelers vouch for this today. The pandemic emphasized the need for cleanliness like never before and it’s going to stay. Accommodations that prioritize hygiene over everything else are preferred by most travelers. If hotels/restaurants/resorts do not have crystal clear answers to what they’re doing for customer safety, they’re going to have a tough time attracting new visitors.
That’s why when we select properties for our flappers, one of the top criteria we look for is hygiene. It was always a deal-breaker for us, and it continues to be so.
Keep me away from the crowd!
Yes, most of the places allow only vaccinated travelers, but this does not mean people are ready to be among a massive crowd anytime soon. Now a days, people like traveling in small groups where social distancing can be maintained easily. No wonder why beaches, forests, and wildlife reserves are gaining more popularity! They offer enriching experiences in isolation. The repulsion towards crowded places is so much that one of our followers said she would avoid crowded places even if that meant missing out on a popular tourist attraction!
Now we come to the more interesting part. Certain travel trends were predicted by travel experts in 2020, and after observing the recent travel patterns, we can conclude those predictions have come true.
Let’s see what they are.
Travel the world, not against it!
In the last two years, wellness and sustainable travel became quite popular. People found time to reflect on the effects of their choices on the environment and this included the negative consequences of mass tourism. 79% of travelers agreed they would opt for sustainable travel post-covid, and owners of huge travel companies attest to this fact. Now, along with inquiries about the destination, customers want to know how the brand takes initiatives to give back to the planet. People don’t want to just travel to offbeat destinations, but also prefer options that reduce their travel footprints and help the local communities.
To know more about the rise of eco-conscious travelers and the concept of sustainable travel, listen to episode 7 of our podcast Brewing Travel Shots Season 2 where Zinal Doshi, founder of The Flapper Life converses with Shobha Mohan, a sustainability patron and the founder partner of RARE India.
Travel for meaning, not just for the gram!
That’s what a 33-year-old marketing executive told us when we asked what changed travel-wise after the pandemic. People wish to travel to places that make sense to them, and not just because everyone’s going there. They’re okay with taking extended vacations (perks of remote working), exploring places in depth, traveling at a slow pace, and enjoying the journey as much as the destination. Just flying from home to the destination and returning home in 3 days is not preferred anymore.
Some also wish to use this time to accomplish their once-in-a-lifetime adventure dream. For example, in September 2021, a well-known travel company claimed the Everest Base Camp trek was their second top-selling trip!
Travel to meet and greet the locals!
According to Fabio Carbone, a tourism academic, post-covid travels would focus more on human connections than destinations. And our flappers who we recently took to Amritsar and Dharamshala agree! Everyone respectfully engaged with the locals, volunteered to help them in any way possible, enjoyed the local homemade food, explored places with them, and so on. To give a flair of the local life to our flappers, we include unique activities like the pottery workshop we conducted during our Dharamkot trip.
Travel to rural areas is an upcoming trend, and women like Kavya Saxena, founder of Craftpotli are trying to make it safer and more accessible. Zinal explores this topic with her in the 9th episode of our podcast.
One more key change that we see in our trips is how people are prioritizing their mental health. 24% of Indian travelers claimed they would choose brands that give importance to mental health on their journey. This means travel companies need to completely understand their travelers even before the trip commences so that they can tailor-craft a trip especially according to their needs.
We make it a point to include activities that are suitable for our flappers and choose transport and stay which are extremely comfortable. A flapper who joined our one day hideaway trip in Chennai said how she was anxious to travel with a group of strangers, but she was pleasantly surprised with how the day turned out to be. Thanks to the postcard workshop, the place, the stay, and the wonderful fellow flappers!
We for one have always ensured sustainable and experiential travel for our flappers. These are exciting times for us as now even travelers look forward to such experiences. We at The Flapper Life can’t wait to host you or your women tribe and welcome you to post-pandemic travel with comfort, ease, and of course, a lot of fun!
Freelance Content Writer & Copywriter
After a short stint as a software engineer at Capgemini, she decided to go back to her first love - writing. She started her journey as a content writer in 2019 and considers it one of the best decisions of her life. Today, she cannot imagine doing something else for a living than coming up with the right words that will justify and bring to life her clients’ ideas. While her agency experience gave her exposure to writing for multiple sectors, her heart lies in topics related to women, mental health, career counselling, employee wellbeing, travel, personal development, and lifestyle. If she's not staring at the blank Google doc waiting for inspiration to strike, you'll either find her lost in a book or practising for her next dance routine!