Full time travelers: How did travel bloggers adapt to the COVID-19 situation?
The need to understand the impact the coronavirus has on tourism is growing, especially for those who have focused their main hobbies around traveling. In order to help shape a clearer picture, LuggageHero – the luggage network in 40 cities in Europe and North America – has put together testimonials from some of the most relevant bloggers and tourism specialists, along with quantitative analysis carried out since the beginning of the restrictions. Among them are Marius and Andreea, the team behind All4Travel, the Romanian travel tips blog – of course, when getaways are in more favorable times.
The reality is hard to accept
The adaptation to not leaving the house except when absolutely necessary was not easy for anyone, and Marius from All4Travel is no exception: “to make our time easier, we started to reorganize the image folders and we discovered that we have a lot of photos taken in previous trips that we didn’t even get to see. Or all sorts of interesting details in other photos. Another day I kept my eyes on webcams from all over the world. ” Traveling in the past to recall experiences seems to be the compromise solution for everyone during this period, this advice being mentioned by most of the interviewed travelers.
Because our holidays are normally focused on seeing different places, Daniel Krahn, CEO and founder of Urlaubsguru urges us to take advantage of this period to relive experiences through other senses: “We can cook dishes that we have discovered with pleasure in different countries or we can prepare delicious cocktails to keep our memories fresh ”.
However, in order to give thoughts a more productive direction, most bloggers in the tourism area have started to use the recently reorganized time to develop the websites they work on, in order to be better prepared when the world will travel again. Articles about previous travels, visual or functional optimizations, new partnerships (and refreshing old ones) or just remembering experiences without a more practical purpose have received additional time allocations.
Focus on today
Those who have lived the last years in a continuous adaptation, from different accommodations around the world and various menus to people and habits more difficult to assimilate, can look at this experience with some detachment, and most of them are trying to help others too, through the communities they have built. Among the worldwide bloggers` tips to make it easier to adapt to a new lifestyle are to create and maintain a daily routine and accept the lack of productivity specific to “normal” times. Most people say that they spend much more time solving some tasks than before this crisis, but they are aware that their emotional resources are no longer the same, so expectations should change. “The principle of the marathon” is suggested by Stefano, from MEL365.com: “Living the current situation is like running a marathon and hitting the wall when you reach 30-35km. Start focusing on the next 2km, don’t even think how you can ever make it to 42km. Similarly, focus on the next two weeks of lockdown, don’t think about when this crazy time is going to finish. We will all make it”.
“I would restrict yourself to only reading the news once a day, twice at most. Resist the urge to constantly check for updates!” said Lia and Jeremy from Practical Wanderlust to avoid growing worries and the need to find quick solutions to complex problems.
The future of tourism after the coronavirus
In terms of what tourism will look like, who could have more trustworthy opinions than those who have built their careers around this field? In addition to increased hygiene measures, both in means of transport and in transit or accommodation locations, many professionals in the field envisage a migration to online explorations. Augmented or virtual reality, online intercultural experiences, new ways of presenting places that we used to see with our own eyes are some of the peculiarities of tourism in the coming years.
Vicky, the coordinator of Make Time To See The World, anticipates that international flights will be harder to resume, but when it does, “the airlines will be dying to get people in the skies again and so could be offering discount fares”
Romanian professionals are also optimistic: “Tourism will certainly recover, as it recovers after each crisis. One thing I know for sure will not change: the wish to explore. It’s well stuck in our DNA. ” said Marius Dodea.
The fears of the specialists come rather from the social area, many of the participants saying that they are afraid that racism will spread, due to fake news.
„Will there be a backlash against Chinese travelers and Asians in general? I hate to bring up racism, but people will be angry after this and looking for someone to blame, justified or not. I pray that isn’t the case.” – JB, Will Fly for Food
However, they all wish for the solidarity of the others to be strong enough to counter such a possible current. Another part of the social impact will be reflected in the choices of tourists when booking different services in this field. Katie and Ben from Two Wandering Soles say that “Once it is safe to travel again, the tourism industry is going to need some love — especially the small guesthouses and locally-run tour operators. My hope is that travelers are intentional about who they book with because this will be the difference between a family-run business getting their livelihood back or shutting down for good. ” Customer loyalty will gain a much more personal touch by creating new opportunities for those who will manage to create an unforgettable atmosphere, in addition to the services usually included.
„Life, just like a plane trip, also has turbulence sometimes. But any traveler knows that this will not stop him/her from reaching his destination. ”- Marius, All4Travel