The world is finally starting to become open to travel again, but the way we travel will likely never be the same. The traveler’s mindset has been changed by the pandemic, and possibly for good. Covid has forced everyone to rethink how and why they travel, as well as the impact on the places they visit.
Here are 10 of the ways Covid has changed the traveler’s mindset.
1— Multiple Locations
After being cooped up at home, travelers will be hungry for new experiences, and several at a time. Rather than camping out at a resort (which can feel like you just upgraded the way you stay in place), people are likely to go to destinations where they can visit several different places and discover brand new things.
2— Dreaming Bigger
Sitting on the travel sidelines for a year made a lot of people realize that travel isn’t guaranteed, and so now is the time to go for that big adventure they’ve always dreamed about. That could mean anything from a trip to Asia they’ve been planning or more extreme adventures like mountain climbing.
3— Staying Close to Home
For others, Covid has made them want to be more cautious as they venture out into the world. For them, closer and more familiar destinations will be more attractive. They’ll look for ways to stay in the same country or continent, and will value recommendations from family or friends who’ve gone before them.
4— A Slower Pace
Travelers don’t just have an increased appetite for new experiences, they want to be able to savor those experiences to their fullest. Destinations aren’t just to check a box and say you’ve been there. They’re for slowing down and lingering in the richness of those spaces.
5— More About the Journey
With the realization that travel includes potentially more risk and isn’t guaranteed, people are less likely to go for the social likes or prestige. Now, it’s all about the journey itself. Travelers are looking at places that deliver meaningful trips that are worth the extra effort.
6— Conscious Travel
Covid really gave people time to think about how they travel, and the result is more intentional trips. Rather than just thinking about what destination they want to see, there is a greater effort to think about things like how that trip affects the people and places travelers are visiting, how much they’re spending, and why they’re doing it.
7— Longer Stays
The rise of working from home has allowed people to think differently about how they balance work and travel. Now, the two can go hand in hand. Some will opt for full on workcations, while others will choose a more hybrid approach, spending just the time they need on work, and fully embracing vacation the rest of their time.
8— More Appreciative of What’s Local
If there’s one thing that we learned from Covid is that we are all connected in this global community. How we act and travel around the world affects everyone. What we do when we travel, from how we affect the local economy, to the cultural values we bring, and the impact we have on local ecosystems, is now a big consideration.
9— Intentional Spending
A halt in spending on a particular item forces us to reevaluate what we’re doing and why. This is especially true when it comes to post-pandemic travel. Rather than continually spending money on the next trip, people have realized they can be more intentional with their trips and their money.
10— Safety and Flexibility
The pandemic forced us all to be much more conscientious about safety, and the need to change our plans — sometimes drastically. That won’t let up anytime soon and especially when it comes to travel. People will evaluate destinations and travel packages much more closely to determine levels of risk to their personal health as well as the chances they’ll need to make last minute changes to their itinerary.
What Does This Mean for Pilgrimage?
In many ways, pilgrimage was built for many of the new ways people are traveling! At Verso, we have always considered pilgrimage to be an intentional journey through multiple destinations. An experience that is better when it is slower and contemplative. And though we have always been concerned about safety and flexibility, we’ve ramped up our consideration of these factors in every pilgrimage.
Ready to travel again in the new normal? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our many destinations, and see where you might travel to next.