• For domestic travel, families will likely continue to do so via cars and RVs. RV sales exploded in 2020 – particularly as people with little or no prior tent camping experience decided to travel and buy or rent an RV. Unfortunately, many newbies lack campground etiquette and are the ones who pull in, power up the generator and watch movies until late at night. Related: Locally, sales of cross country ski gear this winter exploded to the point that many retailers are out of stock. Earlier, local retailers would running short on some bikes.
  • For domestic travel to campgrounds, it will be necessary to reserve campsites months in advance – especially for national parks and popular state parks. Limited or no service BLM and USFS campsites will likely have greater availability, depending on where you live.
  • For those flying, a “Vaccine passport” may be, perhaps likely, required for many destinations by sometime in 2H 2021. Related: I expect many businesses to go down this path – while the U.S. government cannot mandate “immunity passports”, private businesses and organizations can. Concerns over “liability” and the desire for “Covid safe theater” will lead to this starting at some venues by spring of 2021.
  • “Covid tests” likely required for many destinations through 2021. This requirement may remain in effect longer than necessary as governments are slow to loosen restrictions. Can be expensive too – adding up to US $100 to $150 per destination per visitor.
  • Due to uncertainty around vaccine rollouts, both domestically and internationally, some experts recommend not resuming most travel until 2022, not 2021.
  • Airfares will go to premium pricing as demand returns. But that is at least a year out. Some think airlines – due to difficulties in predicting demand – may consistently over book flights. It is sort of the flip side of their eliminating change fees to encourage people to book flights now.
  • International travel will likely have extra hurdles in place for some time – depending on destination. As of December 2020, there are only 1.8 billion doses (some vaccines are 2-doses) in the manufacturing pipeline, globally for 2021 – and that’s not even 1.8 billion people, but doses. The planet has almost 8 billion people. Until vaccinations are available to all – which could be out through 2023, restrictions will remain in place for various destinations.
  • The youth oriented, low cost, travel in a backpack and stay in a youth hostel (just watch Youtube travel videos) might be impacted for some time. Something about staying in communal hostels won’t work for a while yet. Second, low cost airfares might go away for some time as demand ramps up – global airline losses are about US $157 billion this year. Still, many young people have seemingly inexhaustible resources to travel internationally with little concern about saving for the future that may never come – and might just keep doing that.

By EdwardM