Now that summer season is in full swing, two things are clear: post-COVID cabin fever is driving people outdoors and travellers are opting to stay local-ish (but there are always exceptions to the rule!).
With as many restrictions as there are on indoor activities, the great outdoors is the common thread through this summer’s rising travel trends. If you’re ready for some fresh air but need a bit of inspiration, check out these getaway ideas that are starting to catch on nationwide.
Keep in mind: While we are all eager to escape and start exploring again, we are still in a global health crisis. Before heading out on your next trip, please check the local guidelines and follow the health and safety measures in place. Continue to wear your mask and wash your hands frequently wherever you are.
1. Road trips a little closer to home
Road trips are a right of passage when it comes to summer travel. There’s no better way to explore somewhere new than by the freedom of a car. But these days, most people are keeping it a little more local, choosing to cruise to beaches, hiking trails and national parks in their own state or country. And we support that! It’s sustainable travel at its best and your tourism dollars will help support the local economy.
Want to spice up an otherwise ordinary road trip? Satisfy your sense of adventure by rolling the dice or flipping a coin. Heads you go east, tails you go west. Roll a four and you’ll stop in four more exits (or after four more songs or in forty miles or forty minutes).
2. Into the wild, whether camping or glamping
This is hands down the best option for groups. Whether you gather together a handful of friends or even 10, a large campsite (or glampsite) makes it easy to be physically distant while enjoying each other’s company. During the day, you can hike or relax in hammocks. And at night, circle around a fire and catch up on all that you’ve missed the last few months.
3. Turning home life into road life
You might associate RV travel with the retired crowd, but it’s making a comeback during this pandemic. With an RV, you’ll enjoy the same freedom of a car but be a lot less reliant on hospitality services. Because of that, RVs may help lessen any unease you may feel about staying in a hotel or eating a sit-down meal at a restaurant.
If you’re able to work remotely, an RV can be both your home and office on wheels. Just travel with an Internet hotspot and you’ll get a taste of the digital nomad life without having to give up your real home base.
4. Making full use of your visa
Weekend city breaks will mostly be shelved until after the pandemic calms down. Those lucky enough to be able to work remotely are considering destinations where they can stay for longer periods than they’d normally consider. What might typically be a long-weekend trip to a nearby country will now be two weeks or even a month.
There are risks involved in travelling right now, no doubt about it. Those who are willing to board a flight aren’t going to do it for a short getaway. If you can work and explore a new city, then flex that visa and try to enjoy remote work in a new setting.
5. The reunions you’ve only ever talked about
After months of it, social distancing even gets boring for introverts. We crave interaction and we miss spending time with our family and friends. That’s leading many to start planning the reunions that have for years only existed in concept. We’re going to see a surge in group trips, from multi-generational families meeting at a sleepy beach town to a bunch of friends doing a hotel floor takeover or that lake trip they always dreamed of.
6. Vacation in isolation
Those who have the cash to spend will find that it’ll go far during these times. Many accommodations, especially those in the luxury category, are hurting for guests. As a result, special promotions and reduced rates have been introduced to help attract travellers. For those who can afford them, exclusive resorts, hotel takeovers, island buy-outs and quiet private villas will be go-to options, not to mention helicopter or private plane transfers to get travellers to their destination.
7. Wellness trips for your emotional and mental health
Yoga retreats were trending for a while there, but they had fallen off many people’s radars in the time just before the pandemic. They’re due for a resurgence now, though. More than ever, we need self-care, and wanderlusters who combine self-care with a short trip will reap more benefits than a spa day at home could ever provide.
Wellness trips are meant to help you focus on your health while freeing your mind from the stressors of news headlines and everyday life. You’ll power down your phone and laptop so you can get lost in anything from kayaking to knitting to listening to music while swaying on a hammock.
8. Next-gen PPE in the club, anyone?
“Coachella cancelled” are two words we never thought we’d hear together. But it might actually still be possible to safely enjoy music festivals, party in Montreal, or experience any live performance. The question is: Are you willing to don a hazmat suit on the dance floor or fashionable face wear in an open-air amphitheater? We’re not sure how much these ideas will actually catch on, but they are without a doubt in production (just check out “the future of human interaction”).
It’s going to be a big year for domestic travel, especially as entry restrictions add uncertainty to international trips. Although travel looks different these days, the bright side is that it’s still possible to get away and disconnect. Use this time as an opportunity to discover nearby destinations that you’ve put off visiting over the years. No matter how you choose to get away this summer, stay safe out there!
Discover where you can go
Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map. You can also sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.
Want to read more?
As you plan your post-COVID getaway, read the latest travel advice from our team of in-house experts: