Updated: Oct 6, 2020
It's no surprise that the travel industry has rapidly changed over the past few months. I've spent quite a bit of time reviewing tour operator's hygiene and cleanliness policies and can honestly say, travelling will be safe. You are about to see some incredibly top notch cleaning! Here are 6 things you can expect about the future of travel.
1. Cruise ships (ocean and river) will have capacity limits.
In the beginning, at least, many ships will operate at reduced capacity which will allow for physical distancing between everyone onboard. Chairs, tables and amenities will also be spaced out to allow for more distance between staff and guests.
2. Expect medical-grade air filtration on cruise ships.
While air filtration hasn't been a major cause of concern on most ships, cruise lines are making changes to make sure there are no issues with their systems. As one example, Norwegian Cruise Line is replacing their air filters with medical-grade H13 HEPA filters that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens. You can also expect to see sanitizing stations everywhere and an increased focus on cleanliness.
3. If you're sailing, you may be required to have a non-invasive screening.
Requirements will be different in different parts of the world, but passengers boarding ships (especially larger ones) will likely need to have "fit to travel" documents or temperature checks done ahead of boarding.
4. The traditional buffet will change.
Whether you're staying at a hotel, dining at a restaurant or cruising, the buffet experience will be different. Expect pre-portioned containers (you can still have as much as you want) or a server scooping food onto your plate to eliminate communal food tongs.
5. Hotels will go above and beyond.
Every touch point from check-in to check-out will evolve. Expect to use your phone for things like checking in, accessing your room with a digital key and controlling everything in your room (lights, TV etc.). Room service will be available but will likely arrive packaged and left in front of your door. And of course, housekeeping standards will be extremely high.
6. Planes will be emptier.
Along with new cleaning protocols for airplanes, you may also notice that there are some empty seats. Airlines are opting to sell every other seat in order to help with physical distancing. Some airlines may also require temperature checks before you board.
As someone who loves to travel, I personally can't wait to go somewhere again. Whether it's a domestic destination or an international adventure, I will feel safe knowing how much attention to detail tour operators, hotels and airlines are putting in to their services. It might even be nice to experience flying on emptier planes and sailing with fewer people onboard!
If you have any questions about a tour operator's hygiene and cleanliness policies, you can get in touch with us here.