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Why I Hope This Pandemic Changes Our Attitude Towards Travel


by Kiley Boutwell



Travel has always been an integral part of our lives, allowing us to explore new places, experience different cultures, and create treasured memories. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the travel industry and our perception of travel. As the world slowly begins to recover and travel restrictions are lifted, it is crucial that we reflect on the lessons learned during this time and consider how we can change our attitude towards travel.


Instead of simply rushing to check off destinations on our bucket lists, it’s time to embrace a more mindful and sustainable approach to travel. This article explores various ways in which we can adapt and evolve our travel habits, not only to preserve the environment and support local communities but also to enhance our own travel experiences.


From embracing local exploration to rethinking business travel, there are several key areas where our attitude towards travel can be positively transformed. By understanding and implementing these changes, we have an opportunity to create a more sustainable, meaningful, and fulfilling travel future.


Embracing Local Exploration

One silver lining of the pandemic is that it has prompted a shift towards appreciating the beauty and wonders of our own backyard. With travel restrictions and limited options for international travel, many people have turned to exploring local destinations within their own country or region.


This newfound focus on local exploration presents an opportunity to discover hidden gems and support local businesses that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. From charming small towns to breathtaking natural wonders, there is so much to explore just a few hours’ drive away.


By embracing local exploration, we can immerse ourselves in the culture and history of our own communities, gain a deeper appreciation for the places we call home, and actively contribute to the recovery of local economies. Whether it’s hiking trails, visiting local museums, or enjoying regional cuisines, there are countless ways to experience the richness and diversity of our local areas.


Moreover, local exploration allows for more sustainable travel practices. With shorter travel distances, we can reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to minimizing the environmental impact of our journeys. This is an important consideration as we strive to create a more sustainable future for travel.


So, instead of yearning for far-off destinations, let’s take the time to explore the hidden treasures within reach. By embracing local exploration, we can satisfy our wanderlust while supporting our local communities and treading lightly on the planet.


Sustainable Travel Choices

As we reflect on our attitude towards travel, sustainability must be at the forefront of our decision-making process. The pandemic has highlighted the fragile nature of our planet and the urgent need to protect it.


One way to make a positive impact is by making sustainable travel choices. This can be done by opting for eco-friendly accommodations, such as hotels or resorts that prioritize energy conservation, waste reduction, and water-saving initiatives. Look for certifications like LEED or Green Globe to ensure your accommodations meet high sustainability standards.


When it comes to transportation, consider alternatives to air travel whenever possible. Explore train or bus options for shorter distances, or even consider walking or biking for local exploration. If air travel is necessary, choose airlines that have implemented carbon offset programs to reduce the environmental impact of your journey.


Another crucial aspect of sustainable travel is being mindful of your consumption habits. Reduce single-use plastic by carrying a reusable water bottle and shopping bag, and support local businesses that prioritize sustainable practices.


Engage in sustainable tourism activities that promote conservation and support local communities. Seek out opportunities to volunteer or participate in community-based projects that contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage.


By making sustainable travel choices, we not only minimize our impact on the environment but also support the well-being of destination communities. It is our responsibility to preserve the beauty and integrity of the places we visit, ensuring that future generations can also experience and enjoy them.


Let us strive for a future where sustainability is intrinsic to our travel choices, where we leave a positive imprint on the destinations we explore, and where the local communities benefit from our presence.


Appreciating the Beauty of Nature

The pandemic has taught us the value of spending time outdoors and reconnecting with nature. As we rethink our attitude towards travel, let’s make a conscious effort to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.


Exploring pristine landscapes, hiking through lush forests, and gazing at breathtaking vistas not only rejuvenates our minds and bodies but also deepens our connection to the planet. Nature has a way of grounding us and reminding us of the wonders and fragility of the world we inhabit.


When planning our travel itineraries, let’s prioritize destinations that offer opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature. National parks, nature reserves, and protected areas are excellent options for experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the great outdoors.


But it’s not just about seeking out picturesque landscapes; it’s about fostering a deep appreciation for the natural world that sustains us. Take the time to learn about local flora and fauna, understand the importance of biodiversity, and engage in responsible wildlife encounters that prioritize the well-being of the animals involved.


Photography can also be a powerful tool for capturing the beauty of nature and sharing it with others. Use your camera to not only document your travel experiences but also to raise awareness about environmental conservation and the need to protect our natural heritage.


Through appreciating the beauty of nature, we not only gain personal fulfillment but also develop a stronger sense of responsibility towards our environment. Let’s prioritize destinations that allow us to reconnect with nature, leaving us in awe of its wonders and motivated to protect it for future generations.


Rediscovering the Importance of Health and Wellness

The pandemic has made us realize the significance of prioritizing our health and well-being. As we reshape our attitude towards travel, let’s rediscover the importance of incorporating health and wellness into our travel experiences.


Travel can be a transformative experience, offering opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. By choosing destinations and activities that promote health and wellness, we can enhance our travel experiences and return home feeling refreshed and revitalized.


Consider destinations known for their natural healing properties, such as hot springs or wellness retreats nestled in serene surroundings. Engage in activities like yoga, meditation, and spa treatments that promote physical and mental wellbeing.


Exploring outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and swimming not only provides a great way to stay active but also allows us to immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature. Whether it’s a challenging mountain climb or a leisurely stroll along the beach, these activities contribute to our overall well-being.


Additionally, try incorporating local wellness traditions and practices into your travel experiences. Whether it’s participating in a traditional tea ceremony or learning about local healing traditions, these cultural interactions can offer valuable insights into different approaches to health and wellness.


Moreover, prioritize self-care during your travels. Take time to rest, nourish your body with healthy local cuisine, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Remember, travel is not just about ticking off attractions from a checklist, but also about taking care of ourselves and finding balance.


By recognizing the importance of health and wellness in our travel experiences, we can not only enjoy more fulfilling journeys but also develop habits that contribute to our long-term well-being. Let’s make conscious choices to prioritize our health and wellness as we embark on our travel adventures.


Cultivating a Stronger Sense of Community

The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of community and the strength that comes from supporting one another. As we reshape our attitude towards travel, let’s cultivate a stronger sense of community in the places we visit.


One way to do this is by seeking out opportunities for meaningful interactions with locals. Engage in conversations, learn about their culture and way of life, and support local businesses and artisans. By doing so, we contribute to the economic growth of the community and foster connections that go beyond superficial tourist experiences.


Participate in community-based initiatives and volunteer organizations that work towards the betterment of local communities. This could involve participating in a beach cleanup, teaching English to children, or assisting with conservation projects. By giving back to the communities we visit, we create a reciprocal relationship that benefits everyone involved.


Embrace the concept of “slow travel,” allowing yourself ample time to fully immerse yourself in a destination. Rather than trying to cover as many places as possible in a short time, take the time to get to know the community, learn their customs, and make genuine connections.


Stay in locally-owned accommodations, dine at family-owned restaurants, and support local markets. By choosing local businesses over global chains, we contribute to the well-being of the community and help preserve its unique character.


Additionally, be mindful of the impact of your actions on the community. Respect local customs, traditions, and the environment. Be responsible and conscious of your waste, reduce your water consumption, and choose sustainable transportation options.


By cultivating a stronger sense of community, we forge connections that transcend geographical boundaries. We become ambassadors for the places we visit, sharing the stories and experiences gained with others, and encouraging them to foster their own connections and appreciation for diverse cultures.


Let us approach our travels with a sense of openness, curiosity, and respect, embracing the communities we encounter and leaving a positive impact behind.


Prioritizing Quality over Quantity in Travel Experiences

In the age of social media and bucket lists, there has been a tendency to focus on ticking off as many destinations as possible. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to reevaluate our approach to travel and prioritize quality over quantity in our experiences.


Rather than rushing from one place to another, let’s slow down and immerse ourselves in the destinations we visit. Spend more time in each location, allowing for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the local culture, history, and way of life.


Instead of trying to see every landmark or attraction, choose a few key experiences that truly resonate with you. Whether it’s exploring a bustling local market, connecting with the indigenous community, or enjoying a sunset at a scenic spot, these meaningful experiences create lasting memories.


Invest in activities and tours that align with your interests and passions. This could mean taking a cooking class to learn about local cuisine, embarking on a wildlife safari to witness animals in their natural habitat, or seeking out cultural performances that showcase traditional arts and music.


By prioritizing quality over quantity, we are able to fully appreciate and engage with the destinations we visit. We can escape the tourist traps and instead connect with the essence of a place.


In addition, this mindful approach allows for more sustainable travel. It reduces our carbon footprint as we minimize the need for multiple flights and long-distance travel. It also ensures that our tourism dollars are spent in a way that directly benefits the local economy and promotes the preservation of cultural and natural heritage.


Let’s remember that travel is not about the number of countries visited or the number of photos taken, but rather about the experiences and connections we make along the way. By prioritizing quality over quantity, we can create more meaningful and enriching travel experiences that leave a lasting impact on our lives.


Enhancing Digital Travel Experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in various aspects of our lives, including travel. While nothing can replace the joy of physical travel, we can enhance our experiences through digital platforms and tools, especially during times when travel is limited.


One way to enhance digital travel experiences is by utilizing virtual tours and online resources. Many museums, historical sites, and landmarks offer virtual tours that allow us to explore their wonders from the comfort of our own homes. We can immerse ourselves in the rich history and cultural heritage of these destinations through detailed online exhibits and educational videos.


Travel planning has also become more accessible and convenient with the help of digital tools. Online travel platforms provide a wealth of information, from accommodation options to local attractions and activities. We can read reviews, compare prices, and make informed decisions about our travel plans, ensuring that we have the best possible experience when we do get the chance to visit in person.


Social media platforms serve as a valuable source of inspiration and connection with fellow travelers. We can follow travel influencers, join travel communities, and engage in conversations about our favorite destinations. Through sharing our own experiences and seeking recommendations from others, we can create a sense of camaraderie and expand our knowledge about different cultures and places.


Additionally, digital platforms allow us to connect with local experts and guides who can provide personalized recommendations and insights. Virtual experiences, such as online cooking classes, language lessons, or cultural workshops, enable us to gain a deeper understanding of a destination’s traditions and practices.


Furthermore, technology can help us minimize our environmental impact while traveling. Digital maps and navigation apps reduce the need for paper maps, while e-tickets and digital payments eliminate the use of physical tickets and receipts. Using eco-friendly travel apps can also help us find sustainable transportation options and make eco-conscious choices during our journeys.


While virtual experiences cannot fully replicate the thrill of being physically present in a destination, they can complement and enrich our travel experiences. By embracing digital tools, we can expand our horizons, gain knowledge, and foster connections with people and places around the world.


Rethinking Business Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations and professionals to reevaluate the need for extensive business travel. As we reshape our attitude towards travel, it is essential to rethink and redefine our approach to business travel.


One of the key changes is embracing remote work and virtual meetings as viable alternatives to in-person meetings. The advancement of technology has made it possible to conduct effective virtual meetings, reducing the need for unnecessary travel. By opting for virtual meetings, businesses can save time, reduce costs, and minimize their carbon footprint.


When face-to-face meetings are necessary, consider the frequency and purpose of the travel. Is it possible to schedule fewer trips and consolidate multiple meetings into a single visit? By planning and optimizing travel, organizations can reduce travel-related expenses and minimize the impact on employees’ work-life balance.


Another aspect to consider is the well-being of employees. Extensive business travel can take a toll on physical and mental health, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. By reevaluating the necessity of travel and providing support to employees through resources and policies, organizations can prioritize the well-being of their workforce.


Additionally, businesses can explore the concept of “bleisure” travel, where employees combine business trips with leisure activities. This approach allows employees to enjoy some downtime, explore new destinations, and return to work feeling rejuvenated. It also creates opportunities for team-building and bonding outside the office environment.


Lastly, organizations can consider implementing sustainable travel practices for business trips. This includes choosing eco-friendly accommodation, supporting local businesses, and offsetting carbon emissions through responsible programs. By incorporating sustainability into business travel, companies can contribute to global efforts in reducing the environmental impact of travel.


As we navigate the new normal, it’s crucial for businesses to prioritize the health and well-being of their employees, optimize travel plans, and embrace technology to make business travel more efficient and sustainable. Furthermore, utilizing virtual collaboration tools and embracing remote work can lead to a more flexible and balanced approach, benefiting both employees and the organization.



The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant challenges and disruptions to the travel industry. However, it has also provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our attitude towards travel and make positive changes for the future.


As we move forward, it’s important to embrace local exploration, supporting our own communities and minimizing our carbon footprint. By prioritizing sustainable travel choices, we can contribute to the preservation of the environment and the well-being of local communities.


Appreciating the beauty of nature allows us to reconnect with the planet and develop a stronger sense of responsibility towards its preservation. Rediscovering the importance of health and wellness empowers us to prioritize self-care and find balance in our travel experiences.


Cultivating a stronger sense of community leads to meaningful connections with locals, supporting their economies and fostering cultural understanding. Prioritizing quality over quantity in our travel experiences allows us to fully immerse ourselves in destinations and create lasting memories.


While physical travel may be limited at times, embracing digital platforms enhances our travel experiences, providing opportunities for inspiration, connection, and learning. And as we rethink business travel, leveraging technology and prioritizing employee well-being create a more sustainable and balanced approach.


In conclusion, let us seize this moment to reshape our attitude towards travel by incorporating these principles into our future journeys. By doing so, we can create a more mindful, sustainable, and fulfilling travel experience for ourselves and future generations.