How To Travel In A Post-COVID World
The landscape of travel has undoubtedly changed, but our desire to explore the world is alive and well, if a little tentative, as the planet begins to emerge from the grips of the pandemic. As countries begin to open their borders, there will be global changes in the way we travel and the process of booking holidays is going to be complex and changeable for the near future. My job, as a private travel planner, is to keep my finger on the pulse of the travel industry, to ensure that I can safely, knowledgeably and accurately advise my clients.
So, with that in mind, I’ve put together my top tips for travel in the immediate post-Covid world.
WHERE IN THE WORLD
As the world slowly begins to open its doors once more, the list of destinations that we are able to travel to is going to be ever-changing. Since the start of the pandemic, I have been in constant contact with my suppliers around the world, ensuring they are safe and well, exchanging knowledge and making sure I am up-to-date on their post-Covid strategies. Combined with regular Foreign Office updates, this will enable me to ‘map’ the best destinations to visit, and recommend hotels are suppliers that are going to support me in booking flexible yet secure holidays for my clients.
Domestic travel is going to be popular for the foreseeable, with multi-generational family getaways to the remote highlands of Scotland being just some of my current requests. Equally as popular are requests for private villas, and my personal favourites at the moment are the private residences at La Reserve, perched in a medieval village on the Cote D’Azur, just a stone’s throw from the golden sands of Pampelonne, hilltop villages and local market towns. Here, in the chic and spacious villas, you can enjoy all the luxury and exclusivity of La Reserve hotel, whilst soaking up the warmth of the Mediterranean sun in the privacy of your villa.
The very act of reaching your destination is going to take on a very different guise for some time. Where once we lingered in lounges and browsed duty free, navigating airports post-Covid will likely become a swift and perfunctory affair. Simple itineraries and direct flights can still result in spectacular holidays, be that island escapes in the Maldives or escaping to a safari lodge in the wilds of South Africa. For example, a direct flight to Male followed by a short speedboat ride will find you, toes in the sand, at the spectacular Gili Lankanfushi.
Should you wish to avoid large airports and commercial flights for a little while longer, I can happily arrange private charter flights to some of the world’s most exclusive destinations. Through my host agency 360 Private Travel, I have access to a huge network of experts in different fields – from private jet specialists to charter yacht charter companies – helping me to arrange the most seamless of logistics for my clients.
Where once we saw luxury in tranquillity and solitude, today, the word ‘isolation’ has taken on somewhat negative connotations. When the time comes to travel and you still want to maintain a sense of distance whilst spending quality time with those you love, there are so many places around the world where you can find joy in isolation once again.
Deep in the wilds of South America, Awasi are experts at luxurious isolation. Their three stunning lodges are located in the Atacama Desert, the Patagonian wilderness and overlooking the thundering Iguazu Falls. Each with only a handful of rooms and an exclusive, wilderness feel, you can travel between the lodges using private charter flights and experience pristine wilderness environments, away from the crowds.
PEACE OF MIND
In the current economic landscape, it is more important than ever to safeguard the financial side of your holidays. By partnering with 360 Private Travel, I am able to operate completely independently whilst protecting your money through their ATOL bonding and am fully insured for your peace of mind.
In addition, the strength of my relationships with my suppliers ensures that extra bit of flexibility which is so important in this time of constant change. Since the crisis began, I have successfully rescheduled, cancelled, refunded or aided with insurance claims for all my clients where necessary. Having such a select list of clients, I have been able to quickly and efficiently amend their holiday plans, making both their physical and financial safety a priority.
360 Private Travel’s absence of large overheads or staff costs makes them (and those of us who partner with them) future-proofed and able to ride out the storm.
MAKE IT COUNT
Having spent over a decade at one the UK’s top luxury tour operators and a year living and working for luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, I discovered the profound effect that a truly bespoke service has on the individual travel experience. Providing personalised, honest and completely tailored travel planning has always been at the heart of my company ethos, but now so more than ever, once I start guiding my clients through their first post-pandemic travel experiences.
Venturing out beyond the bubble that we’ve become accustomed to over the last few months is going to be eye-opening for us all, and perhaps nerve-wracking for some, and I hope to make that process as stress-free, seamless and positive as possible for my clients.
As we reaffirm the value of our health, our relationships and of the time we spend with those we love, travel once again becomes a precious commodity – a time to escape, to connect, to reflect and to explore.
If you would like some help planning a break or have some questions about where and how to travel in the current circumstances, private travel consultant, Amy Welfare will be able to help answer your questions by contacting her through her profile on Almost Essential.