Most of us have been quarantining for almost nine months, waiting for a safe vaccine, and jones-ing to travel again. “If this year has taught us anything, it’s that travel is a privilege and not a right,” says James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel. “There is still so much uncertainty about where we will be able to travel to, but we must start reimagining how we go. We need to travel with a deeper understanding that travel is more than a holiday. It’s a way to critically support local communities around the world if we do it in the right ways.” The adventure travel company is proposing five foundations for the future of travel.
Go slow: Travelers are looking to unpack their bags just once and spend more time in a single destination away from crowds, Think of it as a Retreat. You can choose a destination just a few hours’ drive or a short flight from home. But the intrepid adventurer prefers an exotic destination and might want to fly to a quaint and safe little island such Lastovo Island on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia.
In this small village, locals still catch fresh seafood for dinner and make their own wine with locally grown grapes. Swim in the glistening waters of the Adriatic or wander around the rustic stone port. Lastovo was once occupied by the Venetians, and there is stunning Venetian architecture everywhere. Soak up the history and culture. Take a fishing trip with a local fisherman and enjoy a seafood lunch. Try an island bike ride or a wine-tasting trip. But do it all slowly and really savor the ambience. This is, after all, a retreat.
Go into the wild: Now is the time to plan for that life-changing bucket list trip. Antarctica, the last of the untamed landscapes, allows you to get up close with different breeds of penguins, elephant seals, whales and more. Or, try the Galapagos Islands to watch spiky marine iguanas, albatross takeoffs and the mating dance of the blue-footed booby. Prefer the Big Five? Then choose an African Safari and feast your eyes on the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo. And for a close encounter of the Gorilla kind, go see these majestic animals on a Gorilla trek in Uganda.
Go your way: With travel restrictions, customization and flexibility are key. Prefer to travel in your own little pod or perhaps, solo? Try a Tailor-Made trip and see what you want on your terms. Think Egypt for a private trip to the Pyramids, ride a camel and shop the souks in Morocco, visit the Temple to the Sun in Mexico – the choices are limitless. Spin the globe and decide what you want: culture? History? Adventure? The world is yours for the taking.
Go on a human-powered adventure:, Last year, active travel grew by 42% globally, as people embraced healthier and more environmentally friendly ways to get from point A to point B, offsetting 46.2 million metric tons of CO2. Many of those trips were walking, though many were also by bike. In New York City, it’s almost impossible to buy a new bicycle, they are in such hot demand. When it comes to biking or walking with scenery, there are countless places to choose in which travelers can get around by foot or bike on dedicated walking/bike paths, forest trails, and former railway tracks converted to pedestrian and biking paths. Imagine a cycling trip through England’s Peak District, visiting Britain’s first national park, exploring forested valleys and quaint stone villages threaded by trails. Drop into friendly local pubs and mingle with the local communities, try a quintessentially British meal, and bed down in a comfortable inn surrounded by rolling green hills and steep peaks.
Go to regenerate, not just sustain: The only good news about Covid-19 is that the tourism industry expects a post-vaccine return to travel that’s greener, smarter and less crowded than before March 2020. The new buzzword is “regenerative travel,” leaving a place better than you found it. Sustainable travel connotes eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility, to make sure money spent on a trip remains in the community. Regenerative tourism says, let’s make it better for future generations. This includes buildings that meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED standards. When you’re ready to travel again, choose a company that has focused its efforts on regeneration.
“In 2021, travelers around the world will continue to be faced with varying levels of restrictions and limited destinations they can visit,” says Intrepid Travel’s James Thornton. “Whether it’s closer to home or further abroad, travel has changed forever, and together we must create a new normal, focused on rebuilding travel better than it was before.”