The New Normal Travel:

Travelling During COVID Times

Travelling During COVID times with Ensuring Health Protocol
Travelling During COVID times with Ensuring Health Protocol

What to Expect When Travelling During COVID Times, and Ensuring a COVID Safe Vacation

The world was turned upside down when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and the virus reached all corners of the globe. Travel restrictions and closing borders followed suit as each country and region attempted to control the spread. As a result, travel and tourism fell to a standstill. Now, as the world slowly opens up again and restrictions are lifted, the prospect of a holiday is possible again. The question now becomes what will be the experience of travelling during COVID times?

In general, travel during COVID times will remain limited and will vary incrementally to become more accessible, depending on each country’s own capacity to control the pandemic within their borders. On top of that, expectations on protocols, increased documentation and more will likely create a more tedious experience for destinations and travellers alike.
But it’s not all bad news. Things are beginning to open up, and where there is a will, there is a way! So, it looks like travel 2021 is certainly on the table.
• Travel 2021
• How Will Our Travel Habits Change
• What is Conscious Travel, and How Does it Affect Travelling During COVID?
• Going on Vacation During COVID Times
• Where to Travel in 2021 During COVID Times: Is Bali an Option?
• A New Bali Experience
• When You’re Ready: Bali Vacation Packages 2021

Travel 2021: The Slow Awakening

The travel and tourism industry has taken a big hit. Being ‘dormant’ for a good amount of time has forced many industries and tourist destinations to adjust how they always operated, and new traveller expectations (as well as fears) are likely to demand a new format.

Firstly, travelling during COVID in 2021 is going to see a very slow expansion of available destinations. This is likely to start regionally, within countries, as domestic travel will help test the capacity for areas to remain safe as the industry returns.

After this, we will see travel corridors beginning to open between countries that have made an official agreement on policy, safety expectations etc. These currently exist mainly for business and diplomatic travellers but remain limited to leisure travellers.

On top of all this, there will surely be increased measurements and protocols that travellers will have to abide by and travel industries will have to implement. For the industry, this will mean reducing touchpoints, queuing, having appropriate checkpoints and testing facilities, as well as social distancing. The traveller will also have to abide by the rules at each ‘point’ in their travel, from airports to hotels, following expectations on wearing a mask, sanitation etc along the way.

The traveller should be prepared for a little more bureaucracy than before. As travelling during COVID times remains limited, each trip will require more assurances and more hoops to jump through. This means knowing what documents are required to travel, double-checking on changing visa requirements and regulations and not to mention the different quarantine regulations on arrival each country will have. This means the traveller should really do more research before going anywhere on holiday, and be as fully prepared as possible.

It goes without saying that even though travel 2021 is starting to open up, with covid-19 vaccinations being rolled out, people will still seek COVID-safe vacation destinations. Thus, controlling case numbers is still a prerequisite for any travel destination. There will certainly be expectations of good health guidelines and protocols from both the destination and the traveller. Viceroy Bali certainly can be an option when Bali reopens for travelling, as the resort is verified with Clean, Health, Security & Environment (CHSE) and all the employees “fully vaccinated”.

How Will Our Travel Habits Change?

Firstly, as travel will initially begin more locally, expect to see a shift in transportation. In Indonesia for example, domestic travel has continued but those travelling during COVID have opted less for airline travel and have instead preferred to take personal vehicles to control the environment they are in and reduce interactions with others. Many of those going on Bali holidays in 2021 thus far have driven from cities in Java.

On that note, the new normal will also see people opt to travel in smaller groups. People remain concerned with travelling in large groups, and this is likely to affect large, packaged group tours. People will not want to travel with a group of strangers and will prefer to keep a tight-knit group of friends or family.

After being confined in their homes for more than a year, people will be hungry to visit wide-open spaces once they’ll be able to travel again. This will likely see an increased interest in outdoor and adventure travel 2021.

Travellers will be seeking the fresh air of nature, from pristine beaches and majestic mountains to national parks. Again, this has been seen in Indonesia as many city-dwellers are travelling during COVID so that they can take advantage of Bali’s open spaces and natural experiences. Outdoor experiences – and not dense cities – make travellers feel safer.

Because journeys are likely to be more tedious, not to mention the possibility of quarantines at both ends, travellers will likely opt for longer holidays to make any trip more worth it. Quick three-day escapes aren’t going to be as feasible, or as worth it. We’ll see longer trips, perhaps from two weeks to even a month, as travellers make the most of a journey.

There is a serious upside to longer trips, as travellers will begin to adopt the benefits of what is called ‘slow travel’. Prior to the pandemic, travel was easy and fast, and often quantity was better than quality. Go to as many places as possible, to take photos and move on, in as short a time as possible. Longer trips will have people truly absorbing their chosen destination and seeing more of it. Using Bali as an example, quick Instagram-focused day trips were all the rage, but with slow travel, people can explore, learn and discover the island deeper with more time on their hands.

Slow travel and conscious travel are important because it emphasises connection to the local people, culture, history, culinary, arts, food and more. It relies on the idea that the purpose of a trip is to educate and retain an emotional impact, in the present and for the future, whilst remaining sustainable for local communities and the environment.

Adopting Slow and Conscious Travel

Along with adopting slow travel, we are likely to witness a growth in conscious travel as well. Conscious travel is being aware of the impact and opportunities in travel, both as hosts and visitors, and taking measures to cultivate the best possible outcomes for all. It is travelling with one’s conscience and making a connection with others in a specific place. It is when empathy and exploration go hand-in-hand. Conscious travel encourages a greater understanding of people and place, especially when you are away from home. It happens when visitors are aware of their actions.

The pandemic has sparked a lot of introspection and personal growth, and thus travellers are likely to be very mindful of where they want to travel and why. For travelling during COVID times, this may take the form of travelling to be part of something, give something back (provide value), or even learn something. With increased travel durations, this allows travellers to go beyond pure leisure experiences and immerse themselves in a cause, be it for themselves, a community or perhaps the environment.

This also goes hand-in-hand with sustainable travel, set to become a driving force in the future of the industry. As travellers become more aware of sustainable travel, they’ll be more conscious of reducing their carbon footprint. If there’s one silver lining of the pandemic is that consumers are doubling down on sustainability.

Where to Travel During COVID Times: Is Bali an Option?

With all the aforementioned points in mind, travelling during COVID depends on (a) where you’re coming from (b) where you’re planning to go (c) how much time you have to travel.

Some countries’ borders will remain closed, others will have strict quarantine measures, either to enter but also to return to your own country. So, the WHERE depends completely on what is available from the travellers’ location.
As for Bali, international borders into Indonesia remain closed for leisure tourists (at time of writing), though an exception is taken for the B211b Visa, or Business Visa, that allows entry into the country for specific purposes. However, the current plan is to open the borders in Q4-2021 (likely to a limited degree).

Tanah Lot, Bali is one of the ideal destinations for travelling during COVID Times
Tanah Lot, Bali is one of the ideal destinations for travelling during COVID Times

Is Bali ready for new normal travel?

With so many false starts to Bali’s international tourism, the industry has certainly been prepared for the opening of borders.

Many hotels and restaurants have reopened with social distancing implemented and the new normal protocols intact to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. Public areas are equipped with hand sanitiser stations and thermal scanners, and people wearing a mask when in public spaces. Touchpoints and queuing areas are reduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus. So, if you’re planning a vacation during COVID, Bali is a pretty ideal choice for a getaway.

Indonesians, as well as foreigners living in the country, have been travelling during COVID and taken advantage of COVID safe vacation experience that Bali provides. The island is also part of the priority region for COVID vaccinations, in order to secure Bali from international arrivals. Government is developing ‘green zones’ for tourists, to give tourists a safe area in which to stay and enjoy the island. These currently include Ubud, Sanur and Nusa Dua, but how these green zones will operate is yet to be explained.

A New Bali Experience: Where to Travel During COVID

When travel does open again in Bali, it will certainly be a new way to experience the island as the new normal protocols will be implemented in every place. The good news is that the huge crowds of tourists, especially the group packages and buses, will no longer be plaguing the roads and popular sights. On the other hand, a few hotels, restaurants and beach clubs may remain closed.

The island has also taken a new approach to their tourism goals by creating a focus on quality tourism instead of quantity — this means the end of mass tourism. What does that mean for the people that do come to Bali? It means enjoying a Bali vacation without the crowds.

Bali’s most famous temples, like Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, without the crowds; Bali’s best surf spots, without the crowds; climbing Mt.Batur or exploring beautiful waterfalls, without the crowds; exploring the beauty of Ubud town, without the crowds.

Even now, Bali continues to have some life, sustained by residents and domestic tourists. With a controlled level of tourism, Bali will have an ideal mix of life and excitement without the burdensome and discomfort of large groups and hordes. Bali continues to offer its amazing mixture of art and culture, museums, dining experiences, yoga and wellness, outdoor adventure and luxury lifestyle.

Viceroy Bali, one of the best resorts in Ubud with 40 luxurious pool villas
Viceroy Bali, one of the best resorts in Ubud with 40 luxurious pool villas

When You’re Ready: Bali Vacation Packages 2021

When it comes to accommodation, Viceroy Bali is one of the best resorts you can find in Ubud, or even Bali when travelling during COVID. This five-star resort is a secluded tropical sanctuary set amidst the lush jungles of Ubud. Meticulously designed to present an exquisite expression of Balinese authenticity with impeccable service and attention to detail, this resort features 40 luxurious pool villas with excellent facilities including Apéritif Restaurant & Bar, Cascades Restaurant and Akoya Spa.

As you plan your visit, you will want to know more about travelling to Bali under the new normal. Rest assured, Viceroy Bali adheres to the Ministry of Tourism’s guidelines and implements COVID-19 commitment to ensure that your stay with us is exceptional, memorable and safe.

For safety, Viceroy Bali has made a mandatory requirement for tourists (including those who have completed the prescribed dose(s) of a covid-19 vaccinations) to present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 prior to entry into Bali.
When you’re able to visit this year, you’ll be able to take advantage of the amazing 2021 Bali Vacation Packages. Viceroy Bali has multiple promotions on offer, depending on your preference, including ‘Working Remotely from Bali’ and ‘Last Minute Holiday Deal’ promos. To find out more, visit www.viceroybali.com
Now we wait in anticipation for the borders to slowly open, meanwhile, you should be planning and researching the best ways to travel during COVID, finding the next available destination for a COVID safe vacation. Consider what you can achieve in your travels to make them more meaningful and special.

Amanda Syrowatka

Director of Viceroy Bali, Amanda has worked the last decade in the hospitality industry. Amanda loves all things Bali and specializes in luxury accommodation and experiences.

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