How to Rock Post Lockdown Travel

The travel industry has faced a disruption of historic proportions. So what happens when restrictions are eased and people can travel again? Travel professionals, travel enthusiasts, and sports fans sound off on post-lockdown travel in an exclusive round table discussion.

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Travel Show Host Rahul Jagtiani of India is joy-riding in the Eastern United States. Photo Credit: Selfie.

COVID-19: the Impact on Travel

Slowly but surely, travel restrictions are being relaxed. And eventually, they will come down altogether.

But will things ever get back to normal? Will travelers throw caution to the wind and book the first available flight? Or will they take a wait and see attitude?

And what about transport? Will travelers prefer cars and trains to planes? And how about cruising? Will they give oceanliners a wide berth?

Meanwhile, what kinds of precautions will they take when they travel? Will they prefer to stay at major hotel chains?  And what about smaller boutique hotels? Or AirBNBs?

These are some of the post-lockdown travel questions I asked a group of influential travel professionals.

In addition, I interviewed some passionate travelers in a variety of other professions. What are their plans for post-lockdown travel?

Finally, since I am a passionate sports fan, I asked three other die-hard sports fans if they planned to travel as much after travel restrictions are eased as they did before.

My questions were based on a survey Preferred Hotels & Resorts took of the members its loyalty program – I Prefer Hotel Rewards. I modified the questions slightly, adding a few of my own.

My interviewees hail from the four corners of the earth! Australia, Canada, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States are all represented.

The Travel Professionals

From a popular travel show host in India to an award-winning travel photographer in Sweden to a world-renowned travel blogger in the Philippines, travel professionals are likely to be among the first to travel when travel restrictions are eased.

I interviewed these three key travel influencers together with two tour guides from Europe and a hotel representative from Australia on how they plan to rock post lockdown travel.

Some of their answers might surprise you!

The Travel Show Host from India

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Rahul Jagtiani boating on a river in Langkawi, Malaysia. Photo Credit: Selfie.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the coronavirus lockdown?

Yes, my travel plans have been affected. Since I have my own travel series, I travel overseas fairly often (I live in India). So about four to five trips of mine, from Thailand and Bali to possibly France and Seychelles, have been postponed.

However, I see things easing up a bit by October. Unless there is a second wave of the virus. I don’t think there will be a vaccine this year. Yet with adequate precautions, I’d look to travel.

How soon after COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to take your next trip? Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

My first international destination is likely to be Bali. It’s my job to be the first one out of the door and ‘influence’ the rest to travel.

But I’d understand if immediately people would prefer to take it slow and stick to a destination which is driving distance from their home. This would build up their confidence to travel.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

I’d stick to hotels that subscribe to the theory of ‘safety is the new luxury’. So health and hygiene standards are extremely important.

Hence, I’d choose a top-class boutique property. Or a big brand name hotel. Even if it costs a bit more.

I would want to support home stays and local property owners as long as the health and safety aspects are taken care of.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the pandemic, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

I have been on an ocean cruise. But I don’t think I’d be comfortable with them unless there is a vaccine out.

Being in air-conditioned confined spaces for an extended period of time with hundreds of people isn’t quite what I’d look forward to. With a vaccine in place, though, this industry too will eventually find its feet again.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

I usually travel with a crew for work or with a friend or partner when it’s a personal trip. Often I combine a bit of both.

Bio
Rahul Jagtianian entrepreneur and founder of Plush Plaza, a company specializing in travel and lifestyle accessories Rahul is also the producer and host of the award-winning travel series, Plush Places. 

The Travel Photographer from Sweden

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Lola Akinmade Åkerström at Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Photo Credit: Liam Neal, Intrepid Travel.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the COVID-10 lockdown?

I was about to head to St. Petersburg, Russia, on a feature photography assignment for a magazine when borders started getting closed.

And I also canceled two trips to the USA and postponed several others. Also, I was supposed to head back to Australia this year. But that trip has also been postponed.

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to take your next trip? Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

As soon as it is safe to do so. I still have travel plans for July to Portugal that will most likely be canceled. But I do have two trips in September to speak at two conferences still on the schedule for now.

Would you take any special precautions?

Absolutely! From vigorous cleaning regiments around me, on the plane, and other surfaces I come in contact with to making sure I regularly wash my hands and use sanitizers.

I will continue to practice social distancing for as long as I can. As someone who is a hugger, this has been very difficult.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

I do enjoy staying at hotels, and my two favorite brands are Marriott and Four Seasons.

Many hotels are already implementing precautionary routines in place. And so, I would trust staying at a hotel rather than renting someone’s house.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

My next trip to Portugal in July is supposed to be with my family. But it’s looking like that might have to be postponed.

Other than that, I usually travel solo on my assignments and for my speaking engagements.

Bio

Lola Akinmade Åkerström – a Sweden-based bestselling author, award-winning travel writer, and National Geographic photographer, Lola contributes to many high profile publications. She is a co-founder of NordicTB, which works with influencer marketing and content creation for travel brands and destinations. In addition, she is the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm. And she will soon launch an academy of courses.

The Travel Blogger from the Philippines

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Anton Dias at Crimson Resort, Station Zero, Boracay, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anton, Our Awesome Planet.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the pandemic?

Yes, I was supposed to go to TBEX Catania in Sicily, Italy, before the entire country was on lockdown. We also canceled our travel campaigns around the region.

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

It will take a while because airports and planes are where the virus usually circulates. We are gearing up for local road trips or travel to quaint places.

Would you take any special precautions?

Certainly, we are boosting our immune system by doing a 28-day body transformation. And we will probably travel to places with just the family to beach destinations first.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)?

Domestically certainly, and I want to support local companies, local communities, and local destinations that were severely impacted by the Covid-19 situation.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

Planning to go to an escape in Tagaytay or a beach trip in Batangas, which is around two hours road trip from Manila.

We want to get a breather but in a safe destination away from the crowds in the city.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

We want to go on a glamping or family outdoor type of lodging near the sea.

Do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

Yes. I’m more concerned about the ventilation and sanitation protocols of the hotel. In addition, I’ll probably stay away from high-density hotels but will support the smaller ones.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

Car road trip definitely.  And next would be boat or more a intimate cruise.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise?

Yes.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

Yes, but the smaller ones and not too crowded. Also, if I can be sure that the passengers are not COVID carriers.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

My wife.

Bio

Anton Diazfounder of OurAwesomePlanet.com, Anton created the blog as a love letter to his four sons—Aidan, Joshua, Raphael, and Yugi. Started in 2005, it is one of the top food and travel blogs in the Philippines. Recognized globally, it is like a continuing autobiography of his family’s food and travel adventures. His advocacy is to promote the ‘Food and Travel Secrets of a Destination’. And to inspire Filipinos to live an awesome life.

The Tour Guide from Croatia 

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Doris Kunkera taking a group of tourists to a tour of Zagreb, Croaitia.

How soon after corona virus travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

There will be no post corona travelings for me. At least, not abroad. I’ve decided that 2020 will be the year of exploring my own country.

And, getting to know better some destinations in order to make programmes for the future (God knows when) tourists visit my country again.

Croatia is a corona-free country. We did cope with the whole situation very well. But still, big tourism this year is only a big dream.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the COVID-19 restrictions?

I had plans to visit Georgia with my friends. We booked flights for the beginning of May, paid for them.

And now, as everything was canceled, the borders closed. We can only hope we are going to get our money back.

A voucher is not acceptable to me at the moment. I am not ready to fly to any destination. Even around my country, I prefer to travel by car or by train.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

Ocean cruise are not an option for me. Silly me! I still remember the Costa Concordia accident. Also, sleeping in a tiny cabin does not appeal to me at all.

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Doris Kunkera on the streets of Zagreb, Croatia.
Bio

Doris Kunkeraa licensed tourist guide for Zagreb and some other regions in Croatia, Doris specializes in heritage interpretation and storytelling.  She creates interesting city tours that put a smile on people’s faces 😊. Make than a Zagreb Smile!

The Travel Director from Italy 

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the coronavirus pandemic?

I’ve had to cancel lots of tours due to Corona-19. I’m a travel director working with British people now.

How soon after travel restrictions end are you most likely to plan your next trip?

My company whom I work for has had to cancel tours. At the moment, I’ve been allocated three tours starting in September.

Would you take any special precautions?

Wearing masks and rubber gloves def.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

I fly from Rome to Milan MalPensa, stay to complete two one-week trips. Normally staying with a group of 46/50pax in a hotel on northern Italian lakes.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

Good 5+ star hotels breakfast+ dinner

Do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

No worries about cleanliness of hotels 👍

Bio

Cecilia Mcauleybased in Terracina, Italy, Cecilia is a travel director working with British tourists.

The Hotel Representative from Australia 

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Andara Phuket is one of the hotels Jane represents. Photo Credit: Jane Basiuk.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the COVID-19 lockdown?

 

No – hadn’t arranged anything at that time.

I know you represent some high-end hotels and resorts in Asia and Europe. Has COVID-19 had any impact on your business?

The coronavirus has, of course, put the brakes on my business (as I do not represent anything in Australia). However, I am hopeful of a return in the not too distant future!

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

ASAP

Would you take any special precautions?

Just be generally careful. Wash hands regularly and stay away from crowded areas.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)?

Regionally first (as we are not permitted to travel overseas anyway!). THEN internationally.

 Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

Probably Queensland as it is warm(!).

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

A not-too-big resort with not many children – peaceful!  Lovely beach, sea, and pool.

In light of the corona virus, do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

No, I have no concerns whatsoever.  I am sure all hotels/resorts will be extremely aware of the necessity to have extreme hygiene and cleanliness.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

NOTE:  Etihad will resume flights on 15/5 from Melbourne (and other capitals) to London.

However, passengers are to isolate for 14 days on arrival. Same for returning.  Government permission must be granted for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. To provide care and educational reasons only.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise?

Several. I traveled from the UK by ship to Australia (but I was only young).  Then three more times back to UK, Via Suez, via Panama Canals, and Africa.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

Not for a while.  Having said that, I would consider ‘small/high-end’ cruise lines, i.e., Silverseas.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

Husband.

Bio

Jane Basiukafter commencing her career in hospitality in 1991, Jane represented Amanresorts and then GHM. The 2009 GFC forced her to re-think her career to the point where she did not ‘have all her eggs in the one basket/. She now represents some lovely high-end hotels and resorts in both Asia and Europe, as well as tour companies and apartments overseas. In fact, she prefers to keep her portfolio small so that she can give each company the dedication they deserve. In addition to sales and marketing representation, she also offers limited PR services.

The Travel Enthusiasts

What does a food blogger from New York City have in common with an events planner in Bali?

And what about a motivational speaker in Phuket, an entrepreneur in California, an interior decorator in Australia, and a retired journalist in Canada?

In fact, they are all passionate about travel! But will stricter security rules, longer lines at airports, and concerns about sanitation have an impact on their willingness to travel?

Read on to find out how these travel enthusiasts plan to rock post lockdown travel.

The Food Blogger from New York City

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Lonnie Goldman is the founder of The Chinese Quest. 

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the COVID-19 lockdown? 

No.

How soon after travel restrictions end are you most likely to take your next trip?

Three months

Would you take any special precautions? 

Nothing different, but I would continue taking extra precautions to wash my hands more frequently. But I’m hoping to not have to wear a facemask.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)? 

Regionally.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why? 

I’ve been promising to take my son camping.  And we talked about taking the drive to Maine. Another passion of his is fishing.  This would be an opportunity to combine both.

What type of accommodation are you most likely to book on this trip? 

Tent camping for a night or two. And hotels for all other nights.

Do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions? 

I don’t have any concerns.  In fact, I would trust that they’re following proper cleaning and sanitization.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)? 

Car.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise? 

Yes.  Best vacation ever!  I have only had the pleasure of going on a cruise once.  And I would love to do it again.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel? 

I would be willing.  Again, I would put my trust in the company to make sure that their ships are clean and sanitary.

With the anxiety surrounding this mode of travel, cruise ships cannot afford negative publicity. Or, I fear, the next one will bankrupt them.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

My son.

The-Mees-With-Newsday-Article (1)
Lonnie Goldman with four friends and an article published in the newspaper about their quest for the best Chinese restaurants in New York and Long Island.
Bio

Lonnie GoldmanCreator of The Chinese Quest,  Lonnie and four friends are on their Quest to find the best Chinese restaurant on Long Island, NY, and New York City. Bringing Chinese food lovers their unbiased reviews of Chinese restaurants for well over a twentieth of a century.

The Events Planner from Bali

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Nadine Gray (right) has been actively distributing food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has caused devastating economic hardship on the tropical island of Bali.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the lockdown?

Yes, local trips and a trip to my home country, Australia.

How soon after COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

Immediately. I want to go to the Gili Islands and to Australia.

Would you take any special precautions?

No, except ensuring I can enter and return between countries without any issues.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)?

Domestically and internationally.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

Gili Islands near Bali because the beaches have been closed here due to COVID so I need white sand, blue waters ASAP.

And it will be a great time to take advantage of cheap accommodation and transport.

Australia because I miss home, good cheese, and wine. Stocking up on all my “bits” that I bring back to Asia.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

For Gili Islands, it would probably be guesthouse and affordable considering I’ve had no income for months. Australia would be with friends.

Do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

No concerns whatsoever about the virus itself.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

Gili is boat and private car :). Australia, flight.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise?

I have not. But it’s on the bucket list! Especially keen to do the new Virgin Voyagers.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

YES!

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

Friends to Gili and solo to Australia :).

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Nadine Gray (right) distributes food during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused economic hardship on the island of Bali.
Bio

Nadine Gray – writer, event planner, and business owner, Nadine is an expat based in Bali, Indonesia.

The Motivational Speaker from Phuket

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Able Wanamakok catching some rays on a beach in Phuket, an island in Southern Thailand.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I did not cancel any travel plans. But I did travel a lot before the airports were shut down so I was lucky.

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

I plan to travel as soon as I get paid work or even travel by car because I love traveling.

However, I would make sure that I have a heavy-duty mask on. And I would travel locally and nationally.

But probably not internationally yet unless it’s a big job from one of my repeat clients.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

At this moment, I have no travel plans in mind for where to go because money is tighter than before.
And I would most likely book a branded hotel of at least four stars and up. I would also take alcohol sprays with me to spray the handles and tables, etc., as an extra precaution.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

I would go by car, which is the safest option. But if I must fly, then I will fly but ONLY if its for a BIG job or from a repeat client.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

I will not be going on a cruise at this time until for sure there is a vaccine out there for this Covid-19.
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Able Wanamakok meditating on a beach on the southern Thai island of Phuket.
Bio

Able Wanamakokinternational presenter, presenter coach, TEDx speaker, and motivational speaker. Able is originally from Hong Kong. She grew up in the U.S., studied in Japan for a year, and now lives in Thailand. She loves traveling as it expands her mind and humbles her with all its history and culture. Traveling makes her very happy and she looks forward to traveling again soon.

The Interior Decorator from Australia 

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Genevieve Bax goes for a joy ride in a tuk-tuk in Galle, Sri Lanka.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the coronavirus?

We haven’t had to cancel any holiday plans. But we were right in the middle of moving from one side of Australia (Brisbane) to the other (Perth).

The restrictions have put a bit of a dampener on this being as smooth as it should have been.

We were also not able to go back to QLD to facilitate the moving of our possessions. So we have had to rely on third parties.

How soon after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted are you most likely to take your next trip?

I would like to plan one reasonably soon after. The condition will have to be a zero rate of COVID 19 infections for quite some time though.

I want to take advantage of potentially huge travel savings. But not at the risk of our health.

Would you take any special precautions?

I would make sure community transmission has been eliminated. In addition, I would also be bringing sanitizer to ensure surfaces were clean. And I would also pack some gloves and face masks.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)?

As we have just moved across the country, I would like to do some regional exploring. If there were some really good deals for international travel, I would not resist a bargain overseas trip.

However, Western Australia has a hard border closure at the moment. So it may be some time before international travel is an option.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

Internationally, I want to go back to Hong Kong. I spent a few years there as a child. My father was a pilot, and I would love to show my husband the areas I grew up in.

As a big kid, a trip to Disneyland would not go astray. When it reopens, of course.

Locally, I would like to go to Exmouth to swim with Whale Sharks.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

Honestly, we like to lodge in style,. It would more than likely be a nice hotel. Nothing wrong with a bit of room service and pampering when you’re on holiday!

In light of the epidemic, do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

I would certainly question the hotel’s cleaning policy with them before I booked. And I would also take some extra cleaning/sanitizing products with me. E.g., hand sanitizer, wipes, and even a Glen 20 spray (sanitizing aerosol spray).

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

Airplanes would be the preferred method of travel.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise?

No.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

My husband and I were considering one before we moved. However, the move got a little crazy and we were unable to do it.

I am glad we didn’t. And, after the issues they have had with the transmission of COVID 19, I am unlikely to go on one in the near future. But, I will not say never!

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

My husband.

Bio

Genevieve Baxowner of Oliver Bentley Interiors in Perth, Western Australia.

The Entrepreneur from California

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Anita Casalina is owner of Beyond Pix SF,  a broadcast television studio in San Francisco, California.

Do you have any plans to travel when coronavirus restrictions are lifted? If so, where to and why?

My next trip will be simple. A drive to the mountains with my husband and our son to celebrate my husband’s birthday.

What type of accommodation are you most likely to stay at on this trip?

We will stay in an Air B&B and keep safe distances in public.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

We usually try to ask one or two couples to join us. But we would go on our own if necessary.

Bio

Anita Casalina – owner of Beyond Pix SF,  a broadcast television studio in San Francisco, Anita believes in using the media for social change. She is currently producing an online show called “Earth 2.0. Consequently, she interviews amazing thought leaders from around the globe about building a more sustainable post-pandemic world.

The Retired Journalist from Canada 

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Retired journalist Majid Gafoor in front of an oceanliner.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the global pandemic?

We did have some plans for another cruise. But we experienced such bad treatment from the cruise people on our last cruise that we never followed up on the plans. And then the epidemic hit.

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to take your next trip?

Probably not for a while. Travel for us is pretty much an emotional release (getting away from it all, trying/seeing something different, etc.)/ But the bad cruise experience and the pandemic has soured such thoughts.

Would you take any special precautions?

It would be foolish for anyone not to take extra precautions given the recent experience where people were stranded or abandoned in strange places.

Extra insurance would be one reaction. B, but even here, there are many types of insurance.

Some do not cover ‘acts of god’ or ‘natural disasters’. And I just wonder what Covid 19 falls under.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)?

Probably an initial trip would be domestic. I live in Canada, and there are still many places I have not visited.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

I have seen and heard many good things about the Rocky Mountaineer Train tour and would be interested in trying that. It would be the North American version of the Orient Express.

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip?

My wife and I are not the ‘adventure’ type. So we like to travel in comfort. I believe a gold package is within our budget.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

It would certainly be a concern for us. Probably we would check on the sanitation protocols they have in place. And we would arm ourselves with travel sanitation supplies, too.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

For the above-described trip, we would need to fly from Toronto to Calgary to catch the train. This would take us to Vancouver, where we would spend some time and then fly back to Toronto.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise?

Gone on many. But the last cruise has kind of turned us off on cruising for a while.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

Let me give you a thumb sketch of what we went through on our last cruise. It was an Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse. All was well until my wife fell ill on the third day after breakfast.

It was all downhill after that. All the smiles and welcomes suddenly disappeared.

She was too sick to even walk. And the medical officials said, “We have no in-room service. She will have to come to us.”

So cruisers, forget about all those sympathetic doctors you see on the Love Boat. Never happens!

With the help of the room boy, we were able to wheelchair my wife to the medical office.

She received treatment for her fever and vomiting and was back to herself by the evening. However, the wheels were turning for the cruise people.

We arrived in Juneau the next morning. And we were unceremoniously booted off the ship and dumped at a land hospital. This was despite the fact that my wife had recovered.

We were abandoned there, in a backwater town with limited facilities. No other description for that. We then had to make our own arrangements to return to Toronto.

Back in Toronto, I wrote a series of letters to the cruise company about the shoddy treatment.

Their terse reply was that they would credit us with the unused portion of the cruise. And that was it.

Incensed, I blitzed the story on social media. And it was picked up by newspapers and even a TV station, which gave us an interview.

That triggered a further contact from the cruise people where they offered us a full refund of the cruise. Plus some of the extra expenses we had incurred. That was much better than the original offer. So I took it.

My advice to cruisers – if you get sick, try to take care of yourself. Because once you reach the medical office, you can be sure that they will kick you off the ship.

Bio

Majid Gafoor – a former journalist from Hong Kong, Majid has traveled both for business and pleasure. He now lives in Canada.

The American Football Fans 

American football fans are notorious for their love of travel. And that often means traveling to rival cities to root for their team amid hostile fans!

But forget about away games! This football season, NFL teams might actually have to play in empty stadiums.

I speak to three football fans who are as passionate about travel as they are about football.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to cancel trips? How long will they wait before they travel again? Are they hoping to attend any away games this upcoming football season?

Let’s see how sports fans plan to rock post lockdown travel.

The Die-hard Raiders Fan

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Chris Stashki (second from right) and me with three of her friends at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.

I know you’re a die-hard Raiders fan. It’s unclear if games will be held this season and if fans will be able to attend. Would you attend any games in Las Vegas if that is possible?

It’s a three-hour car ride. Yes, I’m going to Raider games. At least one, maybe two.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the lockdown?

Had to cancel two road trips. One was to Vegas. And one was to San Diego because concerts got canceled.

Other than Raider game, how soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

Soon as travel restrictions are lifted, plan on Maui. Vacation in August.  House arrest made me wacky. And I want to be at the beach and want the Pacific Ocean to be my home.

Need to swim with giant turtles 🐢 and dolphins 🐬. Need to fly. Of course (wear a mask on the flight), and must have rent a car in Maui. And will be staying in an Airbnb (condominium or apartment) ocean view.

Would you take any special precautions? 

Airbnb has reviews, and I always use a Superhost. They are sparkling clean, but will still take Lysol wipes and take plastic cups, one clean and disposable. Why do dishes when on holiday?

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise? 

I’ve been on several cruises 🚢.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel? 

I won’t be going on one anytime in the future.

Have a compromised immune system.  And frankly, don’t like being on a time restriction. I want to do what I want when I want.  It may be 10 + years before I get on one.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

I will be traveling with my hubby and a friend of mine from up North will more than likely will join us.

Bio

Chris Stashika.k.a. “Queen Snake, Chris is a die-hard Raiders fans She’s an army veteran, beach girl that loves the islands, loves concerts, and music heals the soul. And she loves international travel!

 The Die-hard Vikings Fan

tony-pegel-with-motorcycle-in-front-of-house
Tony Pegel, president, Vikings Fans Club in Nashville, Tennessee.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the lockdown? 

Not any major trips, but several concerts and music festivals I had tickets to have been postponed or canceled.

And trips to see family on birthdays and Mother’s Day are canceled. All these trips would have been within 100 miles or so.

My wife is a nurse and works with COVID patients so we are self-isolating so as to not endanger others.

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?   

I plan to go on a trip to  Florida this weekend. Approximately 700 miles each way. I will be going alone and not congregating with anyone much.

Basically going to ride my motorcycle in some nice weather. After that, I am not sure when we will travel, but definitely by Sept.

Would you take any special precautions? 

I will take care not to get too close to people. And I will always wear a mask. I plan to spend my time alone as much as possible.

After this trip, it will all depend on how soon the restrictions are lifted and what the pandemic conditions are.

Many are lifting restrictions now. We would not travel anywhere in the near future where there would be a crowd.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)? 

As stated above, I will be going 700 miles each way this weekend. When the pandemic and work allow for my wife to travel, we will likely travel first within a couple of hundred miles.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?  

It is likely my wife and I will travel for a vacation when things settle as well, likely within a couple of hundred miles, to either Florida or Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

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If possible, will you be attending any Minnesota Vikings games?

As President of the Nashville Norsemen, Nashville’s Official Minnesota Vikings Fan Club,  I plan, this fall, to attend at least two games in MN (900+ miles away).

One will be the Home Opener. And the other will be the game where the TN Titans (our local team) goes to MN to play the Vikings.

The Vikings and Titans play once every four years so we always attend.

We will likely have a big group. I will also attend the Vikings game in Tampa (700 miles away.)

What type of lodging are you most likely to book on this trip? 

I will stay in a nice, reasonably priced hotel for all these trips

Do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?   

I would have mild concerns. But there is little one can do to ensure proper precautions are taken by hotel staff. Usually, consistent hand washing and general cleanliness suffice

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)? 

I will travel to FL, by airplane to MN and car to Tampa FL

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise? 

Once several years ago. Not my cup of tea. Too confining

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel? 

No

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip? 

I will travel next with either with my wife if conditions allow for it in the next couple of months. Or with Vikings fan club, attending Vikings games in the fall if restrictions last through the summer,

tony-pegel-minnesota-vikings-fan

Bio

Tony Pegel – a 58-year-old, retired engineer Tony is a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fanatic even though he has spent his entire life in Tennessee. He helped start Nashville’s Vikings Fans Club, the Nashville Norsemen, in 1999.  And he has been President for over 20 years. He travels to a three to four Vikings games every year and has many dear friends in Minnesota. In addition, he loves to camp in the New Mexico desert and on the beaches of Florida. He usually drives his truck and camps in the truck bed. In fact, this also allows him to take his motorcycle.

The Die-hard Panthers Fan

Carolina-Panthers-fan-before-a-football-game
Keith Hall (right) with wife Amy (left) and former Saints/Panthers Safety Roman Harper at a Roaring Riot tailgate party at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers went on to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 34 to 27.

Have you had to cancel any travel plans because of the lockdown?

Yes. Our routine visits to DC for work every four to six weeks have been canceled.

I know you are an avid Carolina Panthers fan. Assuming games will be played this season, will you attend any home games?

No, I currently do not plan on attending games. I have owned my seats for 14 years. 
I have seen how people in this state are responding to masks and social distancing.  It is almost like there is no threat of COVID. I do not feel that it would be safe to attend games.
I also feel that if the disease remains as contagious as we have seen over the last seven months,  it would be incredibly reckless to put on games.
I do not want to miss an NFL season, but I also do not want to make players, coaches, staff, and fans to put themselves at risk of COVID.
So I guess that rules out away games, as well.
No, I will not be attending any away games. If we can get together locally to watch the games I want to be a local presence. I am also putting my time into restoring a 1973 MG Midget.

How soon after travel restrictions are lifted are you most likely to plan your next trip?

Depends on the destination. I do not foresee international travel until well after a vaccine is formulated and widely available. We have no domestic travel plans at the moment. Still, I am concerned about the cleanliness of hotels.

Would you take any special precautions?

No planes, no boats.

How far from home would you be traveling for this trip (close to home, regionally, domestically, internationally)?

Within a four to five hour drive. But again, we would like to avoid staying at hotels for now.

Do you have any specific travel plans in mind? If so, where to and why?

We had planned on traveling to Britain for a week or two. Maybe a stop off in Iceland.

What type of accommodation are you most likely to book on this trip?

Hotels or AirBnBs. We had good luck with AirBnBs in Japan.

In light of the virus, do you have any concerns about the cleanliness of hotel rooms? If so, would you take any special precautions?

Very much so. So much we are deciding on holding off for some time.

What mode of travel are you most likely to take to reach this destination (i.e., car, train, bus, airplane, boat)?

Car for the near future.

Have you ever gone on an ocean cruise?

Yes. Never again.

Considering the many problems that cruise liners have encountered related to the coronavirus, would you be willing to take a trip on a sea-going vessel?

Absolutely not. When we went on our first (and last) cruise, the drinkable water turned brown. We were advised it was OK to drink and were not provided complimentary bottled water. And it was sold for US$3 per 16oz bottle. After a brief discussion about liability, we were given complimentary bottles.

Whom do you think you’ll be traveling with on this next trip?

My wife and maybe our pugs.

nfl-carolina-panthers-camel-city-riot-logo

Bio 

Keith Hall – a die-hard Carolina Panthers Fan, Keith runs the Camel City Riot, the Winston-Salem chapter of the Roaring Riot, a Carolina Panthers fan club.

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This report on post lockdown travel is the latest in an occasional series of exclusive Accidental Travel Writer Round Table Discussions.

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