As countries all around the world begin to open up for tourism in the middle of a pandemic, travel is likely to be very different than it was before. Social distancing practices will need to be in place during every aspect of travelling – from the transport you take, to where you stay and what you do during your trip. We’ve listed some ways that physical distancing will change the way that we travel in the immediate future.

We will travel closer to home

As we begin to travel again, we are likely to travel to destinations closer to home, rather than hopping on planes and flying halfway around the world. Many of us will have very little choice as to where we go – only certain countries will be opening their borders to us, and we will be relying on driving or taking the train to reach our destinations. There is also likely to be a general mindset that we should stay closer to home in case a second wave of the pandemic hits, and we have to quickly return home.

How Might Social Distancing Travel Work - The Wise Traveller - Solo

Package holidays will be different

For those travellers who opt to take a package holiday in the second half of this year, many things will be different to what they are used to. Hotels are likely to be operating at a reduced capacity so there will be fewer guests on site. Buffet meals will not be available, and guests will have to sit at their tables to order food and drinks. Swimming pools and other facilities such as gyms and spas are likely to remain closed.

Self-catered accommodation will be more popular

More people will choose self-catered accommodation to limit their contact with other people. Travellers will have more control over social distancing and cleanliness if they are staying in self-catered accommodation and can choose to cook their own meals and spend less time mingling with other people. Those who choose to stay at hotels are likely to opt for smaller, boutique hotels with fewer staff and other guests.

Travellers will fly less

Travellers are likely to take trains or drive to their chosen destinations, rather than taking flights. Planes are cramped, confined spaces where social distancing is almost impossible, and many of us will feel anxious at the thought of travelling through an airport and sitting through a flight this year. If you chose to drive your own car, or a rented vehicle, you will only see other people when you stop for fuel. Taking a train in some countries allows you to choose your own seat, away from other passengers and to open the windows for better airflow.

Rural locations will be more popular

People will be less likely to visit busy city destinations, especially if attractions such as museums, galleries, bars and restaurants remain closed. Rural and coastal destinations will increase in popularity, with travellers looking to get away from the crowds and relax in the countryside. Hiking, wild swimming, activities such as kayaking, and just relaxing on beaches will all be popular for the remainder of the year.

How Might Social Distancing Travel Work - The Wise Traveller - CamperCamping and camper vans will increase in popularity

Camping, glamping or heading off for an adventure in a camper van will all increase in popularity as people choose to travel in ways that allow for physical distancing. Campers are likely to choose more secluded locations to visit, and where the option is available, wild camping is likely to be popular.

Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.