Travel Trends 2022: How the Pandemic Changed the Way We Travel

Then vs. Now: How the Pandemic Changed the Way We Travel

Has it been a drastic change for you, too?

The pandemic has affected our lives in so many ways, and it is no doubt that one of the most affected is the travel industry. The lockdown worldwide ceased both international and domestic tourism, and we saw trends of people being forced to work from home gradually becoming digital nomads. How we perceive travelling after all these years, from pre-pandemic, during the pandemic, to post-pandemic has transformed. 

Let’s take a look at the difference between then and now through these eight new travel trends in 2022.

Also read: 14 Cities With the Most Exciting New Year’s Eve Celebrations, From NYC to Taipei!

Notable travel trends in 2022

1. People’s awareness of health and safety has increased

Image credit: Erik Odiin

When travelling nowadays, there’s definitely an increase in health and safety awareness among travellers. People are more concerned and aware of their surroundings, as the pandemic has taught us to take safety measures, such as having masks on, sanitising regularly, and doing self-check whenever we encounter any symptoms. 

In some countries, only vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter, and tourists are obliged to follow health and safety protocols. Before going on a trip, whether overseas or within our country, we would now first obtain the safety information, travel restrictions, and entry requirements about the destination. This travel trend is almost like a norm now, unlike back then, when very few people would take the time and learn about those things.

Also read: These Southeast Asians Reveal What Their First Pandemic Trip Abroad Was Like

2. Travel insurance becoming a key

Image credit: Suhyeon Choi

Before the pandemic, I believe most people, like me, would think that travel insurance is optional and wouldn’t consider it if we were travelling somewhere near. Nevertheless, it has become so crucial in 2022, and perhaps will continue to be essential in the future. With COVID-19 and other emerging viruses around us, it’s hard not to safeguard ourselves. Particularly when we’re away from home, it is best to have travel insurance to cover the costs of accommodation and medical expenses in case we fall sick.

3. Prefer “local” over “popular”

Image credit (L-R): René DeAnda; Lan Pham

Due to the lockdown (and its many variations) in the past two years, we have had enough time to sit back and rethink our travel plans. I believe most of us now prefer flexible travel and the freedom to explore a destination, instead of merely going to mainstream tourist attractions. For instance, walking into the local markets to experience the local civilisation, and observing the cultural differences when in another country, are just as enjoyable as checking out the famous landmarks. 

Similar to how online learning is now universal, we utilise travel guides and information online to craft an itinerary that suits us, and is often off the beaten path.

As a Malaysian, I saw the trend of supporting local businesses grow during the pandemic where many showed support to those whose businesses were suffering and had low incomes. The same thing applies when we travel to lesser-known destinations; supporting the locals allow us to come closer to their culture and at the same time contribute economically to the smaller communities.

Also read: Travel Better: 15 Best Ways to Help Locals While Travelling

4. Workcations are now a thing

travel trends

Image credit: Persnickety Prints

The pandemic has popularised working from home. Many probably wouldn’t think that remote working was feasible. But right now, even workcations (aka working while on vacation) are becoming a common option, and one of the most prominent travel trends in 2022.

The new normal allows work to be accomplished remotely, and digital nomads are welcomed with the enticing programs and long-term digital nomads visas in several countries. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy the idea of getting work done while travelling simultaneously? The refreshing perspective and change of environment might even bring out more creative ideas at work, or heighten one’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Also read: 22 Countries With Digital Nomad Visas for Long-Term Workcations

5. From watching the destination’s show online to finally travelling to the place

We’re left with many binge-worthy shows and movies from the lockdown that showcase the beauty of a certain destination, such as Emily in Paris and The White Lotus. Back when we had to stay home, we could only fulfil our desire to travel by watching these and Googling more about an attraction. Now, we can finally “walk into the screen” and explore most places we’ve seen in the movies or shows.

Also read: 13 Hollywood Movies That Perfectly Capture the Beauty of Asia

6. More travel offers and promotions

travel trends 2022

Image credit (L-R): yousef alfuhigi; Leio McLaren

With the reopening of borders, the tourism and aviation industry are also seizing the opportunity to attract more travellers. Travel promotion packages and flight discounts are on the rise, especially for domestic travel. Hotels and homestays are actively introducing more new and refreshing experiences, be it in terms of amenities, room upgrades, or interesting activities. Surely, this is one of the travel trends in 2022 that we hope will continue! 

7. Cherish being close to home

Image credit: Chewy

One thing the pandemic has taught me is to treasure being close to my safest sanctuary. During those times, we had no choice but to satisfy our inner hodophiles by participating in fun activities at home or within our own country. For instance, learn to cook, bake a cake, do arts and crafts, or even learn a new language. That period of being limited to domestic travel also allowed me to appreciate the beauty of my country and surroundings, as going on a trip closer to home can be very lovely, too.

Also read: I Prefer Short Trips Over Long-Term Vacations — Here’s Why!

8. Cherish being able to travel again even more

travel 2022

Image credit: Johny Goerend

Now that we’re finally allowed to travel, the feelings of excitement and joy when planning and going on a trip are back! And because we weren’t able to do so for such a long time, we look forward to more fulfilling and fruitful experiences. What’s more, we learned to not take travelling for granted, but rather, cherish every moment of it.

Also read: Here Are All the Countries With Zero Travel Restrictions

Those are the ways the pandemic changed the way we travel now, compared to the pre-pandemic times. Soon, the year 2022 will become history, and there might be new travel trends welcoming us in the new year. But no matter how much things change, we hope you’ll stay safe and healthy, be able to travel to your favourite places soon and have a nice, memorable trip!

About Author

Cecelia Chang
Cecelia Chang

Born in a new village in Selangor, Malaysia, Cecelia loves three things in life: Good food, good views, and good deals. She also enjoys exploring new places and experiencing new things on her travels.


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