The pandemic is winding down in the United States thanks to the success of the government’s vaccination campaign. A huge portion of the adult population across the country have received their first and second shots, and, as a result, the number of positive cases went down from the peak of over 300,000 in January to just about 30,000 in May. Now, the U.S. is on track to return to normal in a few months.
Already, restrictions are being lifted. For example, wearing masks is no longer a requirement for those fully immunized from COVID-19. In addition, while travel is still limited, soon, people will be able to move around freely and may even get the chance to explore other countries.
However, do not expect everything to be back to normal. Experts warn that the pandemic will have a lasting impact on daily life; some may be positive, but some negative.
After a year of lockdowns and distancing, adventuring will experience some shifts, too. Here are what top figures in the outdoor travel industries say will be different after the pandemic:
What to Pack
The pandemic has taught the public a lot about how infectious diseases spread and how to prevent them. For example, early into the pandemic, the public was advised to wash their hands properly and frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if running water was unavailable. That is because common traffic surfaces are a petri dish of disease-causing germs. And, when you travel, you cannot help but interact with surfaces that someone else has touched and used before you, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, restaurants and chairs in public spaces, everything in the airport. Therefore, it has become necessary always to bring soap and sanitizer in your bag to disinfect your hands regularly.
Masks are also essential. Even without COVID-19, plenty of viruses are airborne and circling in the air that you breathe. It is not uncommon for people to catch the flu, for example, after flying on a plane. Masks prevent infection.
In addition, pack your regular outdoor equipment. If you are on an adventure, you want a pair of shoes that will be comfortable and be with you until the journey’s end. A pair of high-quality Xtratuf deck boots, known for durability, will be great companions. These shoes are insulated to keep your feet warm and have anti-slip soles to keep you safe.
You, Will, Enjoy Your Own Company
The pandemic showed that being in a large group was not very safe. Gatherings, even outdoors, increase the risk of infection when with several other people.
For a while, people will not feel safe within a crowd. Even after the pandemic, adventurers will enjoy solitary activities. Something like fishing or hiking would be preferred.
And, no, it will not be lonely. There is plenty to learn about yourself and your environment from having an adventure on your own. You get to test your skills and gain new ones as you encounter challenges along the way and try to solve them all without help from others. Solo adventures are life-changing. They will create memories that will stick with you for a long time.
Planning will be a Necessity.
Say goodbye to spontaneous and unplanned trips. For the time being, all your adventures will be planned from start to finish, not because you have lost confidence and courage. On the contrary, it will be a necessity to plan. Every place has its own rules regarding COVID-19. Even every state in the U.S. gets to create its own rules and regulations to stop the spread of the virus. To know what you will be permitted to do and what is still restricted, you need to make a plan.
RVs are Back
Those recreational vehicles once again gained popularity during the pandemic. In fact, since May 2020, the rentals and sales of RVs have been booming, especially among first-timers. About 80 percent of RV bookings in 2020 were newbies.
RVs provided a way for families to travel locally without having to interact with another person. It was safer because the destination is always outdoors. There is no need to check in to a hotel, but it is a more comfortable option than camping in a tent. Moreover, it does not require air travel. You would not be stuck with strangers in an enclosed space. Your companions will be the only people you will be with for the entire duration of the trip.
Experts believe that RV travel will continue to be popular for months to come until after the pandemic. Despite how difficult it has been, the pandemic will end soon, and life will regain some degree of normalcy. But, things will not go back to how things were before COVID-19. The public health crisis changed the world and the people who went through it.