Post-Pandemic Travel: What Will Travel Look Like In 2022?

Pooja Khandelwal

There’s a glimmer of hope as the travel industry looks to recover from the pandemic. What changes can we expect? Will travel insurance and vaccination passports become mandatory? Read ahead for the key trends shaping post-pandemic travel in 2022.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

After a year spent mostly indoors with the occasional staycation or Rediscover Singapore experience, travel-starved Singaporeans have been eagerly awaiting the green light to fly overseas. With vaccinations being administered to the masses and some countries easing border restrictions, many people feel optimistic about travelling in the post-pandemic world. But along with this excitement, what will travel really look like in 2022? What additional hurdles may we face? Here are a few key travel trends that we can expect to see.

International Travel May Become More Expensive

Some airplanes have been converted into cargo carriers to deliver oxygen tanks and other pandemic relief supplies while others have been parked in aircraft boneyards in the desert. Regardless of how these planes were used during the last year, airlines are now gearing up for the months ahead as leisure travel is expected to increase. And as the number of people planning to fly soars, so too will flight prices.

There are a few key factors that will affect the cost of international travel. Some airlines have filed for bankruptcy and over 40 commercial airlines have completely ceased or suspended operations. In other words, there’s less competition and a reduced supply in the aviation industry. Another factor impacting travel costs is rising fuel prices. According to The Energy Information Administration, the mid-June per gallon price for jet fuel was more than 4 times higher compared to April 2020. Since fuel is one of the main expenses for airlines, when the cost per gallon increases, we can expect higher airfares to follow. In addition, airlines determine the price of tickets by taking into consideration how many customers want to fly and their willingness to pay. For example, airfare in December is higher compared to October since more people are on holiday and want to travel during their winter break. Similarly, more people will be willing to travel after being vaccinated and once countries ease travel regulations. This comes down to a basic economics concept of supply and demand. Simply put, as more travellers book flights in the coming months, it will bump up travel costs.

Rise Of The Conscious Traveller And Wellness Tourism

Living with tighter restrictions encouraged people to find new ways to spend their free time and re-evaluate their priorities. Topics like mental health needs and wellness gained awareness and became the forefront of discussions. This has given rise to new areas in travel, such as conscious travel and wellness tourism. Conscious travellers are mindful of the impact their travel has on the community, culture, and ecology. The goal is to leave a positive impact on the place that you visit while creating a sustainable travel economy. For example, buying eco-friendly travel equipment and making sure not to leave plastic on a trip to the lake. Another area gaining popularity, wellness tourism, focuses on enhancing personal wellbeing and planning fewer but meaningful travel experiences. For instance, supporting local businesses, trying local cuisine, or booking a private meditation class surrounded by the lush, green backdrop of the highlands.

Less Business Travel, More Workations

With virtual meetings and work-from-home being part of the new normal, we’ve learned to collaborate with colleagues to scale results regardless of our location. What may have started out as a challenge has now turned into an opportunity for people to work more efficiently across borders. And while some professionals working in fields like sales may argue that there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, with the right technology in place, fewer in-person meetings lets us use our time more productively.

So, how will this shift in the way we work impact business travel? It is predicted that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away in the pandemic’s aftermath. What we are likely to see is the increase in workations (working + vacation), especially as more people continue to work remotely. Several employers are adopting a blended approach where employees rotate between working in the office and from home. This opens up the possibility of working from anywhere during half of the week. Just imagine heading off on a Wednesday to work at a beach resort in Thailand with a pristine view of the ocean and palm trees. When you’re done with work for the day, you’ll be on holiday.

Masks Are Likely To Remain A Major Accessory

Wearing masks to prevent the transmission of infectious disease dates back to the Middle Ages. In fact, they gained widespread acceptance in the early-20th century as an effective method to curb the spread of illness. Fast forward to the present day and regardless of whether your travel destination requires masks or not, they are here to stay.

Although many people are itching to shed off their masks, they will remain an important accessory because of new variants and the lack of herd immunity in many countries. Stocking up on comfortable masks and hand sanitizer while travelling in 2022 will be the way to go. Irrespective of the country you may visit next year, washing your hands frequently and maintaining safe distance by avoiding crowded areas will continue to be lifestyle habits.

Vaccine Passports And Travel Insurance May Be Mandatory

A vaccine passport is a digital (or physical) way to store health information and immunisation records. This makes it easier for fully-vaccinated people to travel without additional restrictions. However, requirements around these passports vary across countries. For example, Israel, Iceland, and Denmark plan to issue health passports to their vaccinated citizens. And countries like Poland, Estonia, and Romania have lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers from permitted countries.

In addition to vaccine passports, some countries now require travel insurance. In certain cases, travelers will need travel insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs. More specifically, Cambodia, Japan, and New Zealand are just a handful of the countries that are starting to require travel insurance before permitting travelers to enter. Other countries require travel insurance as part of their Certificate of Entry. This applies to travellers visiting Thailand; to cross the border, you’ll need to submit a Certificate of Entry which includes travel insurance.

Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To In 2022

What better way to get excited about 2022 than by planning an overseas vacation? Next year may seem far away but to get the best deals on flight tickets, hotels, and more you’ll want to start planning early. As you create an itinerary and research travel requirements for your destination, consider purchasing the right travel insurance to safeguard your health and security while travelling abroad.

Both the budget conscious consumer and value seeking traveller may benefit from DirectAsia travel insurance which provides tailored coverage for single trips at an affordable price point. Additionally, this is a good option for families since child limits are the same as adults and kids are covered for free. What’s more is that their travel insurance covers medical expenses while overseas, loss or damage to personal belongings, trip cancellation and curtailment, as well as travel delay. Depending on your preference, you can opt for additional features like coverage for extreme experiences or sport equipment. Regardless of the travel insurance that you choose, remember to do your research and find a travel insurance policy that fits around your travel needs, budget, and lifestyle.

This article was originally published in ValueChampion, a personal finance research firm in Singapore and republished on with permission.

Pooja Khandelwal

Pooja is a Content Marketing Lead at ValueChampion Singapore. She is responsible for planning and executing sponsored content projects and building relationships with media partners. In addition, she evaluates financial products for consumers based on quantitative and qualitative analysis. Pooja holds degrees in Economics and Psychology from Rutgers University. Pooja has published articles on The Straits Times, Yahoo, MSN, AsiaOne, Her World, and many other publications.