With the lifting of COVID-19 testing requirements and the end of mask mandates, travel is back in full force. While pandemic memories are something most of us want to forget, there are some travel trends caused by COVID that remain relevant. Meet the 10 pivots of the pandemic worth holding on to.
Get out of town quickly
Troutbeck is located in the wild near NYC — Photo courtesy of Allison Tibaldi
Staying close to home was a driving factor in pandemic vacation choices. High gas prices and airline woes are keeping the spotlight on getaways that are easy to come by.
Surrounded by farms and hills, Troutbeck is a boutique resort just 90 miles from New York City that feels a million miles away. Relax in a hammock under the shady fig trees and watch butterflies frolic with the gentle rush of a current as a soundtrack. No wonder Emerson and Thoreau were frequent guests of the original owners.
The seasons are fully expressed in this corner of the Northeast, adding year-round escape potential. A fabulous restaurant, pool and sauna are a bonus.
National parks are a balm
Solitude at Congaree National Park — Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina
As the virus spread, nature was a cure. National parks saw an increase in visits and numbers continue to be strong. If you crave solitude, consider a winter visit or choose a lesser-known park like Congaree National Park in South Carolina, an old-growth forest lined with elevated trails. Hike, kayak or fish this forever wild place of beauty and tranquility.
Hotels with outdoor options
Yoga at Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana — Photo courtesy of Allison Tibaldi
The pandemic was a springboard for outdoor activities, from hiking to pickling. Our collective desire to be on the move in the great outdoors doesn’t seem to be waning.
Flathead Lake Lodge is a family-owned ranch on the shores of the same lake. A variety of daily activities, from horseback riding on pine-scented trails to sailing on crystal clear waters to hilltop yoga, immerse guests in the Montana wilderness as they experience pastimes old and new. It’s back to nature without being rough, with delicious food, fine wines and luxury cabins included.
Retro motor lodge
Rooms have many extras at Bluebird Sunapee — Photo courtesy of Bluebird by Lark
When travel anxiety was at its peak, the limited interaction of a personal vehicle was perceived as safer, prompting an increase in road travel. Nostalgic roadside motels garnered attention and continue to attract guests.
Bluebird by Lark is a collection of recently opened roadside lodges designed to facilitate the great American road trip. They have taken existing properties and added to them while keeping the prices within pennies’ reach. At Bluebird Sunapee in Newbury, New Hampshire, design-conscious rooms feature beds with Pendleton duvets and blankets. An eclectic record collection, a game room and an indoor saltwater pool enhance the communal spaces.
Residential neighborhoods as a holiday base
Pedal Around Cherry Creek North — Photo courtesy of Cherry Creek North
Once upon a time, hotels in action-packed downtowns were a magnet for tourists. But a growing number of people working from home has added vibrancy to neighborhoods that once emptied during the workday.
Staying in a hotel in a residential part of town offers a real sense of local life. Just outside of downtown Denver, Cherry Creek North is a mixed-use, walkable, bike-friendly area with the city’s highest concentration of independently owned shops, art galleries, and a thriving dining scene. taste. Book a room at the Clayton Hotel, with Denver-inspired decor and an on-site members’ club, for a true window into the Rocky Mountain lifestyle.
Art for the eyes in nature
Sculpture gardens are a great way to experience art — Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota
When museums closed their doors, hundreds of outdoor sculpture parks continued to present an alfresco art experience in an environment ideal for practicing social distancing.
At the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center, art is set free from the practical limitations of the four walls of a traditional museum. Claes Oldenburg’s “Spoonbridge and Cherry” serves as the creative center of the garden. This giant spoon with a cherry represents abstract proportions and whimsy. Entry is free.
Lounges on the ceiling
Brach Hotel’s rooftop has a view of the Eiffel Tower — Photo courtesy of Evok Hotels
The pandemic prompted us to seek fresh air whenever possible. Rooftop lounges have been erected in hotels around the globe. At the luxury Hotel Brach in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, the rooftop is a respite with a Scandinavian-style hot tub and stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. Herbs grow in the garden, with basil and fresh cut mint adding flavor to cocktails and knives. A trio of happy chickens accentuate the country-style atmosphere.
Picnics are popping up
Picnic on the lawn at The Chanler on Cliff Walk — Photo courtesy of Allison Tibaldi
Restaurants shifted to outdoor dining at the start of the pandemic. What started as a necessity has sprouted a cottage industry of companies offering luxury picnics. Planning a perfect picnic is not easy; Choosing foods that complement each other and stay fresh, plus creating floral centerpieces that are sturdy yet beautiful, is practically an art form.
Hotels across the country are getting in on the action. At The Chanler on Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, guests can order a picnic served on a lawn overlooking the ocean. You’ll dine on artisan sandwiches and delicious desserts, complete with plush pillows.
Long-term vacation rentals suit digital nomads
Palm Springs is popular with digital nomads — Photo courtesy of Airbnb
A boom in workers on flexible employment arrangements has driven demand for long-term holiday rentals. High-speed Internet gives remote or hybrid workers the ability to get work done from anywhere. Listings on sites like Airbnb offer privacy, space and the comforts of home.
In California, the desert oasis of Palm Springs is one of Airbnb’s top long-stay nesting spots. It’s on the map for stargazers, fans of mid-century modern architecture, and the LGBTQ+ community. An array of fabulous rental properties attracts digital nomads like bees to honey.
Upgraded airline seats
La Compagnie offers personal space and luxurious service — Photo courtesy of La Compagnie
Those flying during the pandemic were more likely to boast seats in premium cabins in a bid to ease social distancing in the air. Perks like amenity kits and upgraded meals were welcome additions to the wider seats.
Airline passengers continue to pay for the upgrades. At La Compagnie, a French carrier that flies from the US to Paris, Nice and Milan, each plane has just 76 seats that lie completely flat, offering passengers personal space in addition to Wi-Fi, champagne, a media channel and gourmet foods. . Ticket prices are approximately 50% lower than the business fares of the major airlines, for a more affordable luxury travel experience.