How COVID-19 Changed Air Travel for Good

airplanes parked at the airport
Photo by Ahmed Muntasir on Pexels.com

Before COVID-19, airports worldwide were buzzing with activity, with one flight after another taking off to an exciting destination. Families went on vacations together, and friends planned annual summer trips, sometimes flying to the other side of the world.

Everything changed when COVID-19 happened. Suddenly, airports were shut down, and airline companies had to park their planes and keep them inside hangars. Everyone had to stay at home.

Even if things have eased up a bit after three years, things aren’t really back to normal. There is some level of normalcy, but COVID-19 protocols are still very much around. The rules may no longer be as strict as when air travel first reopened, but some changes need getting used to – for both the travellers and the airline industry. After all, the pandemic is still here – and it probably will be for a long time.

Airline companies have gradually started operating again, but things are not how they used to be as certain changes have had to be made in the global aviation industry. Commercial airlines are back in business, but for those who have the financial capability, the best option is to charter private plane services wherever they have to go.

Whether you take a commercial airline or charter a private plane, certain changes in air travel may be around for good – or at least for several years. Fortunately, with the current positive developments in the COVID-19 situation, some of these changes may be welcome news for you and other travellers. 

Changes in Air Travel Post-Pandemic

1. Pre-travel information for travellers coming into the U.S. and those travelling to other countries. 

If you are travelling to international destinations, it is your responsibility to get information about COVID-19 protocols and related recommendations, including those coming from the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The said government agencies may have firmer rules and warnings for some countries, especially those with high numbers of COVID-positive individuals.

Similarly, you also need information from authorities in other countries you are travelling to. Requirements and restrictions vary according to the current COVID-19 status of the destination you are headed for.

2. Face masks are no longer mandatory in many countries.

Woman putting on a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Masks are a sensitive issue for many travellers, with over 5,700 reports of passengers displaying disruptive, violent behaviour while on the plane, mostly because of disputes about wearing a mask. This will no longer be a problem, however, as U.S. authorities recently announced that face masks are no longer necessary for airline travel.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have also dropped the mandatory wearing of face masks in airlines and airports. Both authorities, however, still recognize that wearing face masks is still one of the most effective and easiest ways to protect oneself from the COVID-19 virus.

However, passengers who are sneezing and coughing are highly encouraged to wear face masks at all times during their travel. Vulnerable passengers must wear high-protection masks, such as KN95, N95, or FFP2.

The rules for face masks vary from one airline to another, specifically those travelling to destinations where mask-wearing is still a strict requirement.

3. COVID-19 vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC no longer requires travellers from foreign countries to submit a proof of negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery before going onboard their flight. This took effect on June 12, 2022, at 12:01 AM ET.

However, the CDC will continue with its periodical assessment of the need for testing, particularly when there are new COVID-19 variants. Since the virus continues to evolve, the CDC will implement full health and safety measures to protect the public when the situation calls for it.

While COVID-19 tests and recovery documents are no longer necessary, authorities still require non-citizen, non-immigrant travellers entering the U.S. to present proof of vaccination against the virus.

4. Change in booking behaviour

Although the number of bookings continues to increase, airline representatives still notice some hesitation on the part of travellers. Many now prefer to book their flights or buy tickets at later dates, sometimes even one day before their chosen departure date. Planning flights months ahead is considered by many as too risky with all the uncertainties of the pandemic.  

5. Budget airlines

Several low-cost airlines did quite well during the pandemic, and some new ones have even launched their services quite recently. While these flights are nothing like the business class types that sell for thousands of dollars, there are reasonable enough alternatives for travellers who need to travel on a budget, especially now that airline fares continue to shoot up.

Most budget airlines travel U.S. and European routes and allow the affordable purchase of one-way tickets. Amenities, such as in-flight meals, may not be available for all flights.

Aside from low-cost airlines in the U.S., travellers may also want to check out budget airlines in Tokyo and the Dominican Republic. Travellers looking for new destinations to visit may also find budget airlines interesting.

6. More travellers prefer private jets.

Private jets at an airport
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

When airports reopened after the long lockdown, the private jet industry thrived because they became the preferred means of air travel by many. Private jets weren’t a new thing for the rich and moneyed, but they were for those who were used to saving so they could travel. Many of these travellers didn’t have the money to charter a private plane, but they still preferred it overriding a commercial airline and risking their health and safety.

Even with most pandemic restrictions already lifted, there are now significantly more private jet travellers. As of January 2022, there is a 40% increase in take-offs and landings in 2021 compared to 2019.

It is safe to say that flights to nowhere will be around for a while, though not all airline companies will adopt the concept.

7. New technologies

Even if millions of people have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, and even if face mask use is no longer strictly implemented, authorities will continue to explore new technologies that ensure the safety of travellers and airlines.

Airline companies will continue to offer contactless check-ins and various virtual services. Travellers will continue to look for safer alternatives for services and amenities they’ve been availing of even before the pandemic. More and more people now prefer to book their flights online. Financially-stable families would rather travel on private charter jets than on commercial airlines.

Long after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, new technologies that ensure everyone’s safety will continue to emerge.

Regardless of where you are flying from, where you are going, or what airline you are flying with, expect changes to welcome you. After all, the travel industry is always changing and evolving, especially at a challenging time like the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Author:

Melissa Hull is the Content Marketing Strategist for Aviation Charters, a West Trenton, New Jersey-based private aviation company that provides on-demand aircraft charter, aircraft management, and aircraft acquisition services. Aside from her passion for writing, she loves to travel and read espionage books.

Nature Lover’s Guide to California

A woman taking pictures on the coastline

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you say California? Silicon Valley, traffic, surfing, and swimming in the ocean. However, California is so much more than that. Nature lovers can explore the Sunshine State in the most magnificent ways and have the most exciting adventures. Driving along the California roads ensures beautiful views of forests, alpine lakes, deserts, and so much more. That’s why you should plan this itinerary with our nature lover’s guide to California – find out what spots in the Sunshine State will take your breath away!

Yosemite National Park

It’s one of the best-known national parks in the country – and there’s a great reason for it. The drive along the park will give you the chance to see some of the most magnificent views. Highway 120 is probably the best way to approach the park, and it’s one of the commonly used roads for travelers. You can also go for a more historic option – Highway 140, which is great for driving all year long. Furthermore, you can use the Tioga Pass to enter the park, so you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Some of the top attractions in Yosemite are Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Museum, Indian Village, etc. True nature lovers can enjoy climbing, hiking, and camping in the park, so there’s something for everyone.

Yosemite rock formations
Yosemite Park is a must-see item in our nature lover’s guide to California.

Death Valley National Park

Even though many don’t find this national park attractive at first, the place is absolutely worth visiting. These unique landscapes will make you forget you’re in California or even in the United States! Don’t be afraid of its name; the Death Valley is a beautiful national park with stunning rock formations, canyons, dunes, and so much more. However, this is a place of extremes, so avoid visiting it in the summer months. It gets extremely hot and dry, so the best time to visit it is from November to March. Visiting the valley can be a one-day trip – you can make this rather short itinerary and see a lot. Be sure to include Mesquite Sand Dunes, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin Salt Flats, and Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Finish it with stargazing at Harmony Borax Works. The sky in the Death Valley gets extremely dark, which is why it’s one of the best places to see the stars above us.

Napa Valley

If you’re starting your California getaway experience n San Francisco, be sure to visit Napa Valley for some wine tasting. The area is famous worldwide for producing high-quality wines, so it should be a stop on your itinerary. Even if you’re not a wine-lover, you’ll enjoy the beauty of vineyards in the area. There are several wineries that you can visit here, so be sure to book a tour. While in Napa Valley, you can also visit Westwood Hills Park, Skyline Wilderness Park, and Oxbow Preserve.

Redwoods of Klamath, CA

For some dream-like sights, go to Redwoods of Klamath. You’ll see famous Trees of Mystery – ancient giant trees that look like they’re from a fairytale. There are even trees that grow together to form a shrine called Cathedral Tree. Also, for a unique drive-thru experience, visit the Tour Thru Tree – just be sure to fold your rearview mirrors! This nature park is suitable for kids, too, which is great if you’re traveling with your family.

Monterey

Even though there’s a lot to see in this area, nature lovers often choose to see wildlife in the Monterey Aquarium. Different exhibits of wildlife that can be found in California’s waters will blow your mind. You’ll see wolf eels, leopard sharks, and even the giant Pacific octopus. Maritime lovers will surely enjoy seeing these beautiful sea creatures. Also, Monterey Bay is home to one of the greatest places to move with your family and one of the best family-friendly cities in CA. Use this chance to visit the places that can potentially be your new home and a perfect location to live with your little ones.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

This nature park is favored by hikers as many trails lead to magnificent natural sights. You can encounter various animals here – black-tailed deer or a skunk. However, our favorite sight is at the banks of the Big Sur River, where you can enjoy the magnificent gorge and even take a swim in the swimming hole.

In general, the Big Sur coast is very attractive to visitors, as it’s home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders of California. Driving along this coast will ensure you see different nature parks, the Big Sur Lighthouse, the Bixby Creek Bridge, and more.

The bridge on the Big Sur Coast in California
Visit the Big Sur Coast with a breathtaking view and the most beautiful sunsets.

Lake Tahoe

One of the main nature attractions in the state, Lake Tahoe will astonish you with its beauty. The deep green color of its waters and mountain surroundings make this a true gem of this nature lover’s guide to California. There’s so much to do here – swimming, boating, hiking, and camping. This is also one of the top skiing destinations in the Sunshine State. You can reach this place by car or even by plane – there’s the Tahoe International Airport nearby. There are several hotels and Airbnb accommodations in the area, but be sure to book in advance. Summertime is rather busy with tourists from all around the world.

Lake Tahoe in California
Skiing or hiking in the summer – lake Tahoe is the way to go.

Laguna Beach

Another beautiful coastline of California is the Laguna Beach area. Apart from visiting the town of Laguna Beach, drive along the coast to see some of the many beaches and coves. The cliff formations and rock arches show the tremendous power of the ocean to shape the earth. This area is a common stop for those embarking on the Pacific Coast journey and people who like to stay at hotels with first-class ocean views. It’s definitely a sight to see, so maybe planning this road trip this year is a great idea.

One visit is simply not enough to see all the natural wonders of California. However, we hope this nature lover’s guide to California will narrow your list a bit and help you choose the best location to make memories for the rest of your life.

6 Unique Road Trips in Canada

Unique road trips in Canada

Exploring one of the most beautiful countries in the world needs to be something special. Don’t settle for ordinary sightseeing tours. Go on a road trip and tailor your travel according to your preferences. You can make it one of a kind experience where you’ll get a whole new level of enjoyment. Hop in your car and see some of the most beautiful natural sights – and we’ll show you where to go. Exploring this huge country can make you feel puzzled, not knowing what direction you should choose. Well, we’re here to help you. Here are the six unique road trips in Canada – get some gas, pack some snacks and let’s go on a road trip!

Reasons to go on a road trip

Road trips are quite a unique way to explore a certain part of the country. Even though they require a bit of organization and planning, they guarantee many travel benefits. The reasons you’ll enjoy going on a road trip are many:

  • It’s a great way to relax – Driving through the countryside is a way to get some time to think about certain things and relax while enjoying a beautiful view
  • Explore more than just a beaten path– Road trips give you the freedom to make stops and visit places that are not in common sightseeing routes
  • Get closer to your travel companion – Whether you’re traveling with your partner, family, or friends, road trips are a great way to get closer to each other. You’ll share stories, explore new things together, and bond. Also, traveling by yourself is fantastic for getting to know yourself. It gives you time to rethink certain choices and make plans for the future
  • Explore potential places to move to – Road trips are the chance to visit specific locations and see what it’s like to live there. It’s perfect for those looking for a place to move – explore potential homes while traveling. Professional Movers Canada suggests people always visit their future homes and try to find out more about life there. These visits will give you more insight into the life in that area so you can be sure you’ll enjoy it.
A man looking at the sky on a road trip in Canada
Let yourself have the best adventure – explore unique road trips in Canada and plan your next trip.

Icefields Parkway, Alberta

This adventure spreads across 235km (146miles) of the most amazing scenery. Waterfalls, Glaciers, turquoise lakes, and breathtaking valleys – all of these will blow your mind if you opt for Icefields Parkway. This wild route will surely lead you to many amazing spots where you stop to take a picture or simply grasp the beauty of our planet. Some of the stops to include in your itinerary are surely Lake Louise, Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, and more. However, be smart with the gas situation – there are not so many gas stations along the route. However, there are increased once-in-a-lifetime chances to see common wildlife creatures in the area.

Interlake Region, Manitoba

This is a longer route that you can enjoy for about two or three days. Interlake region is one of the unique road trips in Canada as you can see history and nature connect. This is the place where you can hear stories about Vikings, as many communities here proudly tell about their roots. The region gets its name due to its location. You can find it between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. The area offers spectacular views, but it’s also a favorite place for families to enjoy the beach, birding, and boating. Spots you shouldn’t miss are certainly the wooden piers of Winnipeg Lake, Narcisse Snake Dens, Gimli and Hecla, etc.

Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

If you want to see the world’s highest tides and rare whales, head to the Bay of Fundy. Start with visiting Moncton, then continue to the Hopewell Rocks. These massive formations are surely a sight to see and even walk among. Next, make sure you visit Saint John – a charming old town that is a must-see stop when visiting Canada. This can be your last stop before you reach the final destination – St. Andrews fishing village, located right next to the border of Maine.

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

If you have a couple of days to spend on a road trip, Nova Scotia can be a perfect destination. Even though this trail can be driven in only one day, it’s best to give yourself time to enjoy all the great things on this route. This coastal drive can begin at Margaree Harbour and finish all the way in Baddeck. This route will lead you through Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay, Cape North, and Ingonish Beach. This road trip is on many travelers’ wish lists, and you should find out why!

Vehicles on the road in Canada
Choose a vehicle and begin the road trip of your life.

Wild Yukon Trail

This wild, mountainous, and sparsely populated region is a place to go on a road trip if you’re a true nature lover. Dempster Highway is one of the most unique roads here that can take you on a one-of-a-kind adventure. It’s isolated, it’s wild – it’s beautiful. The highway is about 700 kilometers long, so it will take a bit to prepare. Your vehicle needs to be suitable for this dirt road, and you need to organize the long drives. Warmer months bring more safety to the road, whereas autumn’s foliage makes the scenery even more spectacular.

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia

If you’re in the Vancouver area and want a shorter route, then the Sea to Sky highway should be your next choice. This is a much shorter road trip than the previous item on this list, but it’s surely one of Canada’s best and most unique road trips. On this 129km drive, you can start with Vancouver and then make stops at Shannon Falls, Capilano Suspension bridge, Whistler, Brandywine Falls, Train Wreck Trail, etc. This can even be a multi-day trip; just be sure to organize your stops and find accommodation in advance.

An aerial view of a road in Canada
British Columbia is the home to spectacular views like this.

Start one of the most unique road trips in Canada

Now, it’s time to choose among these unique road trips in Canada. What will be your next destination? A road trip can be an extraordinary experience – just choose a companion and hit the road.