Living through a global pandemic, we’ve been forced to lock down, learn new behaviours and constantly adapt, amidst a never-ending barrage of hurdles, out-of-nowhere curveballs, and an unclear and forever changing finish line.
We learned to be permanently flexible and our lives were quickly revolutionised as we all had to suddenly master the art of remote working, home schooling, virtual exercising, online shopping, video socialising and even ‘travelling’ in the digital world.
We even learned a whole new Covid-inspired vocabulary to keep up with the swift evolution of pandemic life. The year 2020 saw new words like ‘social distancing’, ‘self-quarantine’, ‘super-spreader’ and ‘contact tracing’, officially added to the dictionary.
Difficult times, unfailingly, bring out a unified sense of humour as a way of coping. We often rely on humour to get us through stressful times, so, not surprisingly, in addition to previously-unheard medical terms, a whole new Covid slang has emerged too.
Our lockdown lingo took on amusing words like ‘Covidiot’ (someone not taking the virus seriously), ‘coronacoaster’ (the ups, downs and mood swings of pandemic life) and ‘fattening the curve’, which needs no explanation.
These 10 Covid-inspired travel words are inspiring wanderlust and shaping the world’s post-pandemic travel plans.
1. Revenge travel
The concept here is simple. To use an Afrikaans word, people are ‘gatvol’ (fed up). We’ve been cooped up for more than a year, our wings seemingly clipped, and our pent-up, travel-deprived frustration continues to mount exponentially.
Dreams have been put on hold, milestones unceremoniously overlooked and the need to travel keeps intensifying. People are restless and they want to take revenge on the virus and reclaim their freedom. And so, in retaliation for the hardships and cancelled plans we’ve endured due to the pandemic, many people are planning longer, farther and more indulgent adventures.
Revenge travel is all about splurging and making up for lost time (and travels). If there’s one thing we’ll never lose, even during a global pandemic, it’s our desire to travel. You know what they say, “Living [and travelling] well is the best revenge.”
Not to be confused with a coronacation—basically the past year we’ve all spent at home, away from our offices, schools, loved ones, etc.—a vaccication is the one we’ve all been waiting for.
As vaccines slowly become the golden ticket to international travel, a vaccication is that long-overdue, well-deserved and no-expenses-spared holiday being planned for the minute you are properly vaccinated and deemed ‘safe’ to travel.
A note to those first-out-of-the-gate vaccicationers, (part of) the world is your oyster. Many of the planet’s most popular tourist hotspots are uncharacteristically quiet at the moment. Imagine having bucket list places like Machu Picchu, the Ngorongoro Crater or the vast plains of the Serengeti or Masai Mara (almost) all to yourself?
Don’t forget: despite that glorious, post-jab bulletproof feeling, remember that wearing masks, sanitising regularly and maintaining social distance are still required, so be sure to pack (and act) accordingly.
Some travel tips...
Choose a destination
Once you’ve decided on a country, check out its most current border updates and entry/exit requirements regularly, as things can (and do) change frequently.
Research Covid protocols
Be sure to carry the required documentation, from proof of vaccination to Covid testing, and understand the potential entry/exit quarantine measures in place.
Ease of logistics
Until digital health passes and post-pandemic travel become a well-oiled norm, plan an indulgent longer stay in one destination, free from the hassles of moving around.
No surprises here, a friendcation is a much-needed, post-lockdown holiday with your closest friends. For the vaccicationers, it is an adventure with other friends who have also been vaccinated (aka, your anti-buddies).
For non-vaccicationers, this can be choosing to travel alongside a carefully-selected group of friends and family (your quaranteam) within the pre-determined safety of your own private travel bubble.
From sole-use accommodation to private transfers and activities, friendcationers can specify their desired level of privacy and safety, giving peace of mind to even the most apprehensive traveller in their travel clan.
Some travel tips...
Private travel bubbles
Exclusivity for everyone: opt for fully-private, semi-private or private activities only.
Small group journeys
Travel in the company of an intimate group of like-minded travellers on a set itinerary.
As the older generation receives the vaccine and border re-openings slowly start to allow distanced families to reunite, multi-generational family adventures will become increasingly popular. A lesser-known, but equally popular travel trend is skip-a-generation (skip-gen) travel or gramping.
This is when the grandparents take the grandchildren on an adventure, leaving the parents (blissfully) at home. It’s no secret that the number of school holidays generally outnumber the days a parent can take off work, so this is a win-win for the whole family.
Parents get a well-deserved break from home-schooling (and parenting), while the grandparents earn some unforgettable quality time to really spoil the grandkids. Sure beats staying at home over the school holidays, watching mum and dad frantically work-from-home.
5. Always OOO
One of the more positive outcomes of the pandemic is the speed and ease with which our work lives have been completely revolutionised. For many, the traditional work commute and corporate office have become a thing of the past, and the WFH (work from home) movement has proven not only effective, but has quickly become the norm for many.
Never before has work/life balance been so crucial for our overall wellbeing and mental health. Thankfully, the resounding success of remote working has enabled the workcation, whereby digital nomads and remote workers can flaunt their ‘always OOO’ (out-of-office) status, while working and staying connected from basically anywhere.
With this increased work/life flexibility, the workcation doesn’t have to be for parents only. Schoolcations have become increasingly popular for families, allowing both parents and children to remain connected to their work and school demands, while indulging in a desperately-needed change of scenery.
Remote learning is the souped-up version of home-schooling. It enables children to be active and explore, while maintaining a flexible schedule that balances outdoor fun with the necessary screen time to complete their projects and zoom classes. After all, Mother Nature is the greatest teacher of all, so an adventure-fuelled and Wi-Fi-enabled schoolcation is the perfect classroom for children to be immersed in.
Many solo travellers will agree that honeymoons are wasted on couples, while many couples will opt for the occasional holiday without their spouse for some healthy alone time. Enter the solomoon: quite simply, a honeymoon without the honey.
After enduring a year of pandemic life and shared work-from-home spaces, there’s nothing wrong with spouses taking an indulgent holiday apart. Nor is there anything wrong with a proudly single traveller crafting a honeymoon-like adventure-for-one, complete with all the spoils, blissful privacy and much-needed emphasis on self-care.
On the one hand, the pandemic has forced the postponement of countless weddings and on the other, it has inspired others to get down on one knee and finally propose. Either way, unforgettable and over-the-top honeymoons (and solomoons) are being planned, and many couples are opting for buddymoons in order to celebrate their union in style alongside their closest friends and family.
Perhaps not a travel trend per se, but zoombombing can certainly get interesting (and enviable) from an ‘always OOO’ workcation.
Initially, zoombombing referred to uninvited people suddenly appearing on your zoom call. However, similar to a photobomb, the notorious zoombomb can also refer to the unexpected, unwanted and often embarrassing work-from-home disruption behind you when you’re on a zoom videoconference.
From shouting children, barking dogs and spousal cameos, to ringing doorbells, noisy builders and everything in between, we’re all learning to juggle (and forgive) the distractions.
Perhaps the ultimate zoombomb, General Manager Brendan Streak’s recent zoom meeting at &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp in South Africa was interrupted by a pride of lions: “I don’t mean to interrupt this meeting, but there are lions on the lawn.”
This is Africa … expect the unexpected.
9. Quarantine 15
Similar to the freshman 15 during a student’s first year at college, the quarantine 15 refers to that pesky lockdown-induced weight gain experienced during the pandemic.
Go easy on yourself. A little bit of extra body cushioning wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen in 2020/2021. It is a global pandemic, after all. The prolonged stress, anxiety, grief and uncertainty all manifest in different ways for different people.
You can always shed those extra pounds/kilos after your long-awaited vaccication. But when you are (finally) on that first adventure back into the world of travel, don’t let the quarantine 15 nor the possibility of ‘lodge podge’ (there are seven official mealtimes at our safari lodges and camps) affect your enjoyment. Have that glass of wine, go back for seconds and savour the moment.
We have endured a global pandemic, the rest is secondary. Travel far, eat well and love every minute of your newfound (travel) freedom.
Last, but certainly not least—and also not a travel trend per se—the quarantini soon became a lockdown sundowner of choice. While you make plans to savour that first holiday (out-of)quarantini, surrounded by nature (and your quaranteam), why not make one at home to help inspire your travel planning and dreaming?
Reinee Ghosh, from our &Beyond India family in Delhi, shares her masala martini recipe, which forms part of a deliciously flavourful 3-dish menu for her virtual cooking class. If you crave the fiery and fragrant flavours of India, but can’t quite make it to the Subcontinent (yet), Reinee’s cooking lesson is a brilliant way to get your family/friends to connect and start getting excited for your next adventure.
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