Alternative travelling

3 minutes

Michelle Pinsonneault

  • © Portrait of a young woman checks the arrivals and departures board at the airport. She wears a face mask for protection during a Coronavirus pandemic. New normal lifestyle for public transport after Covid-19
Due to the pandemic, today’s tourist is faced with no other option than to travel the globe differently than they did in “the before times”. Luckily, experts have been able to detect emerging trends—both here and abroad—that adapt the old ways of seeing the world to the current context and beyond. So keep reading to learn more about novel forms of wayfaring.

Revenge travel: the art of making up for lost time

After a long and unwanted hiatus, the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines has lifted border restrictions in many places, which cooped up travellers have taken as a sign to pack their bags and get out of Dodge. This urgent desire—henceforth referred to as revenge travel—is a pent-up response to the lockdowns of 2020-2021. The idea driving it: it’s about time to make up for lost time!

Both locally and globally, people are rearing to travel like they’ve never travelled before—and harder.

Internationally, for instance, people are attracted to destinations they once considered luxe or exotic, but now see as the dish best served cold vis-à-vis COVID-19. “We’re observing an upshoot in last-minute travel requests,” confirms Aurélie Cartier, Director at Voyageurs du Monde.

Places like Turks and Caicos, the Maldives, and Tanzania are highly coveted destinations. Even though these places don’t boast high vaccination rates, the fact that they’re isolated is a major selling point. Plus, we offer highly personalized services and 24/7 support, which reassures folks and inspires them to finally go on that excursion of their dreams.”

Bubble tours: private holidays with your nearest and dearest

There’s another way to vacation that’s been percolating, and it’s called the bubble tour. Bubble tours are custom holidays that are safe, accessible, and built around your bubble’s wants and needs. This tailor-made and traveller-led trend makes it possible to have complete control over your small group’s itinerary.

Families find the concept especially attractive,” Club Med Canada Marketing Director Jérémie Hoss tells us. “Intergenerational travel is more and more appealing as well,” he explains. “It’s a wonderful way for parents, children, and grandparents to travel freely and safely, i.e., not having to deal with COVID safety measures and pandemic restrictions themselves.”

As soon as they’re with us, Club Med is here to reassure and look after all our guests. We really do take care of everything! All families have to do is choose the activities they like onsite and/or experience the local musts offsite. It’s all about making memories how families want to make them.”

Slow travel

Coined all the way back in 1999, today the slow travel trend is more top of mind than ever. This alternative to frenetic vacationing is all about going deeper, basking in a particular region, and doing less better.

Take Montreal for example—slow travel here could mean renting an apartment downtown to walk the city, soaking up the street art, exploring nearby neighbourhoods on a Bixi, ambling along Mount Royal, chatting with the locals, checking out museums, dropping by Quartier des spectacles, savouring the local restaurant scene, and so on. Basically, living like a Montrealer.

Conscious travel a.k.a. ethical vacationing

The question is no longer “when can we travel again?” but rather “can we travel sustainably?”. Coming from such a place of privilege, the onus is on the tourist to make ethical choices that align with economic, climate, and cultural concerns in terms of sustainability.

That can involve travelling during the low season to counter mass tourism, opting for carbon-neutral products and services, or selecting an unconventional destination.

To help globetrotters navigate the terrain, Voyageurs du Monde travel agency has spent the last 40 years custom creating outside-the-box adventures. “Unconventional travel is what the agency was built on,” Aurélie Cartier reminds us.

“Our experts work tirelessly to expose travellers to things they’ve never dreamt of, to offer them an opportunity to travel differently and authentically, without ever straying from the kinds of experiences that they want to have.”

You’re forgiven for wanting to pack your bags now!