International borders are projected to stay closed until 2021. So, regional travel within Australia is going to be extremely important for the local economy. Local travel will be important for Aussie tourism providers, accommodation companies, cafes and restaurants because you can help them to bounce back from the economic downturn.
You have the power to reinvigorate local tourism
While Melbourne is still in lockdown, you can still start planning for travel in the future once COVID-19 restrictions ease. Whether you plan to travel within Melbourne, in regional Victoria or interstate once border closures ease, you can help reinvigorate the local tourism industry with your patronage. Here are some travel tips to help you plan your journey now.
Create your personal COVID-19 travel plan
What will your COVID-19 travel plan look like?
Australia will definitely look different when we can travel again, particularly interstate. Being in Melbourne, Australia's COVID-19 hotspot, means you can be at an advantage here. You're well versed in personal COVID-19 protective habits like wearing a mask and travelling with anti-bacterial gel or spray. This is a good starting point when you create your personal COVID-19 travel plan.
Start by researching where you want to go, and if there are any local COVID-19 rules in place. Are borders open? Can you travel to a destination if you're coming from a hotspot, if you've had COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has had COVID-19? Research the local situation by checking out local council or tourism websites which will provide you with hyperlocal knowledge in real-time. This also applies to transport options; research the rules once airlines, train and bus services re-open and ramp up.
Plan how many masks you will need to pack and invest in extras to get you through your trip. Also, ensure you have enough time to wash reusable masks during your trip and think about packing travel-sized washing detergent. If you need antibacterial gel or spray, then buy travel-sized bottles that comply with airline rules. Think about packing a large supply of anti-bacterial wipes if you need to clean surfaces. If you have underlying health issues, speak to your doctor about any travel risks or precautions then fill your scripts for an ample supply of medications before you go.
When it comes to travel insurance, choose a policy that covers you for your personal needs in relation to COVID-19 and read the fine print about any COVID-19 clauses. To help your research further, use a travel insurance comparison website.
Act global by travelling local
Local businesses will appreciate your support
Think about where you can go locally. As a starting point, think about those trips that are at least a four-hour drive from your home. They are the destinations that will really need further support. In addition, domestic travellers generally don't take part in the same number of tourism activities that international tourists do. Remember, your money gets pumped back into the local economy.
New local experiences will be available to us
So how can you show your support? Plan ahead by making a list of the eateries you can try and the accommodation options you want to book. Are there any local activities you've never tried before, while still maintaining social distancing? Make a list of those as well, especially those activities that are unique to the area. In addition, ensure that these activities and businesses have a COVID Safe Plan in place. If your funds are limited, research those cheaper activities you can do like a visit to a national park, bushwalking options, or a visit to a local not-for-profit animal sanctuary.
Melburnians love the north of Australia, though…
Embrace the new travel frontier here in Australia
Again, it's important to research any border closures and restrictions on Melburnians when travelling within and outside Victoria. Once the time comes when we can travel interstate, it's the perfect time to choose destinations you've never experienced before.
Also, think about the local impact of your visit and think about an eco-friendly approach. The demand for sustainable travel experiences is growing worldwide and Australia is lucky to have three sustainable destinations in Queensland. From the 2020 Top 100 Sustainable Destinations, Queensland has the Douglas Shire, Lord Howe Island and Townsville. These destinations showcase sustainability good practices and meet sustainability criteria from the Green Destinations Foundation Standard.
Yes, you can start preparing now. It's the perfect time!
Local travel is the perfect opportunity to travel more eco-friendly
Melbourne is still in lockdown which means this is the perfect time to start your preliminary travel plans. You can still start your research now. You can start saving now. Even if you start planning slowly, you can still build your knowledge and be ready to start making bookings once restrictions ease and COVID-19 regulations are updated.