Ink insights, part 2
Ink invited 100+ leading names in travel to reveal where their wanderlust will take them after lockdown. It transpires that our travel motivations and habits are shifting as a result of the crisis, creating a new wave of conscious travellers defined by a mission to travel better.
An overwhelming number of panellists expressed a strong determination to travel as a way of supporting people and communities that have been hard hit by the crisis. Spain and Italy both ranked highly as places that people want to visit, predominantly because they empathise with how much these destinations and their communities have suffered in recent months.
This trend ties in with the continued rise of the responsible traveller, who views each trip as a means to offer support on the ground – be it through volunteering opportunities, the patronage of sustainable businesses or the wider decisions they make. This development shows that the incentive to help local communities, small businesses, wildlife and the environment as a whole is moving into the mainstream and influencing holiday choices.
“Now more than ever I’d like to contribute to the movement that is trying to understand how travel and tourism can be a force for good, which I believe will be even stronger in the pandemic’s aftermath.”
Writer and journalist
“A few days ago, I read that the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco had lost so much money during the lockdown that it might close. I have too many books. Nevertheless, as soon as I can fly again, I will celebrate by going to that shop and I will spend $100, and that is how I will know it is over.”
New England bureau chief of The New York Times
“This is a trying time for a hyper-social place like New York and I can’t wait until we’re all permitted to visit it, to emerge blinking back into the bright lights of the big town. And do what needs to be done to help it back to its feet.”
“Puglia can steal your heart. The whole region feels frozen in time... The local people welcome you with such warmth, that you almost feel like one of them. With Italy one of the hardest hit regions in the world right now, it’s the place I long to go back to when this is all over.”
Many people had made travel plans that were cancelled due to the crisis. However, the most heart-wrenching were the special life-changing events, from a honeymoon in Anguilla to a 50th birthday in Bhutan. It highlights just how significant a role travel plays in marking those personal milestones. Travel as a means to celebrate and share special moments with loved ones won’t change going forward. If anything, travel will feel all the more rewarding now that no one is taking it for granted anymore.
As many travel dreams still circle around the missed vacations, there is a strong push to rebook those life-affirming trips as soon as possible. The planned big birthday or anniversary trips, and in many cases the family holiday, too, were predominantly viewed as simply delayed. This is good news for the travel industry as people look to rebook once it feels safe to do so.
“For my 40th birthday, I had a family holiday planned to visit Crete, Greece. With this off the cards for now, I’m planning ahead for a belated trip next year, taking in more of Europe when we get the chance.”
“My diary at the moment is an envy-inducing dispatch from a different person living in an unrecognisably free age. To not rebook those trips as the world steadily reopens, seems unthinkable.”
Journalist, broadcaster and restaurant critic
“I’m dreaming about the trip my partner and I were supposed to be taking to the US for a long-overdue reunion with friends. I’m determined we’ll still go, once all this is over, and the Californian sun on our bones will feel all the better for it.”
Author and journalist
“My family and I were supposed to be skiing in Colorado right now. I can’t wait to fly down the trails in the Rockies’ impressive mountains again, and am eager to rebook my trip, hopefully for spring 2021.”
Food and drink are an essential part of life and therefore a key driver for travel. It’s a way to get a specific connection with a country’s culture as well as connect with the people of a place. That’s why the newly emerged and evolved traveller is seeking very particular culinary experiences. They now know that those sensory memories linger the longest, evoking incredibly strong feelings that turn into obsessive cravings once out of reach. This hunger has only been intensified during lockdown.
A large chunk of our contributors’ dreams revolved around food, but it was the detail in the specifics of a dish or drink in combination with a particular place that really struck a chord. Whether that was a simple sandwich au jambon in Paris, a coconut ice cream in Bali, dosas in Delhi, zarb (Bedouin BBQ) in Jordan or a glass of ice-cold Vermentino in Genoa, it is clear that food is travel and travel is food.
“When we get out of this, we are going back to Rome to Trastevere to eat cacio e pepe and drink delicious red wine; to the Campo Fiori, to smell the flowers and buy all the tiny jars of olives and oil.”
Food writer and photographer
“Most of my travels abroad seem to be based around squid. Foremost in my mind at the moment is Galicia, in the north western corner of Spain—partly because of the mountains, partly because of the coastline, but mainly because of the squid.”
Writer and musician
“I have such a hankering to walk the streets of Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong around lunchtime, maybe stumble into Lin Heung House or Luk Yu Teahouse for dim sum.”
Co-owner, Jewel of the South bar in New Orleans
“My and my wife’s favourite lunchin the whole world is spaghetti alle vongole at Trattoria Tramanto [in Anguilla], with a big bottle of Clos Beylesse rosé and our bare feet under the table.”
One silver lining of the crisis is that it has recalibrated consumers’ approach to travel. We are seeing more and more people recognise travel as a crucial part of economies around the world and understand how important it is to support this sector to help society recover from Covid 19. Rather than putting people off travelling to hard-hit countries there is an upswing of travellers considering trips to Spain, Italy and further afield. In addition, rebooking planned trips is slowly but surely becoming more palpable as acceptance of the current situation sets in. And when people do so, they are looking to celebrate life with their loved ones. This in turn is intrinsically linked to indulging in local food and drink specialities, to awaking our deprived senses. So becoming an evolved, better traveller means in essence returning to what matters most: human solidarity, sharing life memories and really tasty food.
Click here to download a copy of Part 2
Check out part 1: #dreamofthemoment for new reasons to travel and part 3: #traveltrends2021 for next year’s travel predictions