How to Travel Safely After COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has caused the world to come to a standstill. But now there are murmurs that some restrictions may ease, we are all wondering: what is next? When will we be able to travel safely? And what does this mean for short-lets?
The future of the short-lets industry
Not much is certain at present, but one thing is: even after restrictions are lifted – and indeed, even after COVID-19 is a distant memory – our attitudes to hygiene standards and, to some extent, social boundaries will change on a long-term basis. Post-pandemic, consumers will be looking for both hotel cleanliness and standards as well as the social distancing that homes provide.
This refined approach to travelling is likely to lessen the appeal of hotels: the idea of high staff turnover, and guests arriving from all over the world, mingling in corridors, hallways, and at the breakfast buffet may be a concern for many travellers. However, this attitude, as well as the likelihood of a boom in the ‘staycation’ market (due to airline restrictions), means that the short-let industry as a whole will be able to capitalise on the changing appetites of consumers. UnderTheDoormat, in particular, is well-positioned to play a leading role as the world recovers from the crisis.
We are an award-winning luxury home accommodation business, offering guests the quality of a hotel in the comfort of homes. We have led the way in setting standards – the first in the UK to be accredited by the STAA and Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal Accreditation – and, during the crisis, opened our homes to NHS workers, allowing them to shield vulnerable family members. When the time comes to open our doors to guests once more, UnderTheDoormat will be ready to provide a quality of home and service required to meet the desires of homeowners and guests who will be seeking further reassurance in relation to standards (especially around hygiene and cleaning): a level of service that other platforms simply cannot offer.
How to travel safely after the pandemic
After months in lockdown, many of us are desperate for a holiday. But how can we travel safely? And where, realistically, might we be able to go?
Travel to other countries is likely to be limited for some time. Fortunately, the UK is full of exciting cities to visit – and London is at the top of that list! It’s likely that London hotels will take longer to open; but, for many, home stays in the capital will present a very attractive option. When staying at a home, you can socially distance, prepare your own food, spread out around the house (and even choose to remain in separate rooms if a member of your party is feeling unwell). However, at the same time, you will want to ensure that you are receiving the highest standards of service and hygiene when travelling after the coronavirus crisis – so it’s important to vet your options carefully. Here are our top tips for taking a holiday once restrictions are lifted:
• Ensure your accommodation is cleaned professionally. Does the provider offer details of any products used? All linens and towels should be professionally laundered, too.
• Does the home have independent accreditation? Independent accreditation - such as the accreditation UnderTheDoormat has received from STAA and Quality in Tourism - ensures that the property has been externally expected and possesses all the relevant health and safety equipment (functioning smoke alarms, for example). Accreditation is awarded on an annual basis, so you can rest assured that the home you're staying in meets current health and safety standards.
• Be sure to check reviews! What do other guests say about the home you’re intending to stay in – and the service they received throughout their stay?
• Do you have travel insurance? It’s an uncertain world and having some form of insurance is more important than ever – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
• Check cancellation policies carefully before making any bookings. Be sure to read all small print, and make a note of the final date on which you could cancel (as well as the financial implications - would any deposits be refundable? Would you need to pay an admin fee if you cancelled? It's worth checking as every provider is different).
• Check the official advice for your country (for the UK, this is provided by the Foreign Office) as well as any local guidelines around restrictions.
UnderTheDoormat was the first accommodation business in the UK to receive the STAA and Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal Accreditation, and we are proud to deliver the quality of a hotel experience in the comfort of a home. Visitors to our stunning properties are provided with a safe and clean home, with quality linens, towels, a welcome pack and a personal check in. As a guest, you can also access our concierge service throughout your stay, and our team are always on hand to answer any questions or alleviate any concerns. Your comfort and safety has always been – and will always be – our top priority.