The coronavirus has impacted everyone but people in the travel industry have been among some of the first and hardest hit. While we know there’s been a lot of frustration with airline’s responses concerning refunds and cancellations, it’s important to remember that airlines are just one piece of a large community of people who make their living helping others experience the world. The travel industry is responsible for supporting over 15.8 million jobs in the United States alone! It’s likely that you or someone you know has been personally affected by the drop in travel due to the coronavirus.
While it’s frustrating to have trips cancelled, be waiting for refunds—or not be eligible for them—or just to be stuck inside for weeks on end, consider too that a lot of travel industry employees have also been majorly affected by the crisis. They’re probably tired from trying to help customers the best they could during the start of the crisis, they may be experiencing a loss of income or they may be feeling worried about how long this will last.
So while we’re all stuck at home, dreaming of our next trip, we wanted to share some ways to support the people that make travel possible for us all: from flight attendants and pilots, to hotel housekeeping staff, to the bartender at that little local bar you found on your last trip, the video blogger that recommended your killer Airbnb, or the maker of your favorite suitcase. Everyone in the industry could use a little pick-me-up from those of us that benefit from their work.
Send a nice note or message. Remember that a few kind words can go a long way and take two minutes to shoot them an uplifting note. You can do this as a public tweet or comment on their posts, through direct message on their social media or a kind post on your personal social media account. Trust us when we say it makes our day a lot brighter to hear from happy travelers! If you know someone personally impacted, write them a handwritten note and send it in the mail.
Our friend @pebblesthetravellingpug sent us a nice message during the start of this crisis and we can’t even begin to tell you how much it meant – we may have teared up a little bit.
Buy a gift card. A great way to support both local businesses and any business you care about is to buy a gift card for future use. This helps companies get cash now when there is little coming in, so they can be there for you when this is over.
Leave a positive review. Help support your favorite business by leaving them a positive review online. This will allow other travelers to know about the great experience you had and lead them to support this business as well. Leave a review for your favorite Airbnb host, an amazing snorkeling tour you did or your favorite brunch spot. Your reviews will help all of us find more awesome places to explore when this is over! And if you’d like to support us, we’d LOVE some love here. And remember, the businesses you review are made up of real people too, most of whom pour their hearts and souls into helping you have a great experience.
Share. Tell your friends and family or online community about some of your favorite travel experiences. Remind people that there will be a time when we will travel again and share the resources you have with others. Have a favorite blogger? Share a post of theirs. Find a video that was really inspiring? Send it to a friend. Just missing travel? Have a virtual happy hour and have each person share about their last trip or a trip they’re planning to take when this is over.
Shop, if you can. If you aren’t currently strapped for cash, consider purchasing that suitcase/eyemask/WiFi device/water bottle you’ve had your eye on. Making that purchase now instead of waiting will help businesses currently struggling keep going until travel picks back up again.
Save. Put aside money now to spend when the world opens back up. Take some of the money you would usually spend on going out to eat, going to the bar, etc. and put it aside now. That way when things do start to open up, you’ll be able to get out there and support your favorite businesses.
Plan a future trip. Last, but never least, support the travel industry by letting them know you still want to travel when it’s safe to do so! While no one knows for sure when that will be, consider taking advantage of flexible change policies and start booking a trip for the future. This will help travel companies get back on their feet quickly when the time comes for us to get out there again.
Shoutout to some of our favorite travel friends- you’re doing a great job and we will get through this!