Leisure travel has taken the crown. No longer is business travel the talk of the town. Airport lounges beware. There’s a lot of data coming out about how personal travel is rebounding much faster than business travel. This is a really interesting development for a few reasons, and has huge impacts on every person on the planet who has ever flashed a passport or government issued ID through airport security.
What we have learned over the past 6 months:
- Business travel is not particularly glamorous, enjoyable or efficient
- Business travel got really expensive
- Time saved on business travel trips can be spent on leisure. This is a new learning – especially for Americans. The thought has always been that time saved in business meant the opportunity to work more – and be more successful. It turns out that, through a massive experiment with tens of millions of working Americans, and others around the world, that work gets done first, and usually gets done well if you focus on the task. Doing extra work with the time saved traveling has a limited benefit. Every productive person now admits that sleep is important (a recent admission), unstructured time enhances creative breakthroughs, and inspiration from the shower is more likely if they shower is 23% longer (sounds about right????).
So if we don’t need all this business travel, are we destined to live in our local bubble for the reminder of our days? No way my friend – wanderlust is real and it’s only growing inside all of us each day we are told to stay home. This puts those of us who want to travel for the adventure, for the experiences, for the inspiration to create, for perspective – to feed our soul – as the carriers of the torch to save the travel industry. Hotels will now give us the warmed cookies, the free buffet breakfast, the stocked AirBnB coffee & tea cupboard. Life is good for the roaming gnomes.
If many of us are able to work from anywhere (if you are starting a company today – ensure that it’s remote from day 1) we will undoubtedly think about where we can go to combine work and play. There have been a few interesting developments:
Barbados – come work/live for a year (maybe more?)
Portugal – my friends Dave and Jen Williams have been running a great operation for Digital Nomads for a few years now – it’s very popular now
Some of this reminds me of the warm relationship between Japan and Canada. When I graduated university I went to Japan to work for up to a year. There was a special reciprocal agreement between the two countries that gave anyone the ability to go and work in the other country for 1 year – at any job. Pass a health exam and you had carte blanche to combine your desire to roam with the ability to earn. Personally it was a live changing experience for me. This is why I think there is a silver lining to Covid-19. Instead of driving us apart, the virus will bring us closer together. We are building new programs to live and travel and work in each other’s towns, cities or countries. This can only lead to wonderful things.
This also made us think at Float about how we can help facilitate the positive changes to travel. We are committed to helping you see the most of the world on your terms. Setting a travel budget, helping keep your CO2 output low, sharing travel assets with others, and being a travel companion wherever you go.