The ‘New Normal’ for Student Travel
The phrase ‘new normal’ has become a daily part of our conversations. We all wonder what the ‘new normal’ will look like as we emerge from the safety of our homes. Will we be able to hug our loved ones? How long will masks be required? When can we travel again? What will be the ‘new normal’ for travel?
Change can be scary, but it can be exciting, innovative, and positive! While the travel industry has been hit hard during the pandemic, it has responded with forward-thinking safety initiatives and a heavy emphasis on customer service. As you think about planning a student trip, there are new recommendations in place to help ensure the well-being of all travelers.
Many popular hotel chains are changing the way they think about cleaning and sanitation. New procedures may include:
- Extra disinfection of things like handles, remote controls, light switches, thermostats, etc.
- Disinfecting wipes/hand sanitizer in common areas, rooms, and elevator banks
- Daily multiple cleanings of pool, fitness and other common areas
- Removing glassware from rooms
- Masks, gloves and front desk partitions for staff
- Common area furniture arranged for social distancing
Restaurants have been some of the hardest-hit businesses during the pandemic. To help customers feel comfortable, they are also developing new standards of operation. Improvements may include:
- Reduced customer capacity
- Socially distanced seating
- Paper/disposable menus
- Digital ordering services
- Frequent disinfecting of tabletops and common areas
- Hand sanitizer available to all guests
Theme Parks and Attractions
Much like the rest of us, theme parks’ and attractions’ safety standards are changing and evolving daily. As they begin welcoming visitors back for fun and thrills, they’re taking steps to ease safety concerns. These may include:
- Reduced visitor capacity
- Temperature checks for staff
- 6 ft. spaces marked in ride queues
- Hand sanitizer stations at entry gates and ride/attraction entry and exits
- Frequent surface disinfecting
- Masks and gloves for employees and guests
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is a great example of an attraction following industry guidelines.
Many student groups travel by motorcoach so companies are stepping up to help keep students safe. They’re following CDC health recommendations like:
- Routine cleaning and disinfection of surfaces
- Maintaining 6 feet between passengers when possible
- Proper hand hygiene for drivers and passengers
One thing we know about the airline industry is that it adapts “on the fly!” When circumstances demand change, airlines respond with action. Right now, airlines and the TSA are working hard to reassure customers by refining safety standards. Accommodations may include:
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the plane
- Passenger temperature checks
- Procedures to increase social distancing (middle seat empty, etc.)
- Reducing direct contact with employees
- Allowing up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer per passenger
- Requiring passengers and employees to wear masks
When you are ready to get back out there, choose a student trip planner that makes safety #1! As part of its commitment to safety, Kaleidoscope Adventures launched the #KASAFE campaign. #KASAFE is a multi-level response to current travel challenges. It includes steps like KAre Kits, KA approved suppliers, new programs, and a health care professional of your choosing who travels at no cost. It’s one way we are doing our part to help you #TravelConfidently!
Business as usual is a thing of the past. As the restrictions begin to loosen, we’re going to have a few growing pains as we figure out our new “normal.” Let’s embrace the changing times and focus on the positives! After all, progress is impossible without change. When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready. #Let’sMakePlans!
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As a leader in the student travel industry for 25+ years, Kaleidoscope Adventures exceeds expectations for student and performance group travel.
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