Because of the pandemic, people have avoided travel in 2020, and areas once known for overtourism are surprisingly crowd-free. As the tourism industry slowly revives, post-COVID travels will afford unique opportunities. For example, travelers to Italy will be rewarded with more intimate experiences at the Vatican Museums and Piazza San Pietro.
Iconic locations such as Venice and Cinque Terre also feel more laidback and tranquil without the influx of cruise ship passengers. Reduced crowds mean more pleasant experiences. Travelers who once requested early departures or evening expeditions to avoid the masses now have access all day.
You’ll find the same in places like Peru and Cambodia. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu are seeing historically low visitor numbers. If you can travel soon, you’ll prove well-rewarded. And once tourism numbers return? Think of post-COVID travels as an opportunity, and it will pay huge dividends. Here’s what we mean.
An Outside-of-the-Box Family Trip
Many travelers long to avoid the big crowds, and there will be continued opportunities to do so. Even when travel resumes at full tilt. That said, you have to work with the right company to find authentic, outside-of-the-box experiences.
For example, in Italy, consider visiting lesser-known grottos in Capri. That way, you can still enjoy plenty of fun in the sun without the chaos of the Blue Grotto. An excellent travel company might also suggest visiting Capri in the afternoon. Why? Because that’s when crowds depart for the day. Not only will this provide opportunities to experience Capri without crowds, but you’ll also enjoy a boat ride back to the Amalfi Coast at sunset.
Instead of visiting the same destinations that every Tuscan visitor begs to see, like Florence and Siena, work with a tour company specializing in cultural tourism through one-of-a-kind travel experiences. This approach might include a homecooked dinner with a family in a quaint village, such as Suvereto or Pitigliano. Going where most don’t will help you steer clear of high crowd numbers while seeing the authentic side of Italy.
Capitalizing on a Slow Return
Although Peru’s tourism industry is slowly reviving, expect the remainder of 2020 to stay relatively quiet. For those lucky enough to travel in the country right now, they’ll find record-low numbers in places like Machu Picchu. Typically, 4,000 visitors head to this site daily. But current restrictions limit it to 675 visitors. For those able to visit in 2020, they’ll enjoy a crowd-less experience.
Even after tourism numbers return to pre-COVID-19 levels, an excellent travel company can provide you with unique ways to avoid the crowds. Although there’s a longstanding myth (? As far as I know it is best to avoid the crowds? Recommendation? that early morning visits to the 15th-century citadel are best (in order to avoid crowds), the area remains encapsulated in thick mist with low visibility. Since Machu Picchu sits in a cloud forest, this regular occurrence is no surprise. Afternoons often prove the better choice weather-wise. Now that you will you have fewer people to contend with, an afternoon visit might reward you with sunny weather with breathtaking views.
You should also inquire with a travel company about overnighting in Machu Picchu after an afternoon arrival. That way, you can return very early in the morning if sunrise at the site is something you must experience. What’s more, you can get a head start on climbing to the Huayna Picchu mountain, an experience only available in the morning.
The Road Less Traveled
Consider choosing to explore destinations that fewer tourists visit. That way, you’ll enjoy super authentic experiences removed from the crowds.
For example, in Peru we offer a homestay experience in the Sacred Valley village of Huilloc, where you’ll enjoy immersion in the vibrant culture of an indigenous village.
An excellent family vacation company will also offer visits to parts lesser-traveled but highly rewarding. For example, Peru’s northern coast boasts sunny, warm beaches year-round, and the southern coast contains impressive deserts and archaeological sites.
Most people focus on the southern circuit, including the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. But the northern part of the country contains incredible destinations and sites, too. In places like Trujillo and the archaeological site of Chachapoyas, you’ll find working archaeological sites pre-dating Machu Picchu.
What’s more, the Amazon River originates in Peru, and it contains some of the most pristine rainforests in the world. After a few jam-packed days of visiting Peruvian sites, there’s nothing like a relaxing Amazon cruise. It’ll allow your family to unplug and unwind in one of the most stunning locations in the world.
When you go to Paris, you must see the Eiffel Tour. When you visit Rome, you want to check out the Colosseum, and when you travel to Cambodia, you long to explore Angkor Wat. Asia has enjoyed relatively low COVID-19 infection rates, and there’s no better time to visit if you’re able.
Typically, you’d have to go very early to Angkor Wat to avoid the crowds. But visitor numbers remain refreshingly low at the moment. Travelers in the area report places like Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, typically overrun by tourist buses, free from crowds. This moment remains a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those able to travel to the nation.
Once travel rebounds in the area, you also have opportunities for unique experiences if you don’t mind getting off-the-beaten-path. There are countless destinations in Cambodia that prove under-visited but remarkable, nonetheless.
When you work with an excellent travel company, they’ll take steps to help you avoid crowds by visiting places like Angkor Wat at less popular times. That way, you’ll avoid the crowds and enjoy a more intimate experience. They can show you travel tricks such as entering through a different entrance and visiting smaller, lesser-known temples while you’re there, too.
Post-COVID Travels Present an Opportunity
As places like Italy, Peru, and Cambodia revive their tourism industry, there’s never been a better time to visit. You can take advantage of record-low tourism counts. Of course, you have to temper the benefits of traveling now against other concerns such as travel restrictions and personal comfort levels. Fortunately, there are still essential takeaways for avoiding crowds, even if you delay your post-COVID travels for the immediate future.
These opportunities include visiting parts of nations such as Peru that don’t see as many tourists. They also include seeing sites that are just as noteworthy but lesser-known, such as smaller temples in Cambodia. Working with a travel company that can provide your family with unique, authentic opportunities makes all the difference. Why spend hours on a tour bus waiting to head into an overcrowded attraction when you can enjoy a homecooked dinner, exclusive experiences , and more?
At Our Whole Village, we see the pandemic as an opportunity to continue to inspire families to take the road less traveled. And as for those must-see tourist attractions? They’ll still be in your itinerary to avoid peak visitor times, whether you’re savoring an afternoon in Capri or touring Inca sites in Peru.