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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Right before COVID-19 struck, the travel industry was the second-fastest growing sector in the world (after manufacturing) and contributed nearly $9 trillion to the global economy. That all changed this spring, however, as stay-at-home orders took effect and countless vacations were canceled around the world. But as the freeze on both domestic and even global travel begins to thaw, travel is making its way back—though it may not look the same as you remember it. As you’re looking forward to planning a trip this summer or fall, you can expect these six key experiences to be different.

RELATED: 10 amazing National Parks photos to inspire your next trip

Vacation rentals

If there’s one facet of travel that’s fared better than others, it’s this one. That’s probably because longer-stay vacation rentals, which you can book directly with CheaptTickets, host fewer visitors than hotel rooms on average, and there are fewer common spaces to share with other guests. Vacationers also have more control of the cleanliness of their accommodations, and you can expect heightened cleaning standards and more generous cancellation policies before booking your next stay. Although some regions are still closed to vacation rentals, there has been a surge in bookings this summer as people seek a safer escape from home.

Hotels and resorts

When lockdowns first began, many hotels reported fewer than 5% occupancy rates. Although those numbers have slowly risen, most hotels are still pulling out all the stops in terms of making guests feel safe and confident about their stays. How are they doing this? Free sack lunches have replaced breakfast buffets, pool deck chairs have been spaced out, and room cleanings and sanitations have been doubled, according to some reports. In fact, Marriott and Hilton, the world’s largest hoteliers, are now using ultraviolet lights and electrostatic sprayers during housekeeping to kill bacteria and viruses from guest rooms.

Theme parks

On a recent visit to Lagoon, a Utah theme park that was one of the first in the country to reopen, visitors experienced uber clean bathrooms, hand sanitizer stations everywhere, and a lot more park attendants than normal. That said, reservations, social distancing guidelines and face masks are required, so your visit won’t be like it was before. The upside is that park capacities are being seriously restricted now, which means you can do a lot more rides in less time than before.

National Parks

The good news is all are open again. The bad news: Many of the most popular areas are still closed, restricted or with limited access (i.e. pedestrian or biker access only). The Grand Canyon, for example, only recently opened the popular Canyon Rim Trail, after months of closure. Similarly, many visitor centers, museums and amenities remained closed around the nation. Nevertheless, many parks are reporting higher than normal crowds. Before visiting, be sure to visit the specific nps.gov park website for the most up to date information.

Flying

Although airports and airplanes are no longer the ghost towns they were two months ago, they are nowhere near as crowded as they used to be. To keep customers safe, all major airlines require face masks to fly and now use high efficiency filters to keep cabin air as clean as a hospital. Some, like United, will start using electromagnetic foggers to disinfect planes arriving from abroad. That said, flight routes (especially direct ones) are less than half of what they used to be and schedules are subject to change at any given time as airlines continue to shift their fleets. What’s more, some states such as Hawaii and Maine still require 14-day hotel quarantining or proof of a negative COVID test before entering.

Road trips

If you want the most freedom and isolation, this is still your best bet. Along the way, you are sure to encounter much cleaner public restrooms and a lot of drive-thru dining options just like before (be sure to check local restrictions on indoor/outdoor dining, and pack a mask as many states require them to enter shops and eateries). In terms of booking hotels along the way, CheapTickets lets you read authentic user reviews that include reports on cleanliness and other factors. Also note that in some areas, landmarks and attractions may still be closed to the public, so check before adding a waypoint to your map.

Tagged: Cheap Tips, COVID-19, Flights, Tips & advice

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Blake Snow

Blake Snow

Blake contributes to fancy publications and Fortune 500 companies as a writer-for-hire and frequent travel columnist. He lives in Provo, Utah with his supportive family and loyal dog.

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