We’re living in a dystopia and we don’t know when it will end. 

Nearly two months since the first stay-at-home orders were given in the U.S. and much of the world, the immediate future of travel indeed looks a bit murky. 

Of course, the world certainly faces larger problems than a lack of tourism options—but for those of us who loathe a stuffy routine and crave new experiences, this “on hold” period has been especially difficult (raise your hand if Covid-19 squashed an upcoming trip of yours). 

When will it be safe, responsible to get on a plane? 

How long until it’s acceptable to visit other countries as a typical tourist and not a post-flight quarantine candidate?

Local Travel Will Lead the Way

While we won’t know the specific answers to these questions for many more months—possibly longer—we can assume that we’ll have to think more local (and yes, socially distant) when it comes to how we lead our lives and invest in leisure time. 

Airbnb Founder Brian Chesky expands on this idea in a Skift Live interview about travel behavior in the post-pandemic world:

“If you think about the history of travel…it went from wanting to travel to having to travel, and business travel became a huge industry…we traveled for work, and a lot of people chose to stay entertained at home or in their area. 

I think we’re suddenly going to see a little bit of an inverse. Maybe I can work from home, maybe I can do this meeting via zoom. But the more I’m working from home, the more I think I’m going to have a desire to maybe leave my home, you know, to be entertained. And so maybe instead of traveling or being in the hustle and bustle outside your home—this is for some people, not everyone, especially white-collar jobs—you’re going to maybe inverse, so if you are working from home or a little more tethered, you’re going to want to get out.”

Chesky goes on to talk about how “mass tourism will wane” as people increasingly seek vacations and stimulation, but without the crowds. He also sees a “travel redistribution” play out, in which people fly to smaller cities and smaller communities, which could have a benefit of spreading out economics to a lot of areas. 

Hotels to Leverage Flexibility to Replace Lost Revenue

Across the world, we’re seeing hotels open up flexible time bands from the early-morning hours to late-evening, for reduced rates. These rooms are primarily geared towards people working from home, who need a change of environment, or possibly just get away from their kids for a few hours so they can focus. These rooms, (often labeled something including “Zen”) come with Wi-Fi and plentiful (dare I say unlimited) access to coffee and tea. 

However, these types of flexible accommodations haven’t come to fruition strictly because of the global pandemic; they’ve been around for years. 

  • The lobby at El Cordova Hotel in San Diego
  • A day room at El Cordova Hotel in San Diego.
  • The beautiful pool at El Cordova in San Diego.

At HotelsByDay, we’ve offered morning, afternoon, and early evening hotel rooms across North America since 2015. These rooms offer a heck of a lot more than coffee, tea and internet with a flexible hotel room; your booking also enables access to hotel fitness equipment, pool/jacuzzi, business center, baggage storage, and much more. 

At the end of 2019, we acquired DayAxe to extend our daycation offerings to hourly luxury hotel amenities like resort pools and spas. 

View of pool and daybeds at W Hollywood Los Angeles
For $30 you can lounge poolside at luxury hotels like the W Hollywood.

What Does All This Mean for You, the Increasingly Stir-Crazy, Active Person? 

No matter how long it takes for travel as we knew it to return (spoiler alert: it could take as long as the end of 2021), you can still relax, blow off steam and have new experiences—and for a fraction of the price of a traditional hotel stay.

You don’t even need to hop on a plane to do it, either. With hotels in 300 cities and towns throughout the United States and Canada, there’s a good chance the daycation you need is just a short road trip away. 

Woman relaxes in hotel pool with sunglasses on.
That much-needed vacation doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Photo: Ayeisa Vargas

Seeing this pandemic play out has stirred a lot of feelings about humanity within all of us, not always in a positive light.

At the same time, a crisis like Covid-19 underscores the brilliance of human ingenuity, our ability to persevere, adapt, have compassion for each other, and unite for the greater good—no matter the circumstances. 

So while travel and leisure activities are minuscule compared to the real problems currently plaguing the world, stay-at-home orders will ease and society will slowly start to re-open.

When it does, we’ll need new ways to relax and find stimulations that don’t require jet-setting to faraway destinations. 

Daycations, micro-cations—whatever you want to call them—look to be the new hotel trend for the foreseeable future. 

Are you an avid daycation traveler? What are your favorite places to go, and how do you unwind while there?

We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us at ideas@hotelsbyday.com.

Featured Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Get away for the day wherever with a day use room.
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Kyle Blasco

Kyle Blasco is a writer, SEO content strategist and editor. When he’s not deep in an internet rabbit hole, he’s riding his Univega road bike, finding stimulating cafes and pleasantly experiencing sensory overload roaming a new city.