Air bubble pact with 18 countries to allow Indians to visit nearly 50 international cities
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A hackneyed phrase by now, still one cannot deny that ‘the pandemic has changed a lot of things’. One of them is planning a holiday. As the pandemic raged through the greater part of 2020, most of us had given up on travelling. But as businesses in the hospitality trade started following pandemic containment measures, and more and more people got inoculated, it was hoped that travel would pick up gradually. But there remained a glitch.
With the number of COVID-19 cases waxing and waning across countries (even intra-country) and statutory bodies implementing pandemic regulations accordingly, planning a trip is fraught with uncertainties. There have been occasions when people have had to cancel their trips at the last moment, owing to reasons ranging from ban on travel, cancellation of earlier declared relaxations, spread of the COVID-19 variants, etc.
However, to get around the uncertainty, many have taken to what is being termed ‘trip stacking’. A traveller plans multiple trips over the same time period, and in case one trip gets cancelled due to the pandemic, they have another one to fall back on. And it is a trend that is being observed around the globe.
For example, where hotels offer a 24-hour no penalty cancellation policy, guests may book rooms at several destinations. Some are stacking trips both on the domestic and international front. For example, stacking a trip to Thailand with that to Goa.
But there is also a flipside to this. According to aviation experts, trip stacking may lead to rise in air fares if a lot of people start travelling to a popular seasonal destination all at once. The hotel industry is unhappy with the idea of travellers taking advantage of their relaxed reservation policy and according to some, either the relaxation may be withdrawn or hotels will start applying a non-refundable booking fee upfront.
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