Brno, 27 November 2020 – Coronavirus has infected nearly every field of life and has become inevitable this year. Among the irritating consequences of the epidemic were travel bans, which created dismay for many globetrotters. These restrictions have become very frustrating for people who are accustomed to commuting many times a year and in many situations, emotional well-being has been affected. A new survey by Kiwi.com, which looks at how the pandemic has affected travel, showed that the Czechs miss what they do not have – the sea – rather than everything else.
As many as 60 per cent of people have said that the sea and other natural landscapes, such as the mountains, are absent, most of all in the present situation in which travel is incredibly difficult. The Czechs yearn for nature even more than they miss visiting new exotic locations (30 per cent) or tasting exotic food (5 per cent).
“When a person insists on high individual success, has to solve problems on a regular basis, and lives in perpetual stress, with no meaningful means of relief, the concentration will eventually dissipate over time. Travelling – particularly spending time at sea or in nature – is a good way to stop this growth. People have different ideas when they’re driving – they’re living in the moment without worrying about the past or the future. Travelling is a perfect way to relax and put fresh energies into daily life, making it more enjoyable and of better quality,” says Tatiana Vaškovicová, a consultant psychologist and teacher for restoring emotional, mental and physical balance.
The nostalgia for the infinite blue expanses of the sea is understandable and very normal. The related lack of sunlight decreases the body’s capacity to generate vitamin D, which is essential for immunity and has an effect on serotonin production associated with mood-boosting and allowing an individual to feel relaxed and focused.
Probably for these reasons, the majority of Czechs who managed to fly this year booked trips to European seaside resorts that fulfilled their health and safety criteria. “According to our data, the most popular flights have been to Italy, Greece and Spain,” says Eliška Dočkalová, Director of Customer Experience at Kiwi.com. She said I can completely relate to the effect of not moving on your emotional well-being, on a personal basis. I spend a lot of nights preparing and studying my next trip so that I can be able to fly until the constraints are lifted.”
Yet not everybody has been allowed to fly overseas. In reality, most Czechs spent their vacation at home this year as a result of the pandemic. 82% of those surveyed planned to fly across the Czech Republic, with 61% not being able to travel overseas at all.
Tatiana Vaškovicá also addresses this trend: “People who normally cope with work-related stress and stress by commuting and visiting new locations have now had to cope with travel to local natural areas, exercise or relaxing by art, whether familiar or new. Although they didn’t, they would simply collapse from inertia and stagnation. It is important for such people to steer personal development in new directions. This can be a major concern in the present situation.”
The Kiwi.com survey* also supported this assertion, with 50% of Czechs considering no appropriate replacement for the travel experience. The current situation has had a significant effect on this party. The other half is able to find some option to travel, such as reading favourite foreign books or watching foreign movies (30 per cent), taking virtual trips to popular destinations (17 per cent), cooking foreign food (17 per cent) or learning a new language (13 per cent).
But Czechs are not sitting idle. Some are also preparing upcoming journeys, which are supposed to be larger and bolder than ever before. About 50% of them like to go places they’ve never been before to explore new opportunities. Just a fifth are looking forward to returning to a well-known and enjoyed favourite destination.
*Research by STEM/MARK Research Agency: conducted in October 2020 on a representative sample of 1012 respondents (18-59 years of age) who have travelled internationally at least twice in the last 5 years using the online survey process.
Kiwi.com was founded in 2012 by Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi. The travel tech company was created for travellers by travellers. Its proprietary algorithm – Virtual Interlining – allows users to combine flights and ground transportation from more than 800 carriers, including many that do not normally cooperate. Kiwi.com powers more than 100 million searches every day and employs 2,000 people worldwide.
Carol Barnes, Head of Global Communications, Kiwi.com