LINDSBORG -- The travel industry, like so many others, has fallen in a ditch. As it picks itself up and dusts itself off, where will it go? What can travelers expect?


While 70% of Americans are planning a leisure trip in 2020, they are still concerned about the safety of themselves and their loved ones. Experts anticipate travelers will take road trips from larger cities to small towns nearby, opting to stay in vacation rentals.


Adam Sacks, CEO of Tourism Economics, expects, “people will travel domestically; choose places they can drive to; take shorter, less expensive trips and opt for rental properties over hotels.”


Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky believes that travelers, “…will want to travel even more, but they will look to small cities and communities as their preferred leisure options.”


Last year, many individuals and families looked forward to travel in 2020, only to see their travel plans abruptly canceled or postponed. Recently travelers are starting to feel safer, especially driving personal cars and staying in vacation rentals.


Vacation rentals, sometimes called Airbnbs, are most often individual apartments or houses that can be rented for a day, weekend or longer. The best vacation rentals feature a fully-equipped kitchen for preparing meals, onsite washer and dryer and most importantly a private space, often much larger than a typical motel room, just for the guests alone.


While hotels and motels offer private bedrooms, their lobbies, hallways, elevators and breakfast bars can be full of other travelers who may or may not have washed their hands thoroughly. These high-touch public areas are cleaned frequently with daily housekeeping is being curtailed unless requested. Some offer only grab-and-go breakfast bags.


The hotel/motel industry is in a “cleanliness race” to inform the traveling public on their new procedures. The vacation rental community running alongside, with information for their guests about their cleaning protocols.


Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals recently published their cleaning recommendations. Airbnb will soon announce its Enhanced Cleaning Initiative. Both rely on the New England Journal of Medicine findings that the coronavirus is no longer viable on surfaces after 72 hours.


Lindsborg Vacation Rentals, in central Kansas, has developed its own cleaning procedure named QCD Protocol. After guests check out of a property, it goes under quarantine for three full days. Its professional, trained cleaning staff, wearing masks and gloves, will then thoroughly clean for as long as three hours. The cleaning staff will then disinfect all surfaces that could have been touched by guests with a Lysol-equivalent germicide.


This QCD Protocol is also in effect for Lindsborg Executive Rentals, ideally suited for consultants and professionals, both for the medical staffing and manufacturing industries for extended stays. Airbnb recommends hosts provide month-long stays due to a marked increase in long-term rentals for these professionals and for digital nomads who choose to move to new locations every month or two.


Travelers should contact their hotel, motel, B&B or vacation rental with their questions and concerns, before booking their reservation.