For almost a year now, travel has been much more complicated than usual. The typical concerns about getting a good deal on flights and whether you packed enough sunscreen have been replaced with concerns about government guidelines, travel restrictions, quarantines, and whether you packed enough hand sanitizer.

However, even though travel is difficult for most and impossible for some at this time, the travel industry is still a vital part of the economy. It's only natural for avid travel lovers to want to continue to support the travel industry during this time and see it make a full recovery when the pandemic is behind us.

Here are five ways you can continue to support the travel industry without even leaving your own town.

Purchase gift cards to use in the future

5 ways to support the travel industry without traveling

Though you may not be able to use them right away, you can still purchase gift cards now to use when you're ready to travel. Airlines, Uber, trip planning sites, travel advisors, and yes, even HomeExchange, sell gift cards you can give to a friend or save for yourself to use later. Buying these gift cards can help you start to dream about a future where travel is easy and safe again, and supports the travel industry financially during this difficult time.

HomeExchange gift cards

Dine out— and tip generously

5 ways to support the travel industry without traveling

Supporting small businesses is another great way to help boost your local economy. Restaurants, shops, and museums and other attractions have taken a hit, especially those in tourist destinations that rely on tourism to stay afloat. Support the small businesses in your hometown to help them survive this pandemic, and enjoy getting a special meal while you're at it. Don't forget to tip generously!

Share your travel photos on social media

5 ways to support the travel industry without traveling

Has your Instagram been languishing without the steady stream of beautiful travel photos you usually share? Dig back in the archives and share some photos from your favorite past travels. Tag the accommodations, restaurants, and cities so they can get some social media love too. You can also use this time to share (on social media or with friends in person) your favorite travel tips, experiences, and money-saving techniques. This can help grow travel companies, increase people's awareness, and set them up for success when travel is possible again.

Book refundable travel for later this year

5 ways to support the travel industry without traveling

You can still book trips for later this year, or when experts project it will be safe to travel again and herd immunity is achieved. Planning future vacations and sharing about them with friends supports the travel industry, even if your flight won't take off for months! You can often save money by planning a trip so far in advance, with great deals on flights and tours, and plenty of time to research your destination to discover the best things to do and see.

Just make sure the trips you plan are refundable, in case something unexpected arises or it still isn't the right time to travel. When you plan a trip with HomeExchange, you're covered by our COVID-19 guarantees. If an exchange is cancelled due to COVID-19 we will return the GuestPoints.

HomeExchange guarantees

Get a change of scenery right in your hometown  

5 ways to support the travel industry without traveling

You don't have to travel far to get away! Traveling in your town (or the one right next to yours) has many benefits, not least just working, cooking, and studying in a different setting when you've been feeling cooped up in your own home.

Chances are, you still have a lot to explore in your own region, and it can be fun to be a "tourist" in your own hometown, while supporting local businesses!
A fresh perspective can help to realize the wonders that surround us. Stay in a HomeExchange with a pool, or an impressive collection of board games, or an outdoor fire pit, and check out that art gallery nearby you've always meant to discover.

The benefits of local travel