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Coronavirus: should I cancel my trip?

With so much false information and others somewhat confusing, it is difficult to know for sure what to do in this moment of uncertainty caused by the so-called Coronavirus – Covid-19.

For those who have a trip and are not sure on what to do, I will give my personal opinion: cancel or rebook it for a future date.

I know, it’s frustrating that you’ve spent money and waited so long, made loads of plans and now you’re not going.
After all, there are so many other dangerous viruses and diseases around the world. Why should we be worried about a virus where the statistics prove that it is not that risky (for the younger)?

But the truth is that if you are in a country where there are not many cases (yet), it is difficult to comprehend and concede the seriousness of the situation.

The problem with travelling, perhaps, is not whether you will get Coronavirus or not, but the consequences of the actions that each government is taking to control the situation.

The virus is a severe threat to older people and people with chronic illness, such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes, asthma and for those with immune system issues and such.

The fact that something new and highly contagious has already spread to over 150 countries in less than three months, nobody knows yet the consequences on the health of post-infected people, and the economic and social impact generated by such pandemic, it is making everyone worried.

The reality is that countries are taking actions that can directly affect your travel plans, such as:

– You may not have the virus, but you can catch it while travelling, as well as, if you have the virus incubated, pass it on to others.

– You can return from your trip with the virus incubated and pass it on to family and friends, therefore helping Covid-19 to spread.

– You can already be or pick it up during the trip and feel sick right in the middle of your holiday.

– You may be in a country where the situation is stabilised at the moment, and suddenly, the infection increases and you may have your flight cancelled and will be unable to return home on the scheduled date.

– Or worse, the city or country can be quarantined, and you will be in a place that is not your home.
If it is challenging to be stuck 14 days (or more) inside your own house, can you imagine somewhere else?

– Tourist attractions may be closed. For example, Disney parks and Universal in Orlando are closed up to the end of March (or maybe longer, depending on how it is going to be on that date). The Eiffel Tower, Louvre and many other tourist attractions are also closed for an indefinite period of time. And the list goes on and on…

Nevertheless, several outcomes can affect you and honestly, after so much effort, so many plans, so many expenses, I think you deserve a holiday where you can relax and not be worried about the health situation of you and other people.

Nobody knows how long this chaos will take to stabilize, but experts are talking here in the UK, that the ideal is not to plan trips for the next few weeks, as in theory, there will be more certainty on how the virus “behaves” and how much it has basically hit the world.

Here is a link where you can follow the UK guidance for people who wants to travel: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

The airlines, the hotels and most of the whole tourism sector (here in Europe at least) are being very flexible, giving the option of changing dates or cancellations without paying fines, making sure people don’t lose their money.

Of course, before cancelling, speak to your travel agent or the hotel and airline and verify what the company policy is. If the hotel doesn’t want to reimburse you, maybe you can get credits to use in the future or something like that.

If you are in doubt, follow the news, because as restrictive measures are being made in the countries, the easier it will be to obtain reimbursement in those places.

Unfortunately, I also wanted to travel in June, but at the moment, it is best to prevent it and leave the summer holiday (here in Europe), for maybe in September, when hopefully things will be calmer. Or who knows, by May we will have more information about the real situation of each country and even be able to travel.

For now, let’s plan on what to do at home, in case we get locked down 😉

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