To go or not to go: Travel in the age of COVID-19

Photo by Fran Boloni on Unsplash

Many of us are re-thinking our travel plans for the coming months and even the coming year.

Things are changing so quickly these days, it is difficult to forecast what the situation will be two weeks ahead, let alone 3 months, 6 months, or even a year or longer. The situation has changed significantly in the past two months so I this updates the original post I wrote in early March.

If you are thinking about cancelling or changing your plans, here are some points to consider:

  • Base your decision on information from official sources, not internet bulletin boards or Facebook.  The Centers for Disease Control post travel advisories (www.cdc.gov), as do the U.S. State Department (www.state.gov) and the World Health Organization (www.who.int).
  • What is the monetary penalty if you change your plans or cancel?  If you think you want to postpone the trip, contact your travel agent (if you used one) or the travel provider if you booked directly and see if it is possible to obtain a refund or whether they would be willing to waive the change fee for you to re-schedule the trip at a later time. When giving the reason, say COVID-19 because many travel providers are permitting cost-free cancellations or changes based on that reason. Should I plan a future trip now? Travel in the time of COVID-19
  • What is your risk tolerance?  If travel already makes you anxious, consider whether you want to add to your anxiety by potentially exposing yourself to the virus.
  • Are you prepared to spend 14 days in quarantine if you are exposed?  If you are traveling and someone else is caring for your children/parents/pets, can they stay on for that additional time? Can you work remotely or afford to miss work for that extended period?  The risk of quarantine is not limited to travelers but it is usually easier to deal with from home than when you’re out of state or out of the country.  You may need to pay the cost of your own mandatory quarantine accommodations and you may not have a choice of locations. 
  • Although you might be considering an outdoor vacation this year, especially if you like to camp, continue checking to make sure that the campground will be open, that the region is not under a quarantine advisory, and that you can reach the destination safely. Please follow all of the recommended safety advisories for physical distancing and use of masks. Even when outside, please wear a mask if advised when you are in crowded areas. See my post on road trips: Planning road trips during the COVID-19 era

How am I dealing with this personally? See my article Should I plan a future trip now? Travel in the time of COVID-19 for additional advice and to see the travel I have cancelled and scheduled through March 2020.

All of us at Edge on Travel wish you safe travels!

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