Are You Recreating Cancelled Trips Or Booking New Trips In 2021?

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Are You Recreating Cancelled Trips
Hyatt Regency Maui

Are You Recreating Cancelled Trips Or Booking New Trips In 2021?

I have been going back and forth on something and would love to hear everyone’s thoughts and plans on it.  We have all been grieving the last few months over cancelled trips.  And to be honest, the future doesn’t look bright for travel.  It doesn’t look like things are going to get back to normal in 2020 but there is still hope for Spring or Summer of 2021.  As those dates become available for bookings I was left thinking, should I try to recreate trips I cancelled or move on to something new?  I am also curious to hear what you are planning on doing so share your thoughts in the comments.

Are You Recreating Cancelled Trips

I Think I Will Be Doing A Mix Of Both

It is strange, thinking about trips that were supposed to happen and then considering putting in all that time and energy to find awards to rebook them.  For some reason I feel like I just want to move on and going back into that well is too painful. I am not sure why it feels that way. I mean it is just booking a trip, how is that any different then booking an entirely new trip?  It isn’t but it sure feels like it is.

The two trips from this year that I am most sad about are my Paris, Kyiv & Prague trip and our 15 year anniversary trip to Maui.  I had planned on checking out Chernobyl on the Kyiv leg and I was finally able to convince my wife to take the long flight to Hawaii!

I do plan on rebooking the Hawaii trip because she is still game for it. There is still the chance that we decide to do a Europe trip instead this time around.  I don’t foresee the Kyiv and Prague trip being rebooked at this time.  It will likely be done at some point in the future but I almost feel enticed to do something a little grander.

That could be my crazy $300 business class booking from Mexico City to Cape Town. That plus the stop on the way home (Lisbon or London) will be one of my more spread out trips to date.It will have a lot of flights and a lot of moving parts.  This is all assuming things are opened up by February of course, which looks sketchier each and every day. Maybe I will circle back to Kyiv and Prague in 2022 or tack on a trip there in the fall.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, I plan on rebooking one of my major trips from 2020 and skipping the other.  I will probably start looking at summer dates for Maui over the next few weeks and get that one locked in.  Outside of that, and my business class fare to Cape Town, I will probably stand pat until later in the fall and see how things are progressing.

My real reason for writing this was to get your thoughts on the subject.  Are you planning on recreating any of your missed 2020 trips in 2021 or are you starting fresh?  Let me know where the trips were to and whether or not you are giving them another go.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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31 COMMENTS

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31 COMMENTS

  1. We actually went on our 30th anniversary trip a year early so we were able to have a great time on points in UK and Italy in 2019 before we knew any lockdown would ever occur. With the uncertainty of points devaluation that could happen we knew the type of trip we wanted might be impossible if we had waited. Now, we see another opportunity in which if we wait we may miss out. So, we’ve booked the free flights and stay for a place in the Caribbean at an island we’ve never been able to go but now one resort joined a hotel brand and opened nights for awards. So far, most of the resorts there are planning to open at the end of hurricane season so they can be running full steam for their busiest season Dec-Feb. God willing, we’ll be on a beach this December. I believe it will be the safest, cleanest air travel and resort stay experience we’ve had because of the virus fear. Also, there were good amounts of airline award seats as well as resort award nights. And, due to hotels and airlines better change/cancel terms it made booking rather risk-free. I’m glad the flights we’ll be on require masks. I don’t want any kind of virus and now won’t cringe if someone sneezes because they’ll be sneezing i to their own masks.

    • This is a new trip, not a previously cancelled one. We had nothing planned for 2020, so just had to wait until now to see when places plan on opening. We can still change or cancel if things change. We saw that many are plannng for 2021 and that caused us to really want to plan for the end of this year while things are quiet and less people, which also means safer.

    • Pure sorcery Ed – that you booked your big trip a year early. I don’t believe you weren’t aware for a minute…you should have told us! 🙂

      But seriously, I am glad you were able to make that 30th anniversary trip happen. Congrats on 30 years!

      • Thanks for the congrats! I guess in the back of my mind whenever I plan a points trip I always think that if I can plan to go sooner rather than wait than I should go sooner. It’s the fear of future points devaluation. Each time I think that way it works out well, but maybe for a different reason. Sometimes its simply that the right airline seats are open and I know they won’t be in the future if I wait. It was risky even traveling in 2019 to Italy because they were in the midst of the rotavirus. The CDC had nothing about it and so we found out when we were there. I’ve never heard that many ambulances traveling around everyday as tourists got sick. It reportedly swept from small airbnb rentals, then to hotels. Entire staff at many hotels got sick. Then it kept passing to the new tourists. So, Italy has gotten hit twice by very nasty viruses. We stayed at a great place in Capri, using cash back from cards, and found out that once the island approved residents to open up their extra rooms to airbnb rentals it brought too many tourists. These tourist-prone areas of Italy can only handle a certain number of tourists until it becomes a melting pot of contagions. Before this latest coronavirus some towns were beginning to limit how many tourists could be there by limiting the area to only those who were staying there. If Capri goes back to just allowing hotels and traditional B&Bs (no shared bathrooms with residents) then after the travel bans are lifted I might consider returning one day. That would limit the overflow of overnight tourists. Other than that we had a great trip: London using IHG, Capri using cash back type points and then Rome using Hilton. The Caesar Augustus in Anancapri was a huge highlight as well as the Waldorf Astoria in Rome. Took a lot of points. If we ever get to go in the future we won’t be going in their peak season even though we love the heat.

  2. Not so sure about next year as I’m still trying to see how I can use my couple of IHG free nights for this year…

    • We have 5 more free IHG nights between the two of us and so far only have plans to use 1 this year. We have 2 that expire this year and we’ll probably lose them since we can’t find a decent place to go that is worth the time for us. First time I can’t seem to utilize 4 award nights. Crazy. But, at least we have a trip planned for end of 2020 with other points and just using 1 IHG for a airport stay on the way. What a strange year.

    • IHG only pushing them out 6 months makes it tougher for sure. Maybe they will do another extension…one can hope at least.

  3. I think there is just too much uncertainty on how 2021 looks like, we’ve significantly under estimated the COVID situation at least in the US so far.

    While there are countries that appear to have COVID under control and I would consider safe, the concern is whether they would further restricted travelers from the US given that things are quite out of control here

    • Very true – you don’t know whose borders will be opened or closed by then. It makes planning very difficult. I may make a few speculative bookings with currencies I can easily cancel though.

      • That’s what my wife and I did. Booked a trip on points for December knowing we can postpone it or cancel up to 24 hours before hand. We like the fact that it will be less crowded due to the situation yet much cleaner due to the extra sanitation all in the travel industry are doing. As long as we don’t have to wear masks when in the open air at the resort, with the exception of spas and anyplace with tighter quarters. Certain Caribbean islands will be open after the hurricane season. However, we also planned to be able to self quarantine for 14 days upon return (we both work from our home office). If we see that they aren’t letting US citizens back into the country then we will postpone the trip, if we find out before we leave. If we get stuck at the island, then at least our jobs are online (web design/content editing). We only travel where good connections are possible due to online work.

  4. Mine is the opposite scenario.

    I live in the UK and have had 3 trips to North America cancelled.

    I have an ambition to visit all 50 states, and have done 47 to date, and so my road trip to South Dakota and Nebraska will definitely be rescheduled to next year. By the way, that would only leave North Dakota. Any advice of what to do and where to visit there, rather than just to complete the set.

    The second one was to Canada, covering Alberta, and I definitely will reconfigure that trip but may be not next year.

    Finally I was due in Alaska next month and that is off. Once again I will reconfigure it for a future year.

    To me the planning of a holiday is a rich source of enjoyment in itself, and merely rescheduling means part of my enjoyment in next year’s trips is also reduced.

    • Awesome – that will be a great accomplishment when finished. I honestly don’t have any suggestions for North Dakota since I have never been. South Dakota I would say Mount Rushmore is a must of course, visit the badlands and Deadwood is a town I was hoping to check out this summer actually.

  5. Mark, we have had to cancel three trips for 2020. First was our May anniversary trip to St. John where we were married 15 years ago…totally bummed about that. Next was Maui trip which I actually cancelled twice and rebooked twice and now may need to cancel again since it is for November and I highly doubt they will get their islands open to a point whereby anyone can actually visit there! Next was a European trip/cruise to Italy and Greece, my dream vacation. So much planning went into this and we have somewhat lost a $500 deposit. The cruise organization gave us a credit that must be used by March of 2022 but needs to be booked by December of 2021. Not sure about that. We may just let that $500 go and move on. Have been trying to discuss but that ends in arguing for anything in 2021 because we still have not gotten over not having any vacation in 2020! So, to answer your original question, not sure I will take the time to rebook anything and not sure I have the energy to book anything new at this point! Everyone just stay safe and please wear your mask no matter where you live!

    • Sorry to hear about the cruise – I know that is one of the better cruise itineraries and how much work goes into a booking like that. Hopefully things get better early in 2021 and you can use that credit before it expires 🙂

  6. Out of 3 international trips I had to cancel this year, I’ve only rebooked one, mainly because it’s still within the Americas. The other 2 trips were in Asia and Europe so I’m not so confident they’ll reopen this soon to US citizens. The thing I’m most worried about is the potential devaluation of the Alaska Airlines miles that were refunded from the canceled international trips.

    • That is a great point May – if airlines devalue then it would be a double whammy of these cancelled trips 🙁

  7. Great question Mark. We have had to cancel three trips for 2020. First was our May anniversary trip to St. John where we were married 15 years ago…totally bummed about that. Next was Maui trip which I actually cancelled twice and rebooked twice and now may need to cancel again since it is for November and I highly doubt they will get their islands open to a point whereby anyone can actually visit there! Next was a European trip/cruise to Italy and Greece, my dream vacation. So much planning went into this and we have somewhat lost a $500 deposit. The cruise organization gave us a credit that must be used by March of 2022 but needs to be booked by December of 2021. Not sure about that. We may just let that $500 go and move on. Have been trying to discuss but that ends in arguing for anything in 2021 because we still have not gotten over not having any vacation in 2020! So, to answer your original question, not sure I will take the time to rebook anything and not sure I have the energy to book anything new at this point! Everyone just stay safe and please wear your mask no matter where you live!

    • Sorry to read you had to cancel St. John. One of our favorite islands. They’re open now, at least private villa rentals. And, a lot of the green has grown back since that devastating hurricane. Now, many of the villas have been rebuilt and are better than before. The turtles have returned to the shores, so that’s a very good sign.

  8. Recreating canceled trips. I was supposed to be in Tokyo by now for the Olympics but it was postponed to next summer.

  9. Tough one here – i’ve had to cancel my 30th birthday from LAX – FCO for a week in Positano back in May…also cancelled MIA – SCL next week [booked for $203]…moved the SCL flight to Thanksgiving for a week…which honestly i have doubt will happen (who knows).
    got
    I do one big trip a year which i recently cancelled | MIA – DOH – CMB – MLE (IN QATAR business 70k miles with the majority in Q suites). Then was flying 30k turkish miles MLE-IST (20 hour layover) IST -DPS…all business. that was in october but no chance that one is happening

    I got both AA and Turkish miles refunded – now looking at a 75k biz in q suites on jan 1 – MIA – DOH – CPT

    • I have been considering Q suites on the way home from Cape Town. Doha was an option we were considering for an overnight since it doesn’t seem to have a ton to explore but I am leaning more towards Lisbon for the time being. Hopefully you are able to do the trip in Jan!

  10. We cancelled our August 2020 trip to the Philippines and instead will go in January 2021. Cancelled our Spain trip and instead will go to Japan in May 2021. Cancelled a trip to Santa Fe NM in June for a wedding. Will rebook for next June. Taking a couple of short trips around Alaska on AS and going to Florida for Thanksgiving 2020 on DL and AA.

  11. Great question Mark!

    I’m so bummed to have had to cancel on so many trips this year. Especially my anniversary trip to Bali that my wife and I were supposed to go on this year (May 2020). We were going to Taipei then Bangkok and then 10 nights in Bali staying at several Alila hotels as well as the Viceroy in Ubud.

    I am itching to book that again but it’s just too difficult to plan with Covid heating up again. I paid $250 to Juicy Miles and they were great setting this up last year. I paid a small deposit in the hopes of scheduling again but my mother in law who will watch our kids is not sure if she can travel to get here (she lives in Argentina). As crazy as it sounds their International airport has been closed since March and they say they won’t open up until October! One big complicated mess!

    I’d love to start planning again but I don’t want to have to pay fees again to plan all of this and then have to cancel again. It was also a pain getting miles back into my account with hold times on the various airlines for 2+ hours. Eventually I did get back all the miles so all the miles/points are just sitting in my account waiting to rebook this trip.

    • Yeah I am not looking forward to jumping through the hoops again for cancellations – that is for sure. We also had my parents scheduled to come up to watch the kids for our Maui trip. It adds another layer for sure when you have to schedule babysitters…especially when they are living abroad. Sounds like an amazing trip – hopefully you get to retry it in 2021.

  12. I am working on a mix of both. I had JFK-BOM booked on Delta into Delta 1 thanks to GUC since we will get an extension I’ll be recreating this trip but will be creating new trips as well

  13. That’s a good question and one I’ve been mulling over a bit as trips are being canceled. I had some trips planned around events that are no longer happening or to see family who will no longer be living outside the US next year. The answer there is easy: I won’t be recreating those trips. I’m still undecided about what to do with a trip to some Eastern European countries that I’ve never visited, which could be revived. Problem is I’ve been feeling like I’d rather go to SE Asia, lounge around in relaxing places like Luang Prabang, Da Nang or Ubud and eat good, cheap bowls of noodles once we get beyond all of this. I find that part of the world very relaxing (despite or perhaps because of the heat and humidity ). I don’t plan on booking anything yet. I don’t want to go through the hassle of canceling all those flights and hotels again. So we’ll see how I feel about it later. Stay safe everyone!

    • Great point MFK – I wonder if this whole situation will change travel patterns and what people are looking for from a vacation, for a bit at least. I know we have been more city focused as of late in our travels and after all of this a more relaxing vacation sounds more appealing for sure.

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