Cancel Travel Coronavirus
It’s a topic that is on all of our minds. Should I cancel upcoming travel because of the Coronavirus? While that is something I cannot answer for you, I thought I would be honest and walk through my thoughts about a couple of our upcoming trips and why I am considering staying home.
I’m No Expert, But I’m Not Uninformed
I have read pretty extensively on COVID-19 and feel like I am pretty aware of its dangers and areas where perhaps people may be overreacting. With that said I am not a doctor nor a medical professional, so like all of you I have to take the information I can gather and make a decision that has a huge impact on my family and our travels.
For example, we just spent some time in Disneyland and in Southern California where we were around a lot of people. We were extra careful with washing our hands and being sanitary, but overall felt comfortable going. The Disneyland Resort was busy as well with tens of thousands of others. I didn’t see a single face mask among the crowd nor many sick people. At no point was I uncomfortable, so why then would I consider cancelling an upcoming trip?
Cancel Our Trip to Europe?
Before I go into that, let me back up a bit. This year was supposed to be a big one for us travel wise. Ellie is starting Kindergarten in August, so we wanted to hit the road as much as possible before it becomes more difficult due to her school schedule. We have a trip to Hawaii scheduled for March 15 followed by what was supposed to be 1+ months in Europe on a road trip beginning in late March.
As I wrote about a few weeks ago, LEVEL airlines decided to cancel their Las Vegas to Paris route, meaning I no longer have a ticket to Paris. I have been working with them to get my ticket rebooked (long story but their customer service is terrible and they refunded me without my permission instead of rebooking), but perhaps just taking the refund is the way to go. We don’t have a return flight booked yet, so we could essentially walk away now without any hassles. So should we call our trip off?
Is It Unsafe?
Right now Italy has seen a huge spike in cases and has begun shutting off some small towns where the virus has spread. This has the potential to move across country lines fairly quickly (the EU has open borders among member nations) and while we could avoid Italy, we would be covering a lot of territory which could be problematic for a few reasons I’ll discuss a bit later.
Disneyland Paris is also part of that planned trip, but I wonder how long it will be open if the virus continues to spread. As of today Tokyo Disneyland has shut down for at least two weeks and both the Shanghai and Hong Kong Disney resorts have been shuttered for weeks with no reopening date announced. Even if we go, there could be a lot less to do with tourist sites shutting due to safety concerns.
Getting Stuck Abroad
My family is relatively healthy and we are young, so we aren’t at huge risk of dying from this virus. That doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t be worried about it. Of course we don’t want to get sick, but there is another consideration we have to think about. We could get stuck outside of the country for a long period of time!
Imagine we spend more than a month criss-crossing Europe only to find an outbreak happens in a place we passed through. Given recent government travel restrictions plus the potential for many more, there is a huge possibility we could be stuck. And not just stuck. Stuck in an uncomfortable place and/or situation. Not necessarily ideal.
Risking Greater Exposure
And then there is the inescapable fact that travel is bringing on greater exposure to COVID-19. While I still contend going places without any serious outbreaks is fine for me personally, I do need to consider how the risks associated with a long term trip and heavy travel will affect me and my family.
For example my father isn’t in the best health. Do I want to put myself in a position where I could potentially not be able to see him for long periods of time because I am a potential carrier? And of course there is always the risk of traveling and contracting COVID-19 and giving it to friends and family. In life I really don’t live in the “what ifs” often, but combined with the other factors, I feel I have to at least acknowledge this.
A Great American Road Trip?
So at this point I am heavily considering cancelling our Europe trip for March, not because I think we will get infected given the odds, but because I feel the risks are too high given the downsides. That is especially true when I factor in the potential hassle of being stuck somewhere in quarantine and being subject to government restrictions.
As an alternative we are considering a U.S. road trip. It still comes with some potential risks, but it seems like a better solution overall. To start, we were going to do a U.S. road trip over the Summer before Ellie starts school, so perhaps we could just switch things around. Staying in the USA would also give us the ability to return home if things get bad without getting stuck out of the country. And finally there is so much to do/see here, that I don’t feel like we would be settling.
Cancel Travel Coronavirus – Bottom Line
I know many of you are in the same situation as me with upcoming travel and decisions that have to be made about whether to stick it out or cancel. For now we are leaving Hawaii on the books, but will monitor that situation as things get closer. Past that I feel like leaving the country could be the irresponsible thing to do for me and my family. The next couple of weeks will be interesting.
What do you think? Do you have upcoming travel you are changing or cancelling? What alternatives have you come up with? Share your thoughts in the comments, but please be respectful of one another.