I Canceled Our Trip To Maui Because Of Covid-19, But Not Why You Think
2020 is the year of cancellations, that is for sure! My miles and points balance have never been healthier because of it. It feels like I am getting a new welcome offer weekly watching these large cancellation deposits happen over and over again. I had only booked travel through July when the pandemic hit and most everything else has been already canceled. I was still holding out hope for our 15 year anniversary trip to Maui.
It has taken me years to get my wife on board with a trip to Hawaii (she is not a fan of multiple long flights). I convinced her by saying we could take the direct Delta flight from Detroit to Honolulu, and do it in a bed! Of course after she said yes Delta axed the flight 😥. Luckily for me she was already pot committed so we went ahead with the booking anyway. After all of that work and effort just yesterday I canceled our trip to Maui for the end of July. There are a few reasons why I canceled it and most of them are not why you think, let’s get into it.
Booking The Trip
Before I get into why I canceled the trip I will give you a run down on how I booked the trip. Since flying direct was no longer an option we decided to break up the outgoing flight and spend a night in LA. If you listen to the podcast at all then you know we are Vanderpump Rules fans. Our plan was to bar hop the restaurants on the show our one night in LA.
I booked first class flights from DTW to LAX for 22,500 Virgin Atlantic miles each on Delta. We were planning on staying at the Beverly Hilton for 60,000 Hilton points.
The next morning we would fly United in economy to Maui. I booked the tickets for 15,000 Lifemiles a piece. We would be spending 2 nights at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea using two free night certificates (normally 95,000 points a night). Then we would hop over to the Hyatt Regency at a cost of 25,000 World of Hyatt points a night using a Guest of Honor booking (the best hack in hotels).
Our flights on the way home were in first class on American Airlines for 55,000 miles a piece.
The total outlay in miles and points was:
- 45,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles
- 30,000 Lifemiles
- 110,000 American Airlines Miles
- 60,000 Hilton Honors points & 2 free night certificates
- 50,000 World of Hyatt Points
I would put a value on those points and certificates at over $4,000. It was a pain in the butt to find saver space for everything with adding in the stop over in LAX. I also had to work it into a time frame where my mom could fly up and watch the kids. So you could add a few more flights to the cost aspect as well.
The Juice Isn’t Worth The Squeeze Right Now
Why do I bring up my booking process? Two reasons: I thought people would like to see how I booked the trip and it shows how much the trip would cost.
This booking had a lot of moving parts for a domestic trip. Add in the fact that I had to work it into a window where my mom could take off and that severely limited my options. Because of all of that, plus it being an aspirational type of trip, I delayed canceling this booking more than any other.
Having said all of that, it was the cost of the trip that was the biggest factor in me cancelling the trip. If we still went ahead with the trip it would be likely that the experience would be a fraction of what it would be otherwise. Maybe we only get 70%-80% of the experience we would have got if we went 6 months ago. Maybe even less than that. Is it worth paying full freight and investing the time required to get there for less than ideal conditions? I can get to Europe in a shorter time and it would be direct! Add in the fact that it took so much convincing to get my wife on board and you can see why I want it to be perfect.
Why Would The Trip Be Less Than Perfect?
Hawaii, and LA for that matter, may not be fully open by that time. And even if they are it is likely there will be restrictions or hoops to jump through. Right now you have to self quarantine for 14 days when traveling to Hawaii but I expect that to end well before our trip. But there may be limited seating at restaurants or we may have to wear masks while dining or lounging at the beach. Small shops and towns may still be mostly closed if we decided on going to Haleakala National Park etc.
If I am going to put in the time, effort, miles and points to get there I don’t want to settle for less than the full experience. This was probably the biggest part of our decision.
If It Was A Shorter Trip Things May Have Been Different
If we were going to Florida or on a much simpler trip this would be less of an issue. But the fact that the cost and time involved is so high I just don’t think it is worth it. I am sure we would still have a good time if we went but it would feel like we were missing out. And for a trip we may only take once or twice in our life I don’t want to settle for less. If we lived on the West Coast and could easily visit it would be a different story.
I know that we are all hungry for a vacation but should we take a lesser experience just to get out there? Especially for trips that are so costly from a time or cost standpoint?
Having Kids Makes It More Difficult
Another consideration I had to make is the fact that we need someone to watch the kids. My parents were going to do it for us but they live in Florida. Would it be fare to them to have them get on a plane before maybe they feel ready? They offered to drive up instead but that is a huge ask as well. I just didn’t feel comfortable putting them out like that.
There Are Covid-19 Related Reasons But Not What You Think
Of course the elephant in the room is the pandemic. That played a part in our decision for sure but it wasn’t from a fear of getting sick standpoint. It definitely would be in the back of our mind but with proper precautions I think we could have handled it. The role the pandemic did end up playing in our decision making process was us trying to be responsible.
Before you roll your eyes, this isn’t a travel shaming segment. I understand people will travel and I do not have a problem with it. Our decision came down to the fact that my wife is a first responder. She deals with Covid-19 positive patients on a weekly basis right now. It is likely that she will regularly have to deal with positive patients going forward.
Because of that we feared she could have it without knowing or be an asymptomatic carrier etc. We also wouldn’t be guaranteed to go 14 days without having contact with a positive patient before our trip. And with knowing that it didn’t seem like a good idea to take multiple flights and stay at multiple hotels without knowing for sure. Especially with how hard Hawaii has fought to keep their numbers down, it just didn’t seem right.
As you can see Covid-19 has its fingerprints all over my Maui cancellation but not for the reasons you would normally think. Getting sick is pretty much at the bottom of the list for us.
The main reason was that the cost and time investment was too high to accept a reduced experience for us. Throw in the fact that we would need someone else to travel to watch the kids and it seemed like the prudent decision. The final straw was that my wife will likely have contact with Covid-19 positive patients within 14 days of the trip and we thought it was most responsible to avoid such a detailed trip because of that. We wouldn’t want to unknowingly increase the spread etc.
I am curious to hear from you though. Have any of these reasons led to some of your cancellations?