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Anyone Traveling to Europe in the Next 30/60/90 Days?

I am. I am hoping that this will be a thread where others that are, or want to, can exchange ideas on how to do it within the latest restrictions; or maybe in anticipation of the day the restrictions are lifted. A chance to forget COVID-19 and do some dreaming and planning.

(And dear Webmaster, please realize that there are plenty of current threads where people can trash others for travel right now and please try and help keep this once clean of that so if anyone is interested in discussing the possibility of travel it can be done with out insult, politics or disruption.)

Posted by
635 posts

We were scheduled on a Viking Danube cruise last July, with an additional week in Munich to visit friends. We were to have left on July 23, but on July 15 I underwent a 4-1/2 hour surgery for prostate cancer. Obviously the trip was canceled, and the rest of 2019 was spent recovering from the surgery and undergoing radiation therapy. Fortunately our genius travel agent was able to arrange for our pre-paid fare to be applied to a similar itinerary this coming June, without penalty. We are looking forward to it with grateful hearts and joyful anticipation.

Posted by
1 posts

I am scheduled to do the best of Germany, Austria and Switzerland May 5th. I really have tried to figure out what is best to do but for now my decision is to not cancel. Is anyone else going to hang in there and see what happens?

Posted by
51 posts

May 15-June 7
UK,France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany

Fingers crossed everyone!!!

Posted by
79 posts

I am scheduled for the Paris/Heart of France tour in 5 weeks, followed by Best of the Adriatic. I'm still planning to go unless RS cancels it. I have travel size hand sanitizer and wipes that I bring on my trips, and I plan to just follow the recommended best practices to stay healthy (lots of rest, washing hands, not touching face, etc). Not going to let all of this keep me home - and look on the bright side - the museums will likely be less crowded! And flexibility and a sense of humor will be key as well.

Posted by
10651 posts

I should have saved it to post here and I don't want to cut and paste a rather long post. But for those of you that haven't read the actual Proclamation detailing the "Ban", do understand that it exempts US citizens and Permanent Residents and yet longer list of relatives, workers, diplomats, etc. And the restriction is only for aliens who haven't been out of the Schengen Area for at least 14 days. There is no actual ban on flights, but dont expect them to fly them empty. So the issue isn't if its permitted to travel or if you are permitted to re-entry at the end of the trip, the issue is finding a flight; and quite probably dealing with some sort of enhanced screening when you arrive. You do need to wonder what will happen to you if you test positive when coming back in. Maybe they will ship you off to an abandoned cruise ship for two weeks?

I will be booking my flights to Budapest tonight. Leave the last week of April, come back second week in May. The airline is still selling the tickets but the price went up $30 since Tuesday; but still dirt cheap. The flight goes first to a non-Schengen Area country where I change to the Budapest flight. The return flight is the same. IF, only the Schengen flights are affected if the ban goes beyond 30 days, this should work. I am being a bit cryptic because I am paranoid... not many seats left....

I've been checking with friends in Budapest and while it isn't business as usual, the good stuff is still operating. Its my home away from home so as long as a few of my favorite restaurants are open, and of course my favorite wine bar; I am going to be just fine. But I do realize people going to see a major tourist attraction may be disappointed in some countries.

Posted by
77 posts

I am all booked for Scotland April 14th (independently and on my own).. up until yesterday I was firm that if my government said I could go and if the airplane was flying there I'm in! Aaaand then I woke up today and after doing some research have just started to consider I may have to postpone (notice I said not cancel!). Life will go on :))

Good luck with your plans!
Cheers

Posted by
4776 posts

Business Travel and some personal time to the UK in early June. Due to business concerns, (I am associated with the Aerospace Industry, mainly Commercial) travel may be curtailed I suppose, but at this time, the plan is to still go.

Also looking at a couple weeks in the late September time frame, just personal, a bit of time in Belgium, then who knows. I will still work on planning that, it is good entertainment.

Posted by
12 posts

I'm scheduled to take my first trip to Europe on the villages of southern England tour June 29 to July 11. I've been heartsick over the thought of canceling. I also have tickets to tour Highclere Castle on June 12 and have been dreaming of a relaxing Sunday on the grounds of Highclere for over a year. I haven't bought my plane ticket yet because my passport had the wrong sex, and was sent back for correction. Having never flown internationally, I didn't know the travel agent needed the number to book the ticket. I did take a photo of the passport, but with everything going on I'm afraid to take a chance on booking a flight I may have to cancel and lose money on. I was so excited about this trip, but now I'm depressed. I would love to hear some good news!!

Posted by
6535 posts

We're due to fly on British Airways to LHR and on to Berlin Tegel next Friday, 3/21/2020. We can get there, however the return flight from Berlin to LHR was cancelled. We bought our flights thru an independent travel agency (affiliated with Tripmasters), and they're unavailable and overwhelmed with flight changes. British Airways says we have to go thru the travel agency for changes.

We're of the age that the coronavirus affects so badly. And we're trying to get our trip changed until later.
We're just typical travelers in a temporary holding pattern. I'd hate to think what travel agents and airlines are going through this week.

Posted by
16 posts

I have an 8-10 week trip to Scandinavia planned for May - July. I've been looking forward to the trip for years and made special arrangements to take unpaid leave from work. Unfortunately, I can't re-schedule my leave (I made the arrangements last year before this all happened) so if I don't go on the trip I don't know when I would have a chance to go again. At the same time, there's no point going if countries are in lockdown, museums and tourist attractions are closed, etc. At least with living in Canada there won't be any problems leaving the country and getting back in again (the government has said it's not going to close the borders or ban flights), although airlines are cancelling thousands of flights and suspending services on some routes so that makes for an uncertain situation too (but perhaps the US travel ban will divert travellers through Canada and help the airlines?). I've put my trip on hold for now and I'll re-evaluate in another month. I have a sinking feeling that the dream of a lifetime is not going to happen :(

Posted by
10651 posts

IF, for some reason I had tickets that couldnt be changed or refunded and I decided going to my initial destination would be a bust due to closings of the sights I would look at alternative side trips that had a different emphasis. Fortunately I love fishing, so I could land in Budapest then hop Wizzair to Sarajevo and go up in the mountains with my fly rod. The fish dont know about COVID-19. There may be similar options for others to save their trip; go on a driving tour through the Alps for instance or lay on a beach in Budva.

FYI, not to be negative, just well informed.

Global Level 3 Health Advisory - Reconsider Travel

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions.Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.

For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website.

You are encouraged to visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.Please also visit the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to see information on entry restrictions, foreign quarantine policies, and urgent health information provided by local governments.

Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc.In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

If you decide to travel abroad:

Review and follow the CDC's guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
Visit our Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
Visit the Department of Homeland Security's website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.

Posted by
188 posts

The significant other and I are scheduled to fly into Barcelona on 9/6, and then travel by rental car up to the Dordogne (5 nights in Sarlat), back down to the Basque area, and then back to Barcelona (for 6 nights before we return).

I am thinking its likely that this thing will blow over and die out when we hit the warmer summer weather, and that this trip will still be possible. At least I am hoping that.

For now, adopting a wait and see attitude.

Posted by
2080 posts

James--this is a good thread for those of us who are bound and determined to go on with our plans--thank you, my friend :)

I have decided that the only thing that will make me cancel my May 2 trip to Romania for 11 days and Budapest for 4 is if those countries ban US citizens from entry. I fly SFO and United will be changing flights of that I am sure as they announced it a couple of weeks ago and with yesterday's official restrictions I expect something will definitely happen. If it becomes too convoluted then that will be taken into consideration. Curious to see what starts happening when people are re-routed to different airports for screening, etc. Too soon yet. I was just at the stage where I start connecting all the dots and considering if I want to see a show at the Operettszinhaz, etc, sigh.

I have no major agenda with this trip--always wanted to see Romania and planned to explore 5 towns and hopefully a couple of their various museums, then end with some time in Budapest which is where I really wind down. Discovered that once again I managed to miss their wonderful Museum Festival (will it happen now, who knows) but planned to spend time with the storks on Margit sziget, go to the Ecseri flea market, a day trip somewhere that's not Szentendre for a change though I do love it, and just happy wandering. I would be delighted just to be there, so will be sure I bring enough books and knitting just in case. Going later in the year I wouldn't see the stork chicks, but maybe I'd like the fall weather or Christmas markets, hmmmn...To keep my mind occupied in the next month I will be pondering alternate and later itineraries.

Posted by
4498 posts

We have a trip planned in late June for Copenhagen and Iceland. At this time, the trip is planned and we can only hope that it will still be a go. But we will have to monitor things and decide in late May or early June. We made sure to make all reservations refundable, which cost us some extra over discounted non-refundable rates, but consider that like insurance.

Posted by
10651 posts

Christa, my backup will be Bosnia or maybe Montenegro or even Albania. My connection in "Europe" is an airport well connected to Eastern Europe so I should be able to shift my plans if necessary. Just to be safe I am bringing my fly rod.

Posted by
891 posts

My wife and I are scheduled for Scotland in June, we're taking the approach that there is no sense worrying about things we can't control. The only real change in our planning is that we're no longer pre-booking anything else; hotels, rental cars and a few tours were already booked so worst case scenario if we can't go is that I estimate we're out about $2000-most of that the cost of the flight. Nobody wants to be out $2000, but it's not a devastating loss.

We're also scheduled for 2 weeks in England in September, flights and accommodations are booked, but I'm not too concerned about forced cancellation of that one.

Posted by
1 posts

We are scheduled to leave for London in the morning (13 March) and return on the 22nd.
As of writing this, we are still planning to go.

Posted by
693 posts

We are booked May 24 to LHR return June 10.... but most of our trip "was" Italy (northern) and France. We canceled all our hotels and car rentals which were all refundable (I've learned my lesson in the past) ... I'm waiting on my Delta flights. We might consider shortening our trip and just hanging out in the British Islands. I know I'm not the norm but it isn't the virus that is my catalyst - it's the real drop in my income- job related. Delta has extended their "no change fee" policy so we are waiting to call Delta as right now it's like a 4 hour wait...and it will give us time to really think this through.

Posted by
180 posts

Paris. Salzburg, Venice, Rome

May 15th-28th

If the flights are running and things are still open, We're still going

Posted by
15 posts

I am supposed to go to Andalucia Spain leaving on Easter for two weeks haven’t cancelled anything yet it would be my first trip to Europe really want to go but in discussions with my wife to postpone it and wait till late June or July to go hopefully it would be safe in summer

Posted by
100 posts

I'm scheduled to leave April 1 for 80+ days in France. No museums, crowds just wanted to travel and explore. OMG I am so on the fence. I want to be a good global citizen but cannot reschedule my trip, cancellation is my only option.

Posted by
10651 posts

debbie, this isn't the thread to say you should or you shouldn't. As long as you are on the fence you can share that position with a few others. Maybe talk it through. I sound a little gung ho but that could change if something unexpected occurs. At best I am about 75% still convinced to go. Easy to say, but tough to do; follow your conscience.

Posted by
902 posts

We cancelled our trip to Portugal March 31 - April 8...but not for COVID-19. We cancelled before it was an issue due to 2 new dogs and a plumbing issue that is going to require us to have contractors in/out of our house for about 2 weeks and it was going to be scheduled the same time as our trip. That being said, i probably would cancel now based on recent events. All "non-essential" travel for company business has been cancelled and ANY travel request has to be approved by an officer of the company. I work from home or on the road so I'm relaxing with the doggos and wishing I had purchased a boat last year!

Posted by
12 posts

James, thanks for the "good news" LOL....and this thread (about time for some positive thoughts). Hopefully we'll all get to enjoy our trips and have some wonderful stories to share with each other.

Posted by
10651 posts

Here is what the CDC says. So, unless something changes, and it could [one way or another], if you travel to say Hungary, you will have to self quarantine when you get home. That's two more weeks of vacation!!! Will they let you make your final connection home before you do the self quarantine? That would be counter intuitive.

My wild hope is that part of the reason for the ban was to "encourage" the Schengen states to monitor their borders and as soon as Italy and France are locked down, the ban will be lifted. Optimistic maybe, maybe not. Only one way to find out, that is ride the wild horse and see where it goes.

If it is still this way when I travel I will detour once I land in "Europe" to for a week in an non-Schengen Area country.

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Sustained Transmission
Key Points

Europe is experiencing widespread sustained transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19).
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the specified countries in Europe. See: What countries are included in this notice (below). [ the list was the Schengen Area countries]
Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease.
Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Travelers returning from the specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
Travelers who are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care.

Posted by
5304 posts

We made sure to make all reservations refundable, which cost us some extra over discounted non-refundable rates, but consider that like insurance.

@Douglas — this is so smart, and so easy! Why don’t more people think this way??

Posted by
784 posts

We are booked on a flight to Delhi on June 5. It's a work trip, but DH is going and we plan(ned?) to spend about a week before my work days on a golden triangle tour. Had arranged the itinerary with the tour company but delayed making payment until I came back from our trip to Spain yesterday. I emailed the company today and told them I was going to hold off putting down a deposit. I hope I can get credits or refunds for the flights if needed, but the tour company specifically said the only way we'd get our money back for a coronavirus cancellation was to purchase "any reason" insurance which was nearly $900. I'll take my chances that they'll have availability if things change for the better and we do get to go. Keeping my flights for now. We'll see what the next month or two brings.

Posted by
242 posts

We leave out of SFO on June 16 for 23 days in Greece. We are still planning on going. In our mid 50s, we're healthy and not at risk. Our spring break trip to NYC on April 1st is tentative. Our daughter lives in Manhattan and we haven't seen her in a while. To me, this is considered essential travel (who doesn't think that when visiting their kiddos?).

Posted by
1366 posts

Mid May scheduled to fly to London as the jumping off point for the Baltics and the RS tour that begins in Estonia, then Finland and Russia, with flight from Moscow back through London.

As of this minute, we could still go. Could we get all the way home, including the domestic flight? Not sure.

As of tomorrow, anything could change.

March 14 (edit to original post on March 12): And change it did. Following the addition of the UK to the travel ban this morning (yes, we all saw that one coming) British Airways (our long-haul flights) has announced very flexible rebooking rules. Wow, I'm glad my flights are booked with them! OK, time to figure out when to rebook everything for ….

Edit to add: we're supposed to start the application for Russian Visas in about a week. One change we'll make is to apply for a 3 year Visa instead of single entry.... in case we have to postpone our tour.

Posted by
1036 posts

If you haven’t bought your tickets, keep in mind that all Americans will be required to fly into certain airports to be screened just like what happened to people returning from China. I think it would be worth checking if you haven’t bought your tickets. If you have, you might check now before you travel on what you will do if your arrival airport is not on the list.

Posted by
328 posts

We are, hopefully, travelling to Rome (changing planes on the way in London) May 3 (arriving May 4), followed by Florence and Venice. They we are flying to Dubrovnik and going to Split, Brac Island, Zadar, Plitvice, and Zagreb. Then back to Canada via Frankfurt May 25, and spending a couple of nights in Toronto to visit our daughter before returning to Calgary.

Still hoping against hope we can go.

We have booked (probably unnecessary now) Colosseum with Arena and Third Level, and early entrance to the Vatican, a day trip from Rome to Pompeii and Sorrento, and fast trains between Rome and Florence and between Florence and Venice. All our accommodations are booked (refundable, if I recall correctly). I stopped booking anything after that, so we don't have the Borghese Gallery booked yet, nor our transportation (hopefully private shuttles) in Croatia.

Posted by
762 posts

We are scheduled on RS villages of south England May 25 thru June 6. Departed for London out of Chicago (from Tulsa ok) on May 23. After the tour we have a deposit on a cottage in Chipping Campden. The balance is due in April. Paid tour with GoCotswolds for one day. Then back to London for Cardinals vs cubs baseball games(2). Then home on June 15. So far, we are planning to go if all is ok and RS tour is not cancelled. If tour is canceled, at least we will get our money back, hopefully if the games are cancelled we would get money back, hotels- no deposits made ( can cancel). Not sure about our cottage yet, airfare was used by awards miles and $$ for taxes, extra leg room. I have not checked with airlines yet if cancellation has to happen. Insurance was purchased way before virus came out but doesn’t cover this situation. Not good with what’s going on. Fingers crossed 🤞 and prayers that it gets better soon for all of us travelors

Kim

Posted by
3210 posts

I'm scheduled on the RS Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour starting May 8 in Dublin and ending May 21 in Belfast.

I'm flying Alaska to Seattle on May 4 and RT Seattle to Dublin arriving there on May 5 and back in Seattle on May 23. Obviously I'm arriving 3 days before the tour starts and departing 2 days after it ends. Sea-Tac Airport may be the most dangerous place I go.

At this point, I'm planning to stick to that schedule. At 74, I'm in the bad age group. I have some health issues, but none of the ones so far listed.

Reasons that could make me change my mind about that, not in any particular order:

  1. RS cancels the tour.
  2. One of my doctors tells me not to go.
  3. Travel from the US to the Republic of Ireland and to Northern Ireland is banned.
  4. Travel from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to the US is banned.
  5. Aer Lingus, Alaska and SkyWest (my standby way home via Salt Lake City from Seattle) stop flying.

As best I can tell, the Travel Guard insurance I got shortly after placing my deposit for the tour in November should cover most contingencies.

Living in the Tucson area and having looked at Irish weather data for the days I'll be there and the places I'll be, I find it hard to see any virus-killing warmth there.

Posted by
10651 posts

According to American, the following airports are “approved entry points” for eligible passengers to have travelled to the Schengen Area, Iran or mainland China within the past 14 days:

Atlanta: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Dallas-Fort Worth: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Detroit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
Newark, New Jersey: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Honolulu: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
New York City: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Los Angeles: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Chicago: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Seattle: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Washington, D.C.: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

For travelers who are not set to travel to one of the approved airports, AA said it will reroute the passenger.

Posted by
763 posts

We have a one-way trip planned, Calgary to central Italy. We're moving there, to a house we bought last fall. We are scheduled to depart Calgary on April 20, and drive through nearly all of the U.S. to take Queen Mary 2 from Brooklyn on May 13. I am increasingly skeptical the ship will sail as scheduled. And I'm very sure I don't want to drive through the U.S. as I'd like to stay where we have public health care.

But if she does sail, we intend to be on her - 3 adult humans and a dog. We'll take the longer northern route through Canada and drop into the U.S. at the last opportunity. If we have to quarantine in England, or just stay out of Italy longer, that will be fine with us as long as we make it across the pond. We'll go see some new things. And if we can't get over the ocean, well, we'll just go as soon as we can. Still hoping, not cancelling, will wait to see what Cunard and various governments tell me I can do, and we will comply.

Posted by
18 posts

We are hoping to still take our RS My Way Alpine tour May 25 but it’s really not looking good so we’ll probably postpone to fall, assuming Lufthansa either cancels our flights or allows us to rebook without penalty. (LAX-Salzburg; Milan-LAX) We were supposed to be on another tour in Italy June 6-17 but that one is getting canceled, so we’ll need to figure out something else for June if we end up going. I’m trying to just breathe and stay hopeful.

Posted by
13895 posts

I have a flight on May 27 to Chicago via Istanbul on Turkish Air, returning about 9 weeks later. So far Turkey is nearly virus-free and there are still a couple flights a day from here to IST. That's nearly 11 weeks away. I look at what has changed in the past 11 weeks and have no idea what things will be like in another 11 weeks. As of now, I plan to go if I there are flights, with one caveat - a travel health insurance policy. If it isn't available (or maybe if the price is exorbitant) I will reconsider. I plan to visit friends in several parts of the U.S. If domestic flights are curtailed, or if it's not feasible to visit (among my destinations are the SF Bay Area and Seattle), I would shorten my visit.

Like everyone else, I'm waiting to see what develops.

Posted by
3763 posts

I'm booked for Scotland, leaving May 6 returning from London May 24. I'm still planning to go. That will change, of course, if my flights are cancelled or borders shut. If that happens - I seem to have some recourse with the airbnb's I booked, the Rabbies tours and maybe one of the hotels. They seem to be refunding without penalties. My only question marks would be the two trains I booked and the air miles I used to book hotels. If I couldn't get refunded for those, I'd only be out about $400-500 and about 4000 air miles (cry). I'm just about to make a list of what I booked and with whom so I don't miss anything.

But - on the flip side - my husband retired last week, so I'm already eyeballing Sept since we don't have any vacation day restrictions. I'd just move everything to those dates. I'm about 60% will be able to go/40% things will be cancelled, but that percentage is getting closer together every day. I will see what is happening in mid-April and go from there.

Posted by
10651 posts

We made sure to make all reservations refundable, which cost us some
extra over discounted non-refundable rates, but consider that like
insurance.

I started to book my flight last night, then I ran into this question. Now I am trying to think it through. Help please.

  1. If i purchase a standard economy ticket the flight will cost $1200 with seat costs.
    ..........If I don't use it, I loose it.
    ..........If the flight gets canceled, I presume that they will book me on the next available without charge.

  2. If I purchase the ticket with cancellation and change provisions the flight will cost $1650 with seat costs.
    ..........If the flight gets canceled, I presume that they will book me on the next available without charge.
    ..........If I change the flight there is a 40 euro fee + I have to pay the difference if the change is more expensive. I am sneaking in on the shoulder rates so any change will probably cost me another $600.

    ..........If I cancel all together I think it costs either 40 or 80 euro

So the "insurance" is about $500.

Worth it???

Posted by
333 posts

We’re booked for France May 5th- May 26th for a self driving tour.

All the hotels are refundable until May so we’ll wait and see at this point.

The Bay Area is already a hot zone, my wife works directly with the public so we are already at a large risk of exposure here. If we get it, it is pretty much going to happen over the next month

A border shutdown or Norwegian Air stopping service (which seems to be a possibility) might put a damper on things though

Posted by
505 posts

I have a 9 day Scandinavian cruise planned leaving August 9. It's 100% refundable (with credit toward a future cruise). I haven't bought airfare yet. I'm a teacher, so my hope was to travel for most of August in Europe- possible Greece, Malta or Spain/Portugal as well. I'm going to continue to wait on airfare, but would love to cash in on some of the deals I'm seeing.

Posted by
16560 posts

James, is there no transatlantic airline that will work for you currently offering exchange privileges on new economy tickets? I'm not in the ticket market at the moment, so I haven't done any research; I just know I've read stuff here that sounded encouraging.

I think in the end, you will not travel soon, so it's worth paying a fair amount extra to have cancellation privileges--but only if you have to. I'd be pretty comfortable buying a ticket today that I knew I could exchange for use in March 2021 (not that I ever want to travel in March).

The other possibility is that if you wait a week or two (I don't remember what your proposed departure date is), the fare may not have gone up, and you'll have more information at that point. Normally I wouldn't think that way about airfares, but these are not normal times.

Hungary currently has 19 cases (data from Johns Hopkins dashboard). It's about the size of Indiana (13 cases--almost certainly underreported). I can't give you the Texas count for comparison because that state isn't currently showing up on the dashboard.

Posted by
10651 posts

James, is there no transatlantic airline that will work for you
currently offering exchange privileges on new economy tickets? I'm not
in the ticket market at the moment, so I haven't done any research; I
just know I've read stuff here that sounded encouraging.

Acraven, the tickets that did offer cancellation and rescheduling for the additional money; were "economy". I guess its all in a name because they have levels of economy tickets at different prices. But i suspect you are correct and maybe I should wait a few days, things are changing rapidly.

Posted by
49 posts

Scotland....last two weeks of July......going unless they close down the place.....but, for the first time ever I bought the "cancel for any reason" option to my travel insurance for my travels.....I have only purchased what I had to up front with car, Edinburgh hotel, and air bnb reserved. I don't know how many of you traveled to Europe in 2012 (9/11) but I found the French very appreciative of travelers. This current situation really drives home how important it is to go when you can.........you never know..............................Happiest of Travels!!!!!!

Posted by
12084 posts

Time-wise the trip is planned for departing SFO at the end of June 2020 or even early July, if I do decide to go at all. It will be a solo trip this time.

I've made as yet no hotel reservations in Paris, Germany or in Vienna , will do attend to those details almost the "last minute" if and when the trip is really on.

No flight has been booked yet....we'll have wait and see as the corona-virus situation develops while keeping healthy in the mean time and occupied planning the trip.

Posted by
2 posts

Just hit the point in life where we can start doing these big trips, scheduled for a trip starting 6/5. Worried that the destination country might start clearing up by then but USA will be in the worst of it and we will be forbidden by them to travel to there!
Wait and see...

Posted by
95 posts

Well, I was in Berlin last week, was supposed to be in Rome this week (but diverted to London), and was supposed to be in London next week (now headed back to the US early).  I tried calling the airline to reschedule my flight to an earlier date but I was not able to get through to an agent.  I finally went to Heathrow and went to a ticket agent to make the changes.  In and out in less than an hour.  For my situation it was pretty easy as I typically travel to and from London on one ticket and elsewhere on another ticket.

That being said I have another trip scheduled May 17 through July 3.  I plan on flying to London, spending the night there, and then off to Prague for a couple of the days before starting a RS Best of Eastern Europe tour.  Then a couple of days in Athens before starting a RS Best of Greece tour, followed by some time in London before heading back to the US.  I am still hoping for the best but if both of my RS tours are cancelled I may call it quits for the summer or possibly spend a couple of weeks in London depending on the circumstances at the time.

I am a solo traveler who has been making several three to seven week trips a year to Europe for the last few years so I am pretty flexible regarding travel.  If I do not make it back this year there is always next year, HOPEFULLY!

 

Posted by
1504 posts

I have a June 14-25 trip to London and Amsterdam for my nephew's high school graduation, his first trip to Europe. Even though I'm a worrier, I'm not going to worry or make any decisions until at least mid-May. Too many moving parts and evolving/unknown travel restrictions. We'll cancel if the restrictions prohibit travel to/from Europe, but at this point we will go if allowed.

Posted by
6677 posts

If you feel shame, that’s your perception. But then, don’t you own property in Budapest, so it’s not really tourist travel, but just a trip over to your second home. If we still had our own place in France we’d hunker down and ride it out. But since we’re renting and stuck with little to do, we’re on our way back to our US house to hunker.

BTW, Austria closed the border.

Posted by
6677 posts

It will be a catastrophe in the States too, as all the hourly workers are fired, as everything slows down and we go into a recession. The majority of the people in the States live paycheck to paycheck.
There’s going to be a lot of suffering many places, some from ingrained poverty and in others inflicted poverty where the winner takes all rather than showing solidarity with the needs of the group.

Posted by
183 posts

We have cancelled everything. We were all set to go to Slovenia, Croatia, Budapest, NYC, and Miami in June. We've lost all our money on our flights, but we don't believe that it will be wise to travel any time soon, at least not until they come out with a vaccine. At least we didn't lose money on our accommodation and tours. We have contacted the airlines to see if we can possibly get a partial refund or something, anything, since our son is at high-risk with asthma. We doubt if they'll care, but it's worth a try. We included a copy of a letter from his doctor.

Until a vaccine is created, I wish that everyone would stop traveling period, unless if absolutely necessary. It's irresponsible for people to be out doing things that are not absolutely necessary. Social isolation is necessary in order to "flatten the curve." If you can limit the amount of cases, it gives the hospitals a better chance of coping. If everyone gets sick at once, the hospitals won't be able to handle those that need care. That's happening in Italy. But if you can stagger it, then they will be better able to treat everyone. Yes, it will be a financial hit, since the economy of the world is based on social interaction. It's better to take action now, and limit social interaction as much as possible.

Posted by
447 posts

Bookaholic,

I am with you. I was scheduled to go to England/Germany/Austria in mid-July. I know this seems a long way off, but I decided to cancel all hotels this morning. (I had free cancellation on Booking.com) I just didn't want to deal with the anxiety of an upcoming trip in these times. I will wait and see what the airlines are doing in June/July before completely pulling the plug. I may go to some remote part of Europe or just stay with my family in the UK. Although, I think this will not happen either. I don't think it is sensible to even be planning travel at this point in time.

Margaret

Posted by
328 posts

A reminder of the original post.

There are plenty of threads with posters asking advice on whether they SHOULD travel. That is not the purpose of this thread, and nobody has asked for advice or opinions on that here.

I am. I am hoping that this will be a thread where others that are, or
want to, can exchange ideas on how to do it within the latest
restrictions; or maybe in anticipation of the day the restrictions are
lifted. A chance to forget COVID-19 and do some dreaming and planning.
(And dear Webmaster, please realize that there are plenty of current
threads where people can trash others for travel right now and please
try and help keep this once clean of that so if anyone is interested
in discussing the possibility of travel it can be done with out
insult, politics or disruption.)

Posted by
4048 posts

We have a safari in Kenya/Tanzania in late July, but plan to visit England before and after the safari. We have about four months prior to our flight to Heathrow. Hopefully, things will have settled down by then. Perhaps the hotter weather will help.

Posted by
8481 posts

I am scheduled to be on a plane to London one month from today. I'm scheduled to return in early July. I will make my decision to go or not about a week ahead of time. Who knows what will be going on then.

Posted by
5817 posts

Frank I don’t know your age but this might impact on your decision.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/coronavirus-uk-over-70s-to-be-asked-to-self-isolate-within-weeks-hancock-says

And before the travel mob start shouting “shaming”, decisions like this need to be made with ALL the available information.

The fact that I think people STILL planning to travel at the moment probably could do with taking a good hard look in the mirror is a whole other issue. But hey that might be my serious underlying health condition talking.

Posted by
10651 posts

Like I said up above, if the "ban" is lifted its Budapest, if not, Plan B. I use "ban" cause there is no ban on US citizens, only a mandatory self quarantine if you return from the Schengen Area or the UK or Ireland. I cant afford two more weeks off work, so that the big sticking point.

Plan B countries all outside of the "ban" area and all accessible on Turkish Air through Istanbul so you can respect the current ban. Then I guess I would have to feel good enough about all that is going on, not to worry about ending up behind some closed border or loosing my connection through Istanbul. Sort of a big "IF" but as no one can predict where this thing is going I will continue to at least dream and plan. So, my Plan B ideas (understand I enjoy the off beat and nature)

Albania:
If you are into the unusual and nature, this has got to be the place to go. Ive been trying for years and the travel restrictions might just provide the excuse. This looks to be an absolutely spectacular boat ride through mountain passes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe4MBi3XOFQ at the far end fly fishing in the Valbona River https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HOLi70U-bs

Bosnia:
I did this last year, I could easily do it again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXKHDU6gkHE. But the whole country is amazing: https://youtu.be/f1qqfSBgTFA

Montenegro
One of my favorite places. Beautiful from the coast to the mountains. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VXsbW8n7kg and of course there is this for me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJDpi0kkHqM

Posted by
984 posts

The self-quarantine is a joke. Arriving passengers are "advised" to self-quarantine.

Rules that aren't enforced are suggestions.

Posted by
10651 posts

I cant speak for others, but if put in the situation, I would do it. If I had the slightest indication that I might be sick, I will do it. At least until I run out of toilet paper.

Posted by
51 posts

Luckily DFW is my home base so no additional flight for me

I have until May 11 to cancel my lodging for a refund, I'm scheduled to leave May 15 and return June 7.

I'm flying United and Air Canada, per their website you can change your flight for no charge for travel dates UP TO April 30, so as of now I do not qualify.

I emailed both asking what happens to the additional optional fee I paid for premium seating, I got an auto response saying it can take 4 weeks to get an actual human to reply haha. I have enough time.

Interest rates were just lowered, I may be occupied looking to finally buy my first place!!!

Posted by
3763 posts

Well, I just said to the husband that I think we will have to put our May Scotland trip off until (hopefully) Sept. I was 60/40 going/not going last week when I commented, but that has def swung to about 25 going/75 not going in that time.

I'll wait until the first of April before I start cancelling/rebooking things. I have a notepad where I'm writing down cancellation policies of the places we dealt with so I can keep track of dates and whether I can refund or rebook. WestJet so far is only dealing with flights up until April 30 but I figure by Apr 1 they will have expanded that, or things will be looking up by then (which I don't expect). We are lucky in that my husband just retired (good timing!) so we aren't beholden to an employer telling us when we can travel. I can just transplant the whole trip to Sept - leaving on a Wed, coming back on a Sun, booking the same tours and trains. I'm disappointed, but Sept isn't that far away, and hopefully things have improved by then (if not, then worries will be bigger than travel).

Posted by
10651 posts

It just doesnt make sense to travel right now, if for no other reason everything is closed. It would be a stand on an empty street sort of trip. It will be interesting to see how long things take to normalize.

Posted by
984 posts

I would be hesitant to make any firm travel plans until we see how COVID-19 plays out. It could very well run into the summer and forward, or it could go into remission and reemerge again in the winter as there will be no vaccine until 2021. Who knows?

Posted by
8481 posts

It looks like my lengthly trip to the UK starting next month is not going to happen. I don't know if I should reschedule over the summer or wait.

I'm still hoping to do a round the world trip this fall. Fingers crossed.

My big problem being a full time traveler is that I don't have a home to go to. It's all hotels. That's not really bad since they won't run out of toilet paper. But I did ask for 8-9 rolls so I feel as if I'm part of the masses.

Posted by
10651 posts

Frank, there must be some country, someplace, with open borders and cheap rooms?? Maybe Moldova?

Posted by
405 posts

Frank- you can probably score a cheap room at the Motel 6 in Barstow CA for the duration. No virus there- it would be too afraid to go. (I’m probably gonna hear from folks on that one).

Travel safe!

Posted by
8481 posts

BA just canceled my flight on April 15. They are offering me either an alternative date, alternative flight from another city. Or, I can get a refund.

I think I will take the refund and try again for this summer.

I've been to Barstow. A few times. Many years ago. More than enough.

Posted by
984 posts

Maldova and Bolivia maybe. Katmandu sounds fun.

There's another country that rhymes with a woman's body part but it escapes me at the moment. "Ulva" or something like that.

Posted by
76 posts

A mid June trip....flying into London for 5 days and a 12 day British Isles cruise. Hoping everything will still happen. If not a cruise, maybe a visit to London and other areas in England.
I'm just in waiting mode right now.

Posted by
8481 posts

Moldova has suspended all flights to the rest of Europe so no way to get there.

Bolivia has shut its borders

Nepal will no longer issue visas to foreigners.

Keep trying.

Posted by
8481 posts

Russia--no way. I have a feeling that anyone who comes down with the virus disappears. That's why they have so few cases.

I think I'll have to stay in the USA.....but where. I don't like the high heat and the weather will soon get warmer. And nowhere too expensive.

Posted by
10651 posts

Useless its so incomplete

Not listed, but closed
Ukraine
Albania
Moldova
Montenegro
Russia

and those are just the ones I checked. Looks like Cuba might still be open, which makes sense since they have the best health care system in the world.

Dont count on anything being open

Posted by
693 posts

England seems to be in chaos right now but we still haven't canceled our flights for May 24th. Although I will say I'm hoping Delta just cancels them for me or we can try to go later this year. Still in wait and see mode at this time.

Posted by
1036 posts

The US is preparing to advise Americans not to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Department is expected raise its travel advisory worldwide to Level 4: Do Not Travel -- the highest level.

Four sources told CNN Thursday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had approved a Level 4 advisory. 3-19-20

Posted by
5304 posts

And now they have done it. Here are the opening lines of the Travel Advisory (Frank II posted the link on another thread):

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

Posted by
10651 posts

The US is preparing to advise Americans not to travel abroad due to
the coronavirus pandemic.

A true "Feelings" over "Substance" directive. I guess directed towards those that need that sort of thing. Why? Cause the world is closed, and has been for days and days and days. Sort of like saying "I forbid you to walk through that concrete wall".

But for good news,

Several countries report that Chloroquine has some real benefit. Amazing a 75 year old drug steps up to prove a new value. I think I may have a 30 year old bottle in a box in the attic. Wonder if it still gives you the trotts real bad.

US deaths have not increased exponentially as feared, and while it could still happen, we arent there yet. Thank G-d.

At least on the subject of mortality the US isnt anywhere near the three worst hit countries in raw count or count per million population. We are at least a month behind Italy and that maybe gives us the time to head it off. Again, anything can change, but I will celebrate the small success.

Posted by
10651 posts

To put a positive spin on it, Looks like we have more time for planning the next trip!!

Posted by
720 posts

I don't know what's so different about Germany (healthier lifestyle? better medical system? testing more people, therefore many not-very-sick people in their total-infected count?) but their death-rate so far is certainly an outlier (in the best possible way.) It's been ranging around one-quarter of one percent.

Posted by
10651 posts

I noticed that too. About half ours and ours is about the lowest of any large country (after Germany).

More disturbing is, what is going on in Italy and Iran? Why so high. Just doesn't track the rest of the world. I don't know enough to begin to speculate on either. I'm just grateful to be where I am.

I am sort of thinking that there will be a greater understanding in about two weeks. If the US continues to go up at the current rate and never turns into exponential growth then the end is in sight. Again, my uneducated guess/hope. Till then I wash my hands and avoid getting my weekly rubdown.

Posted by
5304 posts

This is the phrase that gets me, because of the implication it makes:

In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States

I mean . ..in countries where commercial options REMAIN AVAILABLE

!!!!

I will say it rings true though, airlines have cut their flights between France and the U.S..significantly.

This is a strange new world we're living in.

Posted by
5817 posts

One of the theories about the high death rate in Italy is the nature of family structures over there.
Closer family units with multi-generations spending more time together.. Older people surrounded by a close and loving family is usually a good thing, not so much when this type of bug is spreading.
No idea if true but it seems reasonably plausible.

Posted by
5017 posts

More disturbing is, what is going on in Italy and Iran? Why so high.

@James E - I think at least some of the answer to your questions are pretty easily explained by data...and others by informed speculation...

Italy: One of the "oldest" (possibly the "oldest") populations in Europe. This virus is most dangerous to those who are elderly. Plenty of those folks in Italy. That's why they are getting hit so hard. Just today, the number of people killed by the virus in Italy exceeded the total number of people killed in China - considering the tremendous contrast in the relative total populations of the two countries, that's an eye-popping milestone.

Iran: I don't know about their age demographics. But I think their government was both very reluctant and very late to come to grips with the risk and scope of the problem (a really bad combination), and there's also a lack of basic transparency and independent press freedom. All that's exacerbated by the international trade sanctions that have been in place against Iran for a long time (there are lots of restrictions on exporting pretty much anything to Iran). When you can see mass graves being dug in photos from space, the scale of the problem is truly staggering...

From the Washington Post: Coronavirus burial pits so vast they're visible from space

Sobering.

Posted by
10651 posts

It all sounds reasonably plausible. But I dont want to add to the speculation. There is enough well meaning speculation without me.

Posted by
720 posts

Re: Germany's low mortality rate. Just saw a German epidemiologist (Tobias Kurth) being interviewed on Deutsche Welle, and he was asked this exact question. He seemed to think it was a combination of who is being tested and how deaths are being reported. He didn't offer more than that, but did say he expected Germany's rate to (unfortunately) rise to a more average number as time progresses.

Posted by
10651 posts

Here is another plausible explanation from another thread

Just look at what's happening in Italy because they are doing the
'self quarantine, close businesses, and no large gatherings' model
rather than the more extreme China model and it seems to be
progressing worse there than in China.

Demonstrates why I refrain to go beyond, I will do what my elected leadership tells me to do and hope for the best. Then in 5 years I will read some books to try and understand it. Oh, David, if someone held a gun to my head and made me choose, I would be with you.

Posted by
145 posts

I have plans for most of August Paris/Vienna/Prague

I will wait to see how things progress before I cancel. But I am thinking it’s a cancel But I am remaining optimistic at this point

We will all know how are lives have changed in 30-60 days. Good luck stay safe

On a side note my wife is from Moldova and she says they have amazing pizza there! I love good pizza

Posted by
10651 posts

Greg, I am more (cautiously) optimistic. Maybe not Italy, but for at least a trip. The death rate isnt at worst case levels, there are some better treatments; and I wonder just how long people will remain locked up before they begin rationalizing excuses to go back out.

So, as soon as my uncle Sam and my host nations says its okay, I am off. I am going to go ahead and plan for June. Better yet, since I am converting two trips (spring and summer) into one trip it will be a bit longer and a bit nicer.

5 June through 9 June: Budapest to visit friends and drop the luggage I dont need; check on the house, etc.
10 June through 17 June: Kyiv to visit friends and a charity I like. (Ukraine Air or Wizz, nonstop about 1.5 hours and about $75)
18 to 20 June; back to Budapest to switch luggage and see a concert
21 June through 27 June Bosnia for Fly Fishing (Wizz, nonstop about 1 hour and about $50)
28 June through 4 July back in Budapest for 4th of July
5 July ... "home"

I am still using the RS Travel Barometer. Right now RS is still selling tours in early May. Some are even sold out and some are "Filling Fast" so there seems to be some general consideration that they may be a go; and with clear conscience. For lack of a better index I will just plan around one of his sold out dates ... or a little later.

Posted by
17 posts

We're right at 90 days now. 20th anniversary trip to Scotland/Ireland, in planning for more than 18 months.

Obviously we're not going to do anything stupid, but I'm hoping beyond hope that things calm down significantly in the next 60 days or so. If we get to 30 days out and stuff is still so crazy, we're going to end up eating a non-trivial amount. (Not to mention the disappointment.)

Posted by
10651 posts

mherbst

Sort of hard to keep a thread for an intended purpose. But I have a promise with the webmaster that I will keep politics and opinion out of it some those who want to discuss plans will have a place to do it.

Of course you wont do anything stupid. I suspect those on this thread who are discussing plans will continue discussing, planning, re-planning (as world conditions change) an possibly re-planning again. Then when our elected leaders say travel is acceptable; off we go! Couldn't be cleaner.

90 days out? I may be overly optimistic, but that's not such a bad thing in the current situation, but there has been some good news and I suspect human nature at some point will reach out for that good news and know its time to end the current measures. Lets hope 90 days is reasonable.

Posted by
231 posts

Hey James,
Our trip to parts of Eastern Europe (including Budapest) are on hold until next year. BUT, we are talking about going to London for two weeks at end of June. Since there's liberal airfare cancellation policies, we'll get our tickets in the next week or so, and if we still can't go, we'll just re-book, maybe during the holidays. Looking at the prices of hotels (they are CHEAP), we'll book one that normally we wouldn't stay at because it's above our grade . . .so we'll be splurging without paying more!

Thanks for putting this thread up . . .and always enjoy your contributions and thoughtfulness.

Posted by
10651 posts

I suspect those on this thread who are discussing plans will continue
discussing, planning, re-planning (as world conditions change) an
possibly re-planning again. Then when our elected leaders say travel
is acceptable; off we go! Couldn't be cleaner.

Nothing more, nothing less

Posted by
3916 posts

If our May 18 trip gets cancelled, we'll try for a later one, late August or early September. That adds about 100 days. We're still being optimistic!

Posted by
3916 posts

James E, yes, it is. That's our fallback plan. Or hope.

Posted by
984 posts

Back on topic, people, and you know who you are. We don't want to get deleted.

If I had reservation for June forward I wouldn't cancel until the deadline for getting a refund. Nobody has a crystal ball--there is no certainty-- so we all have to wait and see.

Posted by
10651 posts

Please, back on topic. I am hoping the webmaster will edit rather than delete. It's one of only a few TRAVEL related threads on the forum.

Posted by
3916 posts

James E.: Maybe it is time to delete and start a new one. And reiterate your theme:

I am hoping that this will be a thread where others that are, or want to, can exchange ideas on how to do it within the latest restrictions; or maybe in anticipation of the day the restrictions are lifted. A chance to forget COVID-19 and do some dreaming and planning.

We seem to have wandered way off theme, with things getting testy, negative, and close to insulting. We get plenty of COVID-19 elsewhere. Please folks, let's talk travel plans, even how we'll handle postponing or cancelling.

For example:

Stan and I just found out that the friends who wanted us to go to Germany with them next year to celebrate their 25th are opting to skip Europe. That opens up possibilities for us. We're thinking Loire Valley to the South of France, and Best of Poland. But Spain beckons...

And all these are assuming that we may still get to go to Italy sometime this year. So we're staying optimistic, but flexible.

Your turn.

Posted by
10651 posts

Let's see how the administration's 15 day plan plays out. That's my next planning marker. It expires at the end of the month, then maybe another week to set new guidelines in place, so I figure April 7 or so we will have a new outlook on the issue. Then it depends on what other countries follow the same tactic and when. So no trip expectations prior till about April 21st.

RS is still selling trips on May 3rd and the ones on May 10th and 17th are starting to sell out so there must be some shared "expectations".

Posted by
2755 posts

As to a European vacation, we [still] have tickets to fly to France for 2 1/2 weeks in mid-April. However, last weekend I started to cancel everything. The only money we've lost is a couple of hundred euros in gite deposits. The airline tickets will wind up either being refunded or rebooked (2 of the 4 flight legs have already been cancelled). As to rebooking, the Lufthansa option is to rebook for travel before the end of the year. We had thought about shifting everything to mid-October, but I would just as soon get a refund and then decide later what to do. We were also going to take a 1 week driving trip to Canada, including a visit to some relatives, to partly replace the France trip period, but that's probably also out now. For one thing, the border is closed.

Posted by
3115 posts

I was and still am scheduled to flight Zürich leaving April 15 and stay in Luzern for 6 nights.

As soon as Delta cancels my flights, I will cancel. Delta seems to be canceling flights piecemeal.

We were also supposed to spend a long weekend in Montréal and Québec City the 2nd weekend in May. When Delta cancels those flights, I will reach out to them and cancel.

Posted by
10651 posts

Your method is reasonable. But April 15 might be a tad unrealistic. I hope not though, cause I am leaving not much later. Lets cross our fingers and wait and see.

Posted by
38 posts

I'm planning a December trip to Germany, and I even think that's questionable. I'm feeling 50/50 right now. It's not bad in the U.S. right now, but it's going to get worse. I don't think I'll feel confident in travel until we have a vaccine. I can see the "wave" theory, where the virus will ebb and flow beginning this summer. That being said, I'm planning for our trip. I'm only booking at hotels that are refundable. Like you said, James, It's fun to dream and plan so I'm doing that. If it doesn't happen, we'll go another time and plan another trip!

Posted by
10651 posts

So, our president says the goal is Easter! I like that goal. April 12. But that's only half the equation, our destination countries would need to be on board. I'm not going to hold my breath on either count. Never hurts to dream.

Posted by
3210 posts

Up thread I put a list of reasons why I would not go on my trip to Ireland in May. Number one was if my RS Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour starting May 8 was canceled.

I got the email today. It has been canceled. I expected that, especially when I learned that Ireland put a 14 day quarantine restriction on anyone arriving from anywhere except Northern Ireland.

Aer Lingus is severely restricting flights from the US to Dublin to very few cities. Seattle is not one of them. I'd guess it won't be long before I get an email from Aer Lingus canceling my RT flight.

I made all my reservations shortly after I signed up for the tour in November, 2019 long before we had a clue about a medical challenge that would affect people worldwide.

I think it's great to plan and dream, but I certainly wouldn't be committing any money to any travel anywhere anytime soon.

Posted by
145 posts

I doubt we travel in August. I think it's more likely next year will be safer.
Crazy times. stay healthy

Posted by
1614 posts

No, we are not. We have dropped all plans and planning for the foreseeable future. All plans. Here in Ohio we have about 870 cases with 164 newly reported today. Dr. Amy Acton, the state’s top health official, projects today that by May 1 Ohio may see between 6000 and 8000 new cases PER DAY. We are not traveling anywhere.

EDIT: The figure today 3/28 has been increased to possibly 10,000 new cases per day.

Posted by
3097 posts

Short answer: NO.

Longer answer: I am hopeful that the peak of the virus comes soon and passes us by. But "soon" is relative term and the peak will not hit everyone everywhere at the same time. Bill Gates is hopeful that the peak in the US will be mid April (not sure where he got his information from to back this). And even after the peak, there is the risk that things could flare up again(Hong Kong currently for example). And the peak is just the point where the spread slows. It is not when it will be safe for everyone, especially those in the higher risk groups (of which I am on multiple counts), to be out in public and traveling especially in confined spaces like airplanes. Given all this, I have cancelled all my future travel plans until we see where this is going.

I understand that this is financially devastating for large segments of the world's population. I even understand the government's wish to get things back to "normal" by Easter. But I am also realistic in understanding that things don't always happen on a schedule that makes everyone happy and a slow and cautious approach to this is much safer than the hurry up route.

Posted by
568 posts

Mark, I agree that the slow and cautious approach to the coronavirus is much safer than the hurry up approach. I, too , saw Bill Gates on CNN last night. I don't know where he gets his data/information from, but it certainly would be nice if he is right that the peak will be mid-April.

Posted by
984 posts

According to some epidemiologists there could be a subsidence of the virus in the summer and early fall, but the virus could reoccur during the cold and flu season beginning in November. The thing is COVID-19 will remain a threat absent a vaccine, which may not be available until 2021.

Posted by
10651 posts

Big Mike, check out the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. Not reassuring. But, maybe enough to get back to seminormal

Posted by
635 posts

Early in this thread I posted,

We were scheduled on a Viking Danube cruise last July, with an additional week in Munich to visit friends. We were to have left on July 23, but on July 15 I underwent a 4-1/2 hour surgery for prostate cancer. Obviously the trip was canceled, and the rest of 2019 was spent recovering from the surgery and undergoing radiation therapy. Fortunately our genius travel agent was able to arrange for our pre-paid fare to be applied to a similar itinerary this coming June, without penalty. We are looking forward to it with grateful hearts and joyful anticipation.

Alas, we shall be postponed again. E-mail received from Viking today: "[W]e have made the decision to extend our temporary suspension of operations through June 30, 2020." They are offering a generous credit toward cruises in the next 24 months, so we will rebook for 2021 as soon as possible.

I'll have an extra year to recover from the minor annoyances left over from last year's surgery, and to continue my German language studies.

It's all good.

Stay well, everybody.

Posted by
984 posts

If you're going to go I'd recommend July-September. Sorry, but that's your window according to what epidemiologists are saying. You might be willing to push into October. By November we see the sequel: The Return of Covid-19, starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

High season. Double ugh.

Posted by
762 posts

Me too James-

My 2nd trip this year is the Amawaterways Danube cruise ending in Budapest. Not sure if that will happen too!!! Noooooooooo!

Kim

Posted by
10651 posts

30/60/90 days from ......... now, its April 30th? ;-)

I have three things "planned"

Early June, Budapest for maybe a week and some business.
Late August / Early September, Budapest for the Jewish Summer Festival and maybe a RS party. Then maybe Bosnia for some fly fishing.
Late November, Budapest for Christmas Markets. Then maybe Kyiv to visit friends.

Posted by
10651 posts

Ahhhhhhhhhh, but I love to plan. June, real iffy. Late August? Dont know. November? Sure hope so. Looking forward to taking my daughter.

RS is still planning for mid-May so I will remain optimistic like him. Google flights dropped the fare on my flight in June a few days ago. Then bumped it a bit higher today. Sort of like the stock market.

Posted by
53 posts

We were supposed to be in Florence and sight-see in Tuscany April 28- May 5th but, the trip has been cancelled. Everything was refunded but, I'm left with a thorough itinerary that I look at and sigh. It would have been a wonderful trip. My husband said when this is over and we're able to go we'll appreciate it even more. I certainly hope so. In the meantime I have visions of vespas in the Tuscan countryside dancing in my head. :(

For now while we're on lockdown I'm practicing my Italian on Duo Lingo and changing my mindset that we'll be able to go in October. I have no idea if that's going to be possible but, I need to have some hope with this cabin fever.

Posted by
10651 posts

We face two issues. Will the US let us out and will the other country let us in.

Every country has different plans and different needs and values. Poor countries that rely heavily on tourism will behave differently than wealth countries with 2 Trillion to spend on mitigation. Is going to be fascinating to see how it plays out around the world.

Until then, especially because I am one of the higher risk, I will follow the rules to the letter (and keep planning).

Posted by
1 posts

My husband and I were supposed to take a 9 day Carnival Cruise from Barcelona to Italy, Greece and Kotor In September 2020(20-29). We were planning stays in Venice, Cinque Terre, and Rome. We were just notified today that our cruise was canceled. We had already purchased our airfare and booked (paid) all of our accommodations while in Italy. All of the airline and booking sites(Travelocity and Orbitz) say to wait to contact them about canceling or issuing vouchers unless you are traveling soon. We were planning on waiting this out until summer, but the cancellation of our cruise today has ended our chance of going. We are not sure how to navigate our next steps to try and recoup some of our money back.

Posted by
10651 posts

I am suspecting if you didnt have refundable airline tickets once the actual flights are canceled you will get your refund. OR!! You can begin planning on how to use those tickets for something other than a cruise and still make the trip .... if things are open by then. You have quite a few months to watch how things play our and decide. Cruise ships being canceled doesnt mean that Europe will necessarily be closed. Way to soon to know and you loose nothing by waiting.

Posted by
2080 posts

Today I am sad...just cancelled my hotels in Romania and Budapest for May 3 - 18. One of the four in Romania is non-refundable and so is the $100 flight from Bucharest to Budapest, so all together I'm out $417. I can live with that, but absolutely never booking non-refundable hotels again--I waited a bit too long and that place was my best option. Not ready to make a decision about what to do with my United ticket, much as I'd like to think I'll be able to do Budapest & London in Sept there's plenty of data that gives me pause for now.

Posted by
904 posts

I'm not at the 90-day mark yet. My trip is planned for Thanksgiving weekend for about 2 weeks, hitting Christmas Markets in Amsterdam, Germany & France. Fortunately I did get travel insurance, paid for flight insurance from the airlines, have cancellation policies from the apartments & hotels I booked between 30 days or 48 hours prior to arrival. The plan was to purchase the long distance train ticket 3 to 4 months out. Hoping by the end of August to see where the world is at and decide then if I am able to or if its recommended to travel overseas and of course, if there looks to be any hope of the Holiday Markets even being open this year.

Posted by
40 posts

have 3 trips planned this year , im from Vancouver Canada
JUNE 2-3 week road trip Toronto , Ottawa , Montreal and Quebec City
SEPT 3 weeks in Germany and Portugal

NOV 2 weeks in India

The peak is suppose to hit us in may so 90% sure my june trip is off
50/50 on the sept trip . germany hasn't been hit that hard so its possible this trip may happen but would need to make sure my insurance would cover any possible problems
80% that my Nov trip wont happen . 1.3B people in India with lack of space and waters/washrooms , I think they are going to get hit hard soon and also nov would be inline fo rthe 2nd wave of this virus

1st testing is suppose to start in sept
No vaccinations until 2021
You would have to assume the travel restrictions will stay in place because countries don't want it come back which is happening in china now after the reopened their borders

sadly I don't think ill have any international travel until 2021 .

Posted by
51 posts

My May 15 trip looks less likely every week. Since the French Open was rescheduled to late September I may have to go then instead but even that is in jeopardy.