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Thoughts on summer travel?

Hi everyone! I’m looking for your thoughts and advice on our upcoming 3 week trip to Europe. We leave the very end of June and are gone most of July. With everything that’s going on, we’re waiting with the world to see when things will open back up and when travel bans will be lifted. Anyone here traveling during that time and still planning on going if able?

Posted by
5486 posts

Claifornia Governor Newsom said it best as to when we can travel: "Science, not politics must be the guide." When should be data driven, not hope and prayers.

For travel this coming summer, be prepared for change and don't be a 2020 Typoid Mary.

Posted by
1862 posts

I was planning on going back to Spain in August to visit my family. I'm a Spanish citizen so they will probably let me back into the EU, but I may have to endure a 2 week quarantine. If you are an American I highly doubt you will be let in for tourism purposes, without a 2 week (2/3s of your vacay) quarantine period, for at least until Dec/Jan at the earliest.

Posted by
5 posts

I think you need to mentally prepare yourself to reschedule. We also have a three week trip planned for August. I will be cancelling it as soon as I can without penalty. I booked with Alaska Air miles. I will rebook for next summer just so I have a trip to plan, but I am a little worried about next year too.
President Macron said today all public gatherings in France are cancelled through mid-July, I take that to mean museums and other sites as well.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you Shannon. I hadn’t seen that today and France is one of the countries we’d be visiting.

Posted by
5019 posts

Nobody knows, but I agree with all the above posts. International travel this summer looks very doubtful to me. Start getting emotionally prepared for that now. Sure, you can hope for the best, but prepare for something that falls short of that.

Posted by
9410 posts

I expect travelers will have to be tested — or at least screened — before being admitted to the Schengen once travel is opened. Wouldn’t you want to know visitors to the US or Canada were screened before being admitted after all of this?

Posted by
36 posts

I just saw an article on Forbes.com that said the EU is considering closing its borders to outside tourists until September. The article specifically referenced the US and Africa, and concerns that Asia will endure a second wave of COVID-19.
Another thing to consider....even if we are allowed to travel this summer, that doesn’t mean we should. And I say that as I’ve had to cancel our trip to Italy, Greece and Croatia from June 18-July 5. These countries are going to need time to heal and recover. Businesses will be struggling, especially small ones. I would just feel awful being over there and essentially taking provisions like food, etc from people who really need them.
I emailed the person that owns the apartment we were going to rent in Rome on March 12 to let him know we needed to cancel and have not heard back from him. I’m concerned about his wellbeing. 🙁

Posted by
11411 posts

I truly sympathize but I see no way that regular tourism will be up and running this summer .

Posted by
20598 posts

Until there is an effective treatment in the next two months and/or a vaccine, travel will be limited. We have a trip schedule to Italy in October. The probability of that trip being cancelled is to 100%, perhaps, at the moment 99.8%. Even if these beginning to open by mid or later in May. Not everything would be fully function by end of June. Personally think any summer travel to Europe is a non-starter.

Posted by
460 posts

I am still having serious issues with the cognitive dissonance on this forum. I know everyone needs an escape- especially a mental one. But to think that Europe is going to be normal this summer in terms of vacation travel is an act of insanity.

OP- I am so sorry to be the hard one, but your not going. It is as simple as that. It is not gonna happen.

Everyone- Disneyland is closed. Time to get out of Fantasyland. And stop watching Fox tv.

Posted by
503 posts

I received an email today from the Rick Steves tour group as I have a booked tour in September. He has pushed out the date of cancellation of his tours. They are now cancelled for tours that start through June 14th. That tells me that things don't look hopeful for summer travel.

Posted by
211 posts

There's just so much that is unknown about this virus. Because of that I expect countries to be quite cautious as they begin to open up for their own citizens; if there are flare-ups there will likely be quick lockdowns. It is doubtful that international tourism will rebound quickly. I'm usually an optimist but, realistically, I think we need to be happy this summer if we have opportunities for some "normal" activity close to home.

Posted by
1915 posts

Much is unknown. Of course, anyone in the world can go to China. You could go tonight. But when you got there, you would have to stay in your hotel room for 14 days. So, that may be the short-term solution.

Posted by
1554 posts

I also received an email today from RS emphasizing their commitment to give us a safe and healthy tour. I’m booked on a tour in September. I’m sad for all of us and believe travel especially international trips is not going to happen this year.

Posted by
197 posts

I am curious to know how you are you getting to Europe, and once landing, will the country allow you to enter? American Airlines canceled our July flight to Lisbon, and when I spoke with an agent, I was told there will be no AA flights to Lisbon the entire summer. I then found a great flight to Zurich at the beginning of October using few miles, and that too was just canceled. Once again the agent told me AA would not be flying to Switzerland until the end of October.

From what I have been reading, many countries have literally closed their borders. A report from the BBC said a private jet from England landed in Marseilles with passengers en route to Saint Tropez, and the passengers were not allowed off the plane. The 3 waiting helicopters hired to ferry the 10 passengers were fined for breaking the new no travel bans. Doesn’t sound too promising for travel to Europe anytime soon regardless of how you plan on getting there.

Posted by
10899 posts

No one knows when the borders will open and when quarantine requirements will be lifted. Any statement to the contrary is speculation. After it becomes possible, then you have to decide if you will he comfortable based on your own personal risk assessment at that time.
Not much different than deciding if you want to go sky diving or scuba diving or to Johsnasburg; they all come with varying degrees of risk. It's up to you to decide. Wait 18 months for a vaccine developed in a rush that comes with the quality that a rush brings, travel when possible and run a greater risk catching the the COVID. If I was 30 and in good health it would be a no brainier. .

Posted by
10899 posts

 

it best as to when we can travel: "Science, not politics must be the
guide."

I could not disagree more.

Posted by
12 posts

I think for a safe side you should cancel your trip because I believe health is more important than any other thing in the world. Also, I had a planned trip with my family to Singapore in August, but I will cancel it before the end of the refund day.

Posted by
195 posts

Actually, I am a little bit more optimistic than most on this thread, at least about the possibility of mid summer/early fall travel.

The West Coast of the US is close to emerging from the lock down. Washington State's growth of new cases has completely flattened, being less than 2% (less than 200 new cases) each day for the last 3 days. I believe Washington will start the process of lifting its lock down in early May, at the latest.

Other places are going to take longer to get to that point, obviously. But they will get there. And, I do believe the warmer weather will help cut down on the transmissibility of the disease. So I think just about everywhere, they will be at least starting to lift the lock downs by June 1.

It will take a while after that for travel to be sorted out. But I do believe that the ability to test travelers rapidly for whether they have active coronavirus, at a minimum, will be widely in place by mid June.

And once we get to that point, there will be great pressure on the authorities to permit travel, because it will help resuscitate severely damaged economies.

While permitted, travel may not be quite the same, though. They may impose mask requirements; restaurants may be limited to take out only or in the number of people they can serve, they may cut down on the number of people allowed in a museum, things like that.

And, things might well get worse again when it gets colder again in the fall.

Just my best guess of what we are going to see.

Posted by
3978 posts

Lifting lockdowns is very different to opening up a country for intercontinental tourism. If there are wide scale flare ups, expect a rapid response and further closures. Quarantine situations of 14 days are likely at both ends of any trip.

Italy and France are talking about restaurant and cafe closures until mid July. All countries are desperate to get their flagging economies back up and running but they are having to juggle economic and health issues and costs.

I usually attend an outdoor show in the UK in late August and it’s already been cancelled. I am hoping that travel within the U.K. will be possible by September, but I doubt that I will get to France anytime this year (I have a 7 week holiday booked there from mid May to early July that’s not going to be happening). Places in each country will be busy once people regain the confidence to go out, but filled with their own nationalities, not foreign tourists.

I can’t see intercontinental tourism returning this year. Sorry, but your June departure date at present looks to be impossible.

When the skies open up, who knows which companies will still be in business. Will countries want to see proof of an antibody test to see if you have had Covid 19? The BBC is reporting this week of some South Koreans getting reinfected after their all clear test, so this may not be much help. Will there be quarantine on arrival for 14 days? There is most concern in the U.K. for those aged over 70 or with underlying health issues, who have been told to self isolate for 12 weeks (read indefinitely - until we have a vaccine so you aren’t at risk), so will intercontinental travel be banned for this group for their own safety?

In the U.K., so few people are being tested, even those on the front line health service or those displaying mild symptoms of the disease, so getting a test for tourism purposes is most unlikely.

Posted by
10899 posts

And yet RS continues to take money for June and July and August tours??? He should read his own forum, give up hope and shut down until 2022.

Posted by
1503 posts

And yet RS continues to take money for June and July and August tours??? He should read his own forum, give up hope and shut down until 2022.
Blockquote

Well I am sure his been a successful businessman with your advice.

You do realize that those tour guides don't get PAID unless he tours? So he's probably trying to keep them employed if it's at all possible.

Since he is giving back ALL of the money people paid I don't think there's any harm in taking money and honestly anyone booking now probably knows it's a long shot, but they want to gamble they might get lucky. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by
6752 posts

Slight correction to Jennifer's excellent contribution : nothing has been said in France about restaurants and cafes except that they'll see later--after mid-July. It's festivals that are cancelled until mid-July, at least. Later ones could open or not.

One other point, being connected with France and the Mid-west US, I see a huge difference in compliance, mainly due to methods of government enforcement. So some here may get the impression that this will be a quick turnaround. Most of Europe has more muscle in the fight than the loosey-goosey enforcement around here. We'll see what happens in Spain as a canary in a coalmine.

Posted by
2662 posts

In my opinion, June may be too early and countries may not be fully opened up. I concerned about being able to go on my late September trip. So far, one flight has already been changed and currently, all my lodgings (Paradors) are closed indefinitely.

Posted by
2310 posts

And yet RS continues to take money for June and July and August tours??? He should read his own forum, give up hope and shut down until 2022.

Simply untrue and an unnecessary slam aa a fine company at a difficult time. With our tour coming up in June we emailed and they gave us a three week extension on the payment. Then, a week or so later we got a blanket email that said this:

The health and safety of our tour members is our top priority, and we'll cancel tours if they're unsafe, or we can't operate them as we promised you. In the next couple of weeks — as more information becomes available — we'll be making decisions about whether to cancel our June tours. Any departure that Rick Steves' Europe decides to cancel will be refunded in full. You don't need to make your final tour payment at this time. If your June tour does run, we'll inform you of your new final payment due date.

Posted by
460 posts

RS has been cancelling tours in 2 week blocks. That involves thousands of people. That involves processing even more refunds as many tour members pay in 2 installments, often by credit card and check. That takes time. Even if he decided to cancel the entire year it cannot be done at once and not within the 2 week period he has to process refunds.

He is also studying the situation carefully, and listening to his insurance company- his liability could be huge if he marched a bus load of folks into a hot spot or got them all stuck in quarantine in a not so happy place. Does a summer heat wave kill it off? What are various countries saying in terms of not just opening borders but historical sites, hotels, restaurants? You can do the Best of Paris with the Louvre closed but not if every museum/gallery is closed.

RS is being respectful and pulling the plug about 6-7 weeks out. And I firmly believe that timeline will be continued. As for extending payments for June- yeah, that is a big wink wink as to what is coming. Sorry Alan.

Posted by
10899 posts

I don't know about all of that, I just know that today if you want to sign up for the RS June 21st Best of Eastern Europe, you can; just click on the tours link.

I've been watching the other dates for the same tour and what was open a few weeks ago for dates in August through October is now being marked "Filling Fast" or "Join Wait List".

Also, I wasn't slamming RS, I was slamming those that say you are a fool to plan a trip this year. Sort of implies you think RS is a fool; and I don' think he is.

It appears the RS organization is playing "wait and see" in spite of the fact we all know there will be no vaccine before next year. Me too by the way. The vaccine would be nice, but its not a deal breaker for me.

Posted by
10899 posts

If you are not going to be comfortable without a vaccine, then you had better wait. If you are looking for the traditional tourist experience like you see in the movies; I too might be a little cautious about traveling this Summer. No telling what will be open. If you just what to get the heck out of here and see something new, if you are flexible and if long walks along the Danube work for you; then lets go. I will.

Posted by
1120 posts

I guess I don't understand airlines or any travel to Europe banned until October. Isn't that when the seasonal flu and likely COVID-19 is likely to reemerge?

Posted by
20598 posts

....Isn't that when the seasonal flu and likely COVID-19 is likely to reemerge? ....

That depends. There is no evidence at the moment that COVIS 19 is seasonal. Could well be with us straight through to winter. I think what the hope is that by Fall enough people will have been infected to begin giving us some herd immunity. Seasonal flu may return but will flu shots, and treatment it is not a concern.

Posted by
1313 posts

Party just got started in Florida again! Maybe consider a vacation there?

Posted by
10899 posts

Floridia? The best things in life are worth the wait. We are putting together a heck of a party in Hawaii the second the border opens.

Posted by
569 posts

Partying in Florida right now is extremely irresponsible and selfish!! What is more important, slowing the spread of the virus and staying healthy, or getting drunk and getting a tan???

Posted by
3226 posts

I guess getting drunk on the beach is the most important thing to people in Florida.

Some people refuse or are incapable of understanding that no one cares if you individually get sick and die, but we might care about all those others you infect as collateral damage, including medical staff, because you can't just stay home.

Posted by
217 posts

We had planned a trip from 6/20 til 7/9 but KLM cancelled all our flights (not rescheduled just flat out cancelled) two weeks ago. Don't think it's gonna happen...sad but looking forward to the time when we can travel again.

Posted by
3133 posts

Professional tennis tournaments like Wimbledon which typically starts at the end of June have been canceled because of the uncertainty as to whether countries will open up their borders and resume a free flow of travel.

If you still want to plan to travel at that time, I recommend you buy refundable airline tickets and refundable hotel accommodations. For your flights, buy directly from the airlines. Do NOT buy from third parties like Expedia, Orbitz, etc.

I am hoping beyond hope that there will be open travel soon.