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I cancelled my trip to Italy? Will I regret that?

For over a year I have been reading and dreaming about Italy and I had an art trip for 10 days in Lucca and then travel to Rapllo and Lake Garda and the Dolomites . I would have been there for almost five weeks from May 16- June 14. At the urging of my husband I have cancelled everything. I will loose $500 that I had prepaid. I am wondering if we were cautious or too catious. Now I will not have a vacation for over a year. What are others doing?

Posted by
2 posts

I have a Rick Steve’s Italy tour booked for May 17th. Right now I’m just waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks. I don’t plan on cancelling unless they do, or if closer to May things are still going downhill. I completely understand anyone’s decision to not go at this point.

Posted by
893 posts

Can you change your time off from work to other dates? Italy is in a crisis and doubt their situation will improve much in the near future. Many here lost thousands so you are pretty luck at 500.
Wait until fall.

Posted by
6536 posts

"What are others doing?" Many are changing their vacations to Florida.
Hang in there and let the situation develop. I can see that Northern Italy is in your future--just not quite yet. It's just hard to tell how long it'll be before things are back to normal.

Posted by
3931 posts

We have a RS tour booked for May 18. We're not cancelling, not even thinking about it at this point. Of course, we might change our minds, but so far unless RS cancels the tour, we're planning to be there.

Will you regret canceling? Yes and no. Of course you'll miss the trip, but you do have some peace of mind to ease the disappointment. You've done the planning already; maybe just boot everything back to 2021?

Posted by
1036 posts

Ask yourself, would you enjoy your vacation if you were going to Italy at this time? Would you be relaxed? $500 is nothing in the big scheme of things. I am sure there would be a lot of people in Italy that would pay thousands to leave if they could.

Posted by
1533 posts

I just cancelled my trip to Italy the week of April 24-May 2. Delta was generous and waived the change fee. Plus, they allowed me to book with the credit by Sept. 7, a year from the original issue date of the ticket. I am booked in Sept. on the RS Poland tour so I will apply the credit to that trip.
I felt April 24 was cutting it close for things to return to normal, for my comfort level, especially given that the entire country of 60 million people are on lockdown.
I hope and pray that the crisis is passing by May and many of you will be able to take your trips.

Posted by
991 posts

Caryn, relatively speaking you made out like a bandit only losing $500. Your day will come.

Count your blessings as many tourists have lost a great deal more money.

Posted by
4435 posts

Don’t doubt yourself and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you cancelled too early. This is an unprecedented situation. You made the best decision that you could with the information that you have now.

You can still take a vacation in May but maybe it won’t be the same trip you planned. Hold off on the planning until you get closer to the date

Posted by
49 posts

My family of 4 also have a RS trip starting on May 17th. Perhaps we are on the same tour as one of someone else commenting on this subject? (My Way). Sadly, I think this trip will not happen whether we cancel or not. We are debating whether to eat the deposit and not pay the final amount due next week or wait till the almost inevitable cancellation by RS and then get back our deposit and then re-book for later this year or more likely next year. The likelihood that the CDC will relax its warning in such a short time from now is vanishingly small. Or what the US institutes a policy of mandatory of quarantine to travelers from Italy as so many other countries have already done. Or what if we do contract the virus while there and have to rely on the heavily stressed Italian health care system or have to quarantine in Italy? And will there be decent flights to get to Italy and back? Our flights have not yet been cancelled but I see Delta has cancelled theirs (to Venice) through the date we needed to take it and I assume most if not all airlines will cancel theirs. Caryn, you are very lucky to only be losing $500 but there are other times to go. In any case you can hang on and wait to see what will happen but think the handwriting is on the wall. Maybe being in Seattle and seeing the disruption here with far smaller virus numbers than Italy. I wish all of you commenting the best of luck. These are really hard time for us and especially the Italian people.

Posted by
95 posts

Personally I would have waited until the middle of April to decide. That said, I don't think losing $500 is that bad all things considered.

Posted by
20566 posts

The one thing that we try very hard to do well is to make a decision and never look back. If you start looking back on decisions you have made, you can often find reasons that another decision could have/should have been made. You made the best decision you could on the available information now. There is no right or wrong decision in this type of situation. Something could happen in two week that could make your decision look brilliant or it was really stupid. But either way, it is done, and you did the best you could at time. You can beat yourself to death wondering, "What if ....?" Move on.

Posted by
1790 posts

I personally would have waited until mid April as well, I will be in Bologna in mid-June to participate in their International Cinema Festival (Cinema Ritrovato) unless it is cancelled, then I will enjoy France or perhaps Switzerland, I can foresee rock bottom prices this summer.

Posted by
603 posts


It is a tough choice because we don't know the outcome of the situation and you made the best choice you could with the information at hand. $500 loss is not bad considering the circumstances. I hope that you do get your dream Italy vacation in the future. Since you have done most of the planning, when the time is right you can consider rebooking.

For me, my husband and I were debating going to Italy in May or September (we are fortunate that we have some vacation flexibility) and made the decision to go in September as it wasn't worth the hassle when this outbreak is just too new and we don't know how long it will take to get the outbreak under control in Italy.


Posted by
393 posts

I started canceling all of my reservations for our European vacation (Belgium, Paris, Switzerland, Italy, & Greece). I was very surprised 3 of 5 Airbnbs had a 100% refund policy. The other 2 had a 50% refund policy. I didn’t think I would be getting anything back. But I do have the “cancel for any reason” insurance. That will give me 75% back of my non-refundable fees.

If I were young and single maybe that would be different. But I just can’t take chances with my kids, so I don’t care if I’m being overly cautious. On a positive note, I decided that this trip needs to be extended by 1-2 weeks. So when I reschedule it’ll be even better.

Posted by
4153 posts

I agree with Frank and Sandy -- don't look back! You made a very reasonable decision under the circumstances, using the best information you had. It would be great if Italy had no travel restrictions by May-June and all the sights were open, but I doubt if that will be the case.

You say you won't have a vacation for over a year -- but if you've blocked out those 10 days, can't you use them for another vacation of some kind? Not Italy, sure, and maybe not Europe, maybe just a road trip from wherever you live. But something to give you a break and help you feel better about all this? On a much humbler scale, my wife and I just cancelled a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare festival in late March because we didn't feel good about sitting in theaters for two days and evenings. But we booked a place on the Oregon coast for those days instead.

Posted by
1878 posts

Sounds like a great trip. I might have waited a little longer to cancel but I think you did the right thing. I don't think it's likely that getting on a plane to go anywhere is a good idea for the foreseeable future. It's possible that warmer weather might help beat this thing back but there is no way to know.

A lot of the joy is in the anticipation. If instead you looked forward in apprehension you would be missing out.

I wanted to go to Scotland in May myself but had not booked anything. I am sure going to enjoy that trip when I eventually take it.

This thing is a wake up call on gratitude in a lot of ways. I will be grateful when things are back to normal and there is a vaccine and I can get on a plane again.

Posted by
11957 posts

I haven’t canceled mine yet because it’s in June/July but I will also cancel if things don’t change.

I think you made the right decision and you will have regretted it more if you had gone.

Where is the fun in going to a ghost town where everything is shut down: museums, bars, restaurants, theaters, churches, and all shops (except for supermarkets and pharmacies)? Even going to the supermarket involves long lines to get in with people trying to prepare for the lockdown.

In addition to that, $500 is much cheaper than being stuck in a hospital for weeks in a foreign country. Although the Italian National,Health System has decided not to charge foreigners for healthcare costs, however the health system is getting strained and already they are unable to provide care for all.

Posted by
328 posts

I have not yet cancelled our trip that begins May 3. I am still holding out hope that things will settle down by then.

I recognize that I may have to cancel, or reschedule, but I will wait until the airlines are offering exchanges, cancellations without penalty for my dates. That isn't happening yet.

That said, you aren't out that much, so why not reschedule for the fall, if you can? Why do you have to wait for over a year?

Posted by
1150 posts

Hello, writing from Italy. I have been in another major disaster (the Japan 2011 earthquake and nuclear accident), and I am trying to spot similarities between people behavior. For example, when people begins emptying shelves it means they do not believe officials and it should already sound a warning. Usually when accidents strike, there are following phases in public opinion: it can't happen here - hey, it is happening, but it will go away - it is not bad as it looks - it is bad for the economy - who cares about the economy - stay locked in your home

What I am telling, you are now regretting losing $500. But if the infection goes global - and everything points this way, the evolution of number of infected in UK is exactly the same as Italy, with a three weeks delay - regret for lost money will be only a phase. You will be glad you weren't in it, and praying it does not come to you.

Posted by
6689 posts

You did the right thing. And waiting to cancel is too nerve wracking. We’ve just been through exactly that. Our Asian cruise canceled when all the ports closed. The situation in every country is evolving quickly every day. In France now, but we’re shortening our six-week trip to 2 to come back to the States. Last week there were 100 cases in France. This morning there are 1,700+. This is going to take time.

Posted by
106 posts

I believe everyone has a different approach and rightfully so in how they are dealing with the virus. For myself, my husband and I are young, healthy and not too concerned about the virus although we do worry about our parents. I can tell you what I would have done if I had a trip booked during your time frame but my situation is different than yours. We did however take advantage of great airfare to Rome this October. We are taking our son with us, who will be 18 months at the time. We will plan accordingly as the date approaches but it's hard telling what tomorrow will bring, let alone 6 months from now.

Overall, don't regret it. Just start planning for your next trip :)

Caryn, I think you made the right decision. I canceled my dream trip to Croatia and Northern Italy 9 days ago and have been second guessing my decision as well. (Leaving May 4th). I understand. I Lost over $2,000. So losing $500 sounds great to me!!! Be safe and a big thank you from your family and community for not potentially exposing them when you come home. Italy will be there in a few months. We just have to be patient. Take good care of yourself. Things are going to get worse before they get better....


Posted by
5308 posts

Caryn, you made the right decision. I am sorry you will not get to go on your trip and that you lost $500, but your safety — and that of your loved ones — is the most important thing.

Posted by
695 posts

Don't doubt yourself....

I cancelled all my refundable reservations but not my flights (LHR) which are late May/June.... waiting to see what's going on in late April before I decide

I said the worst thing about all this is NOT being able to plan yet - we all know planning is 1/2 the fun!

Posted by
323 posts

I agree, Donna! Planning is so much fun. My trip isn’t until September, but planning isn’t fun right now, even knowing we could and most likely will, have to postpone to a future date. I’ve stopped all planning of restaurants, time tables, etc. I’m much more concerned about everything else going on.

Posted by
173 posts

I highly doubt that you could even get a flight to Italy now. Sounds like you did the right thing. I have a friend in Sorrento that says the situation is not very bad but cross border travel is very dicey.

Posted by
885 posts

I planned a trip to Germany and Austria. A month before I left I developed pneumonia, had a collapsed lung and was in the hospital for two weeks. Then I was laid off.

I next planned a trip for later this year that in all likelihood will be postponed until next year. Is it a pain yes. But I am blessed this year to have my health, food, a job with full benefits and a house of my own. Many people at this time have nothing. When I see the people in Italy and Spain dying by the hundreds and doctors in the US dying from the virus, I realize that waiting an extra year to travel is not a hardship. Not having a vacation for two years is a small price to pay in the end.

Posted by
32 posts

Propably June it's early too early to travel, but why you don't wait some weeks more to cancel?Anyway You could inform if is it possible to changes the dates for the next months