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So today I’m a little blue, I should be leaving now!

I know many of you have watched your planned vacation come and go, but today is my turn. My husband I were last there September 2015, our very first time. We decided to take our adult sons ages, 26 and 23, as they have never been to Europe.

I started planning last January after the green light from hubby. I loved planning! Had our hotels and tours all reserved and was working on restaurants. Then Covid hit and I finally threw In the towel In June. Very sad day making that decision.

So, i have rebooked for next October. But after this unbelievable year, who knows what the future has in store.

Today was my day. My boys were beyond excited. I’m out of sorts and just needed to vent.

Posted by
180 posts

This Sunday (September 20) is my day. We have started piecing together a trip for next September. But since much of this is already paid for, I am hoping for 2 trips next year!!!! Be optimistic!!!

Posted by
1511 posts

It’s ok to be blue. Most of us have gone through it. We know we have a lot to be thankful for, not being able to travel may seem trivial to some people, but since this is a travel forum, we should be able to express our disappointment without judgement. We would have been in Dubrovnik with another couple this week, leaving Saturday on a 7 day yacht cruise up the coast to Opatija. Then another week driving around Istria to Zagreb then to Paris for 10 days. We also rescheduled for next September, hoping and praying we will all be able to travel again.

Posted by
6 posts

So sorry to hear this Lulu348. It is so upsetting when something out of our control happens like this. Going to Europe is such a fun experience and I think for most of us, half of the excitement is the planning! Hang in there, there will be a "next time" . It's coming, we all need to stay positive and focus on the future and not what we are dealing with now. Good job rebooking for October 2021. Now you have more time for planning. Peace and know that we all feel your pain.

Posted by
1120 posts

I too know how you feel. I cried as I cancelled our reservations for Italy. It isn't just not being able to go, as you know, but the memories you don't get to make with your family. We too were taking our young adult children.

I would hope by October you will be able to go. Our combined schedules only allow for early May 2021 which seems far less likely.

Posted by
1193 posts

Yup, I was supposed to have arrived in London yesterday, and the weather there this week is outstanding. With the way my luck is running this year it'll probably be pouring rain for the entire 2 weeks when I finally get to go.

Posted by
39 posts

I feel your pain! We should be in Scotland right now, celebrating our 20th anniversary. The flight reminder popped up on my phone on Saturday and I almost cried. Even though we cancelled everything a while ago, it was still upsetting.

I started planning the trip a year ago, and had almost as much fun researching the trip as we undoubtedly would have had on the trip, so at least when we're able to go, all I will need to do is re-make our reservations.

In the midst of planning the trip, my husband bought me an Ancestry membership and DNA kit. In doing my research, I found out that not only am I 47% Scottish, tracing all the way back to Kenneth McAlpin, but both of us are direct descendants of Robert the Bruce! So the trip planning took on a whole new meaning - we now jokingly refer to Stirling Castle as "Grandpa Bob's house" and look forward to seeing some of my ancestors' tombs on Iona.

We will definitely take the trip as soon as it is advisable to do so. The silver lining is that we got to spend the weekend laying sod in our front yard, so while I may not be touring Culloden today as planned, I can sit on my front porch this evening and enjoy the sunset over my pretty green grass. Sometimes it's the little things...

Posted by
2016 posts

Lulu- I understand your need to vent. So many of us feel the same way. Today we would have been in Trapani, Sicily. I still have our itinerary in my planner. This trip was going to be a tribute to Zoe (forum contributor who passed away). Her travel reports were the best! She is missed. Another Forum friend (Priscilla) followed the same journey. Looking forward to another time. Until then we will keep planning. The best to all. We will travel again!

Posted by
1530 posts

Yes, I've got a bit of those blues this week myself. It's hard not to be thinking "Today I was supposed to be ...."

Today, I was supposed to be in Warsaw, and Poland most of this month. It's been warm and sunny in Warsaw all week. Instead, I've been reading books and watching shows about my destination, and writing in my travel journal for the trip - it will be part of the "story" when I'm able to reschedule. And it should be that much easier to rebook everything!

Posted by
365 posts

I do feel better reading your posts. I was reluctant to post considering not only the tragedies of this year, but the horrible deaths and destruction out west. Even with those things on my mind, I’m still sad. I fugyred this was a travel forum, so.....maybe others Would feel the same (as someone said). I wish we could pan posts from others, as we comment, so I could site names!

I even looked at the weather. We would be in Venice until Sunday, then off to Florence and Rome. Weather looked very sunny, on the warm side in Florence and Rome.

I can’t really even talk about “next year” with too much enthusiasm because at this point, it’s certainly not guaranteed. But I suppose at least I feel better having reservations.

Hugs to all who would be there right now, too!

Posted by
357 posts

Lulu -- I feel you!

I had some May/June trips planned, including two big ones: (1) a trip with close friends to see Peru and a multi-day hike to Ausangate, to celebrate a friend's graduation from medical school, and (2) my sister's (and only sibling's) wedding elsewhere in the US, that I was supposed to officiate.

As you can imagine, missing both has been particularly disappointing, for different reasons.

For the first at least, I was already brushing up on my Spanish and have decided that, should Peru not happen (the confluence of circumstances allowing my friends and me to travel together may not occur again in the near future), I will instead deploy my Spanish on a trip to Spain! For the second, well, I think my sister wasn't much of a "big white wedding" person to begin with, so the very small, impromptu legal ceremony she had instead made her and my BIL happy (and was probably much less planning and stress!) and if they're happy, I'm happy.

Posted by
3461 posts

I’m not at the Amalfi Coast today.... : (

Posted by
1018 posts

Totally understand and connect with your sentiment. Stay hopeful!
Meanwhile..........
I have been using google earth street view to visit destinations and also YouTube has been a big help by watching "street walk" videos posted by locals. These are videos with no commentary, but do have natural street sounds. The videographer has a GoPro camera attached to their shoulder and walks through a variety of areas to capture a sense of what the streetscape provides. Well worth the time investment to help take the edge off the travel blues and also can help with gaining some orientation to places you plan to visit.
Be Well and Safe travels!

Posted by
5296 posts

Simply keep Scarlett O'Hara in your heart. "After all tomorrow is another day."

Nothing could have prepared us for the impact of Covid on the travel industry. Things happen that we can't control.

Devastating natural catastrophes: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, drought, tornados, et al.

Now a pandemic.

Simply sigh, re group and be grateful you are alive and can afford to travel.

As I sit here typing thousands of Californians are displaced due to the numerous fires plaguing the state.

2020 has sucked from Jan 1 on.......

Posted by
10302 posts

Yep, we can identify with your feelings....this pandemic stuff, it's sad. Seems like a continuing bad dream....

Posted by
607 posts

Just saw today that the CDC Director said vaccines will likely not be widely available until mid-2021. At least that is less than a year, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I look forward to planning a fall 2021 trip during the winter; will probably do a lot more research than usual, since there is so much time.

As for the wildfires, on top of everything else, apparently millions of birds have died, as this is prime time for their fall migration. As a birder this is almost unbearable.

Posted by
11678 posts

Sending consoling pats to our sad, would-be travelers. ☹️
There, there; you are thankfully alive and well, and will get another crack at that trip! 😊
Hug your loved ones....

Posted by
919 posts

I was planning to go to Central Europe this October so I know how you feel. However, today I learned that two people in my organization died over the weekend of Covid-19 and left behind families and grandchildren. It really puts things into perspective and I know one day I will travel but many Americans won't get that chance.

So instead, I have my German pilsner and Bavarian pretzels and celebrate Octoberfest in my own neck of the woods.

Posted by
1530 posts

I was reluctant to post considering not only the tragedies of this year, but the horrible deaths and destruction out west. Even with those things on my mind, I’m still sad.

You are so right. 2020 has dealt so many difficult tragedies that it can be tempting to dismiss any feelings of sadness at the loss of travel as minimal, in comparison. And yet, as with so many things, we humans are eminently capable of holding multiple points of view simultaneously in our minds: the disappointment of missing out on planned travels can be held alongside the larger perspective of our concerns for the world crises. There are some (not me personally) who have had to face both in 2020 - disappointments as well as greater tragedies. And let's also recognize, world crises did not begin in 2020.

The world crises (in 2020, or in any year) might put our disappointments (travel or otherwise) in perspective; but they are disappointing nonetheless.

Posted by
722 posts

I understand your feelings, I should be writing this from Antibes on the Cote d' Azur. I have just finished rebooking for next Sept. and from what I have seen on Booking.com, there are going to be a whole lot of people traveling next year, things are way tighter than they were last Nov. when I booked our ill-fated trip for this year. Let's really hope that things will be back next year because is we have to wait until 2022, it's going to be a real mess

Posted by
1511 posts

Irv, do you think it might be because small places are closing permanently, not more people traveling?

Posted by
32 posts

I am supposed to be on the Best of England tour with my brother and sister in law. We've decided to do the trip "virtually". We text each other and make up stories about the flight over, the places we're touring around and the wonderful tour mates we've met.
They were to be in Paris for a few days, and Switzerland for a week before meeting me in Bath. They told me about having a picnic at the Eiffel Tower and the high speed train to Switzerland.
I told them about the jerk on the Westjet flight from Calgary to London who wouldn't wear a mask and was handcuffed and removed by the RCMP. My sister in law and I discuss if we should wear sandals or runners for the next day's itinerary.
It may sound crazy but it dulls the disappointment we're all feeling and let's us experience the tour in our own way. Our hope is we will do it for real in the next year or...?

Posted by
1762 posts

There is a giant pacific manta who's waited for me in front of Cabo for 5 months. I hope she got the memo about the mess those living on the dry side made.

Posted by
5551 posts

Susie, that is so funny!! What a way to try to wring some fun from the disappointment. Good for you all!!

Posted by
365 posts

Kathy, i bristled a bit reading your post. Like someone said above, tragedies didn’t start in 2020. Yet, we have still been planning trips and leading our lives.

Posted by
11678 posts

??? I've no idea what I said which could have caused you to feel that way, Lulu. I am sorry.

Just commiserating with the disappointment you and some others of the posters are feeling, while attempting to keep, in light of loss to fires, floods, hurricanes and virus, a little perspective as well. Life hasn't been exactly peaches on my end either lately; counting the blessings helps. 🙏

Posted by
365 posts

Kathy, ok I guess it’s hard sometimes to “hear” the tone of a post. I do keep life in perspective. I didn’t cry or anything. When I read about the deaths of those young boys and the stories out west, I thought of my own sons and how lucky we are.

Posted by
438 posts

.....and we would be boarding a plane to Zurich today for 10 days of hiking and train-riding through Switzerland........my husband was deathly sick with Covid in March and lost 19 pounds.......could not eat or drink when the virus attacked his pancreas.......we are healing now but part of our “we are so thankful to be alive” celebration was planning and going on this trip to Switzerland.......we are both 68 and I think what I grieve more than ever is having to give up a year we would love to be traveling as we age.......we won’t get this one back and time has a way of moving on.........I empathize with all of you as we miss these days we could be walking the cobblestone streets of Europe.....no place like it........hopefully getting back there ASAP

Posted by
1101 posts

I know the feeling. We were supposed to go in May. Now currently planning (sort of) May 2021 trip.

Posted by
1841 posts

Talking to a few aIr groups and hoteliers, projections are that 2021 will be a VERY busy summer. In fact, the air groups said that flight prices next year may be higher and less discounted. That's because many folks, fearing the expiration of their voucher have already "cashed in" and booked their summer flights for 2021. Thus, there's less seating available... and of course, that hurts anyone looking for a deal.

The Hoteliers say similar stuff, with a caveat. First, many folks with nonrefundable rooms did get a voucher (good for them), but many of those vouchers are timebound (bad for them). So like the airline issue, they are many people booking their vouchers now - and then if there are still restrictions in Summer 2021 (Geez, I hope not), they are thinking they can roll them over again.

The caveat - because room availability is getting tight - is that many folks are booking REFUNDABLE rooms NOW - most have the standard 2-30 day cancellation window in Europe (depending on location) and then when there are ASSURANCES that they CAN enter that country without restrictions/quarantines, they'll book their flights and nonrefundable items (like train tickets, theater tickets, etc) to match up with their hotels. This is probably a good strategy as hotel rooms WILL get more expensive as demand grows and availability lessens.

If you're planning a trip - booking your hotels now and then buying flights to meet your hotel days - might be the best way to go. Again, as long as you select hotels with a refundable rate that do not require a deposit, you're not at risk and you have a spot locked down at a better price. So, while you're planning... you might want to be booking too!

Posted by
1727 posts

Ron--

While I appreciate your optimism, your perspective from the Hague isn't the viewpoint many of us in the U.S. have experienced and continue to weather.

As you probably have read, most of our country is still in relative shutdown mode with many restrictions affecting virtually every aspect of our daily lives. Yeah, we can get around & traverse a bit, but not without Covid-free declarations. Domestic air travel is a hypocritical joke. Flight attendants tell passengers to social distance, then---due to the airlines' financial hardships--the passenger is plopped 2 feet away from another. It's not back to where it was pre-Covid volume-wise, but many flights are full, and carriers are still hurting, losing millions, upping the pressure to fill the planes. Personally, from a 'breathing the same air' standpoint, the thought of hopping an 8-hour full flight to Rome before Covid gave me pause, although I did it--3 times over the last 10 years--because Europe is just so wonderful.

When Covid hit last March, we were in the pre-planning stages of a Switzerland-Lakes Region-Florence-Rome train journey for April 2021, and although right about now--7 months out--would be about the time I'm researching, scouting airfares, looking at lodging possibilities, in good conscience I cannot even go down that road yet. Reading so many heartbreaking stories here...yes I know it's only travel & not life/death...I think I'll wait a bit, not book anything yet, and zig & zag if I have to a few months down the road. If Europe is full up with tourists next year--and I highly doubt that will happen--I'll deal with it then.

And of course, first order of business is to lift the US travel ban to Europe. That would be nice for starters...

Posted by
3829 posts

Sept is generally the month when we travel, so my facebook memories from about Sept 1 to early Oct will be full of past trips - last year this day we were arriving in Vienna. in 2008 we were just flying to London then Rome for our very first Europe trip. In 2013 we were a few days away from flying to California. 2010...2012...2014...2015...I just look thru them and sigh.

Posted by
1193 posts

It's a big travel time for us as well, this week memories on Facebook are popping up from California last year and England two years ago. In a couple weeks Venice in 2017 and Rome in 2014 will pop up.

Posted by
11678 posts

Fall is our favorite time to travel as well, although within the U.S. as well as abroad. We're missing our trails in the U.S. Southwest, and our favorite little U.S. city, Santa Fe, 'cause New Mexico requires a 14-day quarantine for visitors from outside of the state. I'm OK with that, as our First People in that part of the country are especially vulnerable, but still wish we could load the backpacks and boots for a red-rock adventure. :O(

Posted by
1841 posts

Jay, I'm not sure I'm being optimistic, rather more opportunistic. I hope the pandemic situation improves and travel can restart, but I'll be surprised if there's any sense of normalcy until mid-2022. For those that are planning travel, booking refundable accommodations is a viable, no-risk option.

That said, we are quite aware of the circumstances in the USA. I have family scattered all over the US, so we get many different viewpoints. We also visited the US in late Feb and mid-June to see family. All our US and Canadian friends here get feedback from relatives & friends in NA. Thus, it's a constant topic of discussion. Like the US, the opinions are split - and passionate! We also - using our Slingbox - can watch live USA television, but we've found the story differs greatly depending on which channel you watch.

Many situations in the US are quite similar to what's happening here in NL. We have anti-mask, anti-COVID demonstrations quite often. This one happened about two blocks from our apartment in a town square we frequent often. The Dutch are quite independent and the federal government is struggling to deal with the recent upsurge in COVID numbers. Just last night, they met in an emergency session and deferred to local governments to implement their own restrictions (Sound familiar?)

Other examples: Amsterdam and Rotterdam implemented mask policies. Those lasted less than two weeks, dissolving due to apathy and a lack of accountability by local regulatory officials. There's been a huge surge in COVID cases in Delft and Leiden, two major college towns. It appears the largest growth by age group in this country is the 18-25 year-olds. So many of the same challenges the USA is facing.

Conversely, we speak to friends and business partners in Spain and Italy and their restrictions have been more rigid. Our lockdown was about 78 days - and many functions are still not open due to these restrictions. Their lockdowns were longer and FAR MORE restrictive. We used Skype, WhatsApp, etc. to talk to friends quite often to try and keep their spirits up.

So yes, it's the same... but different (if that makes sense). Europeans are also COVID-exhausted. The EU has tried to maintain a common, consistent message in rules, restrictions, etc. but we're already seeing that start to split - primarily due to health, social and economic pressures in each country. (Do a search for "Frugal Four - Europe" and you'll see some of the financial concerns).

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Copenhagen having coffee with a Danish friend and asked what her thoughts were on the differences between the US and European approaches. She was very candid, saying, "We think first of our fellow man - a collective, what's best for the group approach to a problem. It seems to us that Americans take a more independent, more singular outlook." For some Americans, they might call her viewpoint socialism. Her thoughts probably are founded in her Nordic Law of Jante philosophy, which references, "You're no better than me."

Europe very much needs Tourist Revenue. Another summer without tourists; I can't even imagine it (and don't want to!). So far, they've put people before profit (a slogan bantered around by some groups here) but economic pressures are mounting. Thus, if there's a way to safely bring folks into their countries, they'll make it happen. But not without precautions, and probably not without rules and restrictions.

If Europe "is open" for the summer of 2021, I do think it will be crowded - be it North American, South American, Asian, Australia, and certainly European travelers. I think everyone is suffering from a little cabin fever. Let's hope the next few months bring some positive steps to finding a way to improve the opportunity to travel.

Posted by
3829 posts

Canada is having some anti mask rallies as well - in Quebec springs to mind. Nova Scotians (seemingly all of the Atlantic provinces in our little 'Atlantic bubble') are being rather good about it - probably because we haven't had a new case in 10 days and the last case resolved itself a few days ago. Of course we will have more cases, but right now we see the results of our efforts. We do have people getting upset by the virtually jail like existence of folks in nursing homes since March, so that's going to be coming to a head soon. But with the shite year NS has had, we need this right now.

Posted by
864 posts

This year is all kinds of crap. I feel you. I had a serious two weeks of “I should’ve been here today” depression back in July after missing our meticulously planned trip to Europe.

Posted by
658 posts

Today I should be in Switzerland. Every day of the five week trip I am not on I check the weather forecast for where ever I am supposed to be. I have no idea why I'm doing this but I am. I guess I have to do something to recognize what I am so sad about not doing. Pretty pathetic huh.

Posted by
1727 posts

Ron wrote:

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Copenhagen having coffee with a Danish
friend and asked what her thoughts were on the differences between the
US and European approaches. She was very candid, saying, "We think
first of our fellow man - a collective, what's best for the group
approach to a problem. It seems to us that Americans take a more
independent, more singular outlook." For some Americans, they might
call her viewpoint socialism. Her thoughts probably are founded in her
Nordic Law of Jante philosophy, which references, "You're no better
than me."

Europe very much needs Tourist Revenue. Another summer without
tourists; I can't even imagine it (and don't want to!). So far,
they've put people before profit (a slogan bantered around by some
groups here) but economic pressures are mounting. Thus, if there's a
way to safely bring folks into their countries, they'll make it
happen. But not without precautions, and probably not without rules
and restrictions.

Ron, what a thoughtful response. One of my favorite Rick Steves quotes is him saying that Americans are highly 'ethnocentric', meaning "...evaluating other peoples and cultures according to the standards of one's own culture."

Although some of that is probably ingrained into my DNA, on my 3 trips to the EU I've tried to eschew that feeling. You're in somebody else's house as their guest, try to assimilate a little, won't you? I've always abhorred the idea of the 'ugly American', which I have observed from fellow compatriots more than I'd like on my journeys.

That being said, let's be honest. Do I want to visit Europe under masked conditions? I remember one gorgeous late winter afternoon, after getting off the funicular to the plateau at Orvieto. I walked over to the stone wall overlooking the Umbrian valley, and breathing in the fragrant air--as others were doing--while gazing at the spectacular vista below. Looking at others doing the same thing, and smiling silently and nodding at them while all of us thought, 'we are damned fortunate to be here, right now, in this place.' Will an experience like that be possible with restrictions?

I may be in the minority, but I like seeing peoples' faces and hugging, kissing-on-each-cheek newly-made friends...

All we can do, Ron, is keep each other apprised of current conditions, and hopefully return sooner rather than later.

Posted by
1120 posts

Do I want to visit Europe under masked conditions?

I would but certainly understand that would not be true for everyone. I have become accustomed to wearing a mask as wearing one has been the law where I live since April. But still, I wear one when doing errands which is different than being a tourist.

In July, we went to visit our son in Colorado. We were mostly doing outdoor activities where wearing one wasn't necessary but we did visit some tourist towns where it was. We all discovered that wearing a mask did not significantly detract from our experience. We even did a tour of a silver mine masked which was tougher for me because I wear glasses and with the humidity inside the mountain, they kept fogging up. But I just kept taking my glasses off and wiping them with my shirt as I listened to the tour guide.

But it was a wonderful trip and well worth the inconvenience of wearing masks. And so while I am sure that there would be experiences we would miss if we returned to Italy wearing masks (I won't eat inside at restaurants, only outdoors, for example), I would be more than delighted to do so next year. We sadly had to cancel our trip this past May/June.

Posted by
365 posts

Isabel...I do the same. Everyday since last Wednesday I’ve been saying “today we would be doing such and such and the weather is....” I’ll be glad when Saturday is here as it was our departure day and I can just move forward.

Fall is also our big travel month. Anniversary, birthday, great weather in California (which is my fav, been there every fall since 2016).

Posted by
703 posts

I was supposed to be in Paris from Sept 4 to Sept 18. I had fairly successfully gone through all of the states of grief. I was even doing OK when Sept 04 came and went.....

But then, the Hotel I was to stay at the second week started sending me automated emails.
Dear Guest, welcome to our hotel, please let us know if we can provide anything....
Dear Guest, you have been at our hotel for 2 days, how are we doing....
Dear Guest, you have been at our hotel for 6 days, please leave feedback....

Just stick the knife in and twist!

Posted by
2016 posts

@Lulu348 & Isabel, I concur. We would have been in Agrigento today— 79 degrees. Yep, checking the weather daily. When I need a “Europe fix” I go to Isabel’s trip photos. They are the best!

Posted by
438 posts

I agree Lulu348.....and i keep thinking “today I would be walking a trail above Laueterbrunnen, Switzerland”..........and then when I am getting over it I get a picture on my iPhone that says “this is what you were doing 3 years ago today!.......(when you were walking the streets on Venice.......AGGH!!!!).............boo hoo.................

Posted by
365 posts

Well, we would have been home yesterday and to be honest I’m now sort of glad it turned out the way it did. This would have bedn an extremely expensive and long awaited trip fir our family of 4. We would have been in Rome Since last Tuesday, and it was rainy and cooler. I’m looking forward to next year now!

Posted by
3461 posts

Lulu, I’m “back home” now, too, from Italy and I have to say this is the least amount of jet lag I’ve ever experienced!

Hopefully next year!!

Posted by
365 posts

Jean, do you have next year planned yet? We had $2,500 of tour vouchers, so I went ahead and booked 9 nights starting October 1. Booked same hotels and tours, something to look forward to now.