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Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome booked for next week

I am schedule to fly into Venice next week, then take the train to Florence, Pisa and Rome, I have booked this trip through Tripmasters, (first time and not to happy) price is good, but not feeling that they are considering travelers safety priority, I have no problem with taking this trip but my concern is whether I will be allowed to take the train from Venice to Pisa and Florence. I tried to cancel but tripmaster is telling me that travel advisory from British airlines states that they are rebooking at no extra charge, but not refunding 100% for cancelations, there will be a $600 for 2 persons for penalties ( even though veneto is at level 4) I have a job and it's so difficult request for time off.
I really want to cancel but don't want to loose $1,000 or more, we booked non-refundable hotels (for cheapest price) we also already have transportation (train) paid and confirm, so if I cancel NO REFUND because it was confirm.
I purchased travel insurance but it does not cover trip cancellation in the event of an epidemic. What should I do? Me and my mom were planning this trip for her birthday, she is concern about this virus and we are so aware of the COVID-19 and the CDC warnings, we check on-line twice a day, every day. Are the tourists places open for the public? This is stressing me out!

Posted by
3980 posts

This topic has been covered in several forms over the past few days on this forum. It’s your choice. Half will say go and half will say cancel.

The virus is spreading, so what is open or running today maybe different tomorrow. It’s not likely to be any better next week.

What happens if you are in a place that becomes shut down? You must be prepared to get stuck somewhere for at least 14 days and the same again possibly when you get home.

Posted by
3206 posts

Try not to stress - that won’t help your health and fitness. With your Mom’s birthday, will she be “elderly?” Or are you and she not that old, which should apparently give you more protection from a virus than older people. How’s your and her overall health - any ongoing medical conditions or compromised immune system issues?

So if you’re still not wanting to make this trip next week, and rescheduling for another time (are you saying British Airways allows that without fees?) isn’t viable, then $1,000 plus is the price for maybe having less risk of getting sick. But people are now getting sick staying at home. If you go later, sounds like you’re just giving up what you paid for lodging. If losing that money is worth your peace of mind, then don’t question what it’s costing - just stay home and don’t second guess. But if this is a trip you’ve wanted to do, and have invested plenty of money in, then go, have a good time, but practice hand washing, avoid obviously sick people, and take simulqt precautions, while enjoying incredible places.

We’re flying British Airways to London at the end of this week, for 11 days. Looking forward to the trip - will be nice to get away from home. Life’s short no matter what you do or don’t do, so make informed decisions, but don’t shortchange yourselves if you can still go on a great trip.

Posted by
306 posts

I’m really sorry about your dilemma, I like to travel with my mom too. It’s a special time to bond and you want everything to be perfect. Yes, everything in Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome are open and running normally at the moment. Upside is things aren’t as crowded. But as someone else posted, things can change rapidly. Flights can get cancelled, you could be subject to quarantine, things can suddenly close without notice. Have you thought about postponing your trip to another period? I know it is for Mom’s birthday but you can celebrate it twice :) Maybe you can call the hotels and see if you can move your rsvps to another date? Again, sorry for this stressful situation.

Posted by
51 posts

I reluctantly decided to cancel/postpone my trip at the end of the month. The hotels and tours allowed me to cancel with a full refund, knowing I will reschedule because their customer service was excellent. Lufthansa said they would refund my fare as well, although I couldn’t find anything saying it will be at 100%, so fingers crossed. It was a difficult decision, and I still think I would have been fine, but I spend a lot of time with vulnerable populations, and I wasn’t willing to put them at risk.

I hope whatever you decide to do, you’ll be at peace with your decision.

Posted by
69 posts

I am still leaving for Rome next week. Recent news in the US shows that there really is no escaping the virus. Nobody is immune from it. The chances of contracting it are still very, very low and the outcome is almost certainly fine unless you are in certain vulnerable populations. I'd feel safer in a country with universal healthcare that has been proactive from the onset rather than in a country where people are going to work sick because there's no mandatory paid leave and not getting tested because they don't have insurance and it costs upwards of $3000 to get tested. Wouldn't you?

That said, the situation at home when you get home is admittedly unpredictable. But I'm ok with that risk as well.

Posted by
1036 posts

This is what the French authorities are doing:

“If you have recently travelled to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy or Veneto regions of Italy, authorities are asking you to self isolate for 14 days.”

Are you prepared to do this when you return to the United States? Also, if your flight home gets cancelled from Italy, you may have to fly home from another country. Flying home from France might not be a good option if you have to self quarantine yourself for 14 days.

Posted by
30 posts

I'm in almost the exact same boat as you are. My wife and I are schedule to go to Venice, Florence and Rome on March 21. We're 30 and very healthy. The only difference is, British Airways has not extended the change fee waiver. So as of now, we are waiting to see if they extend. We booked through tripmasters as well (I've been pretty happy with them). Personally, if they extend the waiver, I'm ok with eating the cost of the hotels as long as I won't be penalized on my flight. If I can change my flights for free, I think I will.

Having said that, since we have another two weeks, if things get better, we're going to go. I imagine Italy is fairly empty right now of tourists, so it would be pretty nice to be there when it's practically all to yourself. My main worry is having to self quarantine for 14 days upon return.

Posted by
872 posts

I'm so sorry for your situation! It sounds like a wonderful trip that you had planned for you and your mom! However, as you have a job, as you figure out what you all are going to do, you may also want to check with your HR department and ascertain that they will not require you to self-quarantine after returning from Italy (which the US CDC lists as a "level 3 travel advisory" location, although it is not listed that way by the corresponding Canadian authority), maybe having to take your ETO days in order to do so. Others posters have reported on this forum within the past couple of days that some companies are now requiring their employees to self-quarantine, and not return to work for two weeks following arrival back home from any country listed as "Level-3 travel advisory" by the CDC. I work at a hospital in New Orleans (in a state which does not yet have any COVID-19 cases reported) and employees here just received an email yesterday stating that they must not return to work and must "self-isolate" for 14 days after returning from any such location.