Please sign in to post.

Those of you who've cancelled your Europe trip because of uncertainty, I'd like to hear from you

My husband and I are on the fence about our Italy trip in 3 weeks (April 9-25) with our 14 yr old son. Between the escalating war and the possibility that one of us will test positive for covid before our flight back home and get stuck, we are wondering if we're not being cautious enough. I understand cancellations to Europe are up. I'd love to get a discussion going. It's really more out of curiosity about what people are thinking. Are many on the fence right now? Is it the war or possibility of Covid positive result causing you to quarantine and not return, or both?

Posted by
5569 posts

I have a trip coming up May 1st. My sister was worried about the positive test scenario that would keep her from returning to the US for work so we cancelled our December and March trips. She isn't going on the May trip (my son is going with me) and we both feel comfortable with the risk of testing positive and needing to extend our stay so we will not cancel this trip.

It really is a matter of personal choice and what you feel comfortable with. My sister would have been stressed out the entire time worrying about that final test. It would not have been much of a vacation for her. You have to consider your individual situations and do what is the most comfortable for you.

Posted by
4958 posts

I'm considering a trip to Europe in May. Unless case numbers skyrocket between now and then, I doubt I'd cancel based on that. Germany right now is seeing a big surge - their highest daily case numbers ever - so that might be a place to avoid at this moment but maybe not Italy - but in three weeks, who knows?

The question to ask is: what happens if you test positive? What are Italy's policies? The US's policies for a return? Can you afford to spend extra time in Italy quarantined if you test positive and can't come home? Think about what happens in that case, assuming you have a mild case and recover quickly - can you accept the consequences? If not...don't go.

I am very worried about the war in Ukraine. But I am would not be worried about it in regard to traveling to Italy. At least at the moment.

Posted by
1178 posts

I was planning a trip in September, but a need for my spouse to take vacation time sooner means we are strongly considering going in May instead. At this point the only thing causing me any type of concern is the possible positive result for coming back to the US. Like you, I'm sitting on that fence waiting and debating. I'm sorry I can't offer any reassurance, but you're definitely not alone with these feelings.

Posted by
9930 posts

My situation is slightly different as I'm retired and travel solo. I don't have to get back to work and I don't have a kiddo to worry about getting back in school (although maybe he'd prefer to stay in Italy, lol??)

I visited France for a month in Sept/Oct and hit a wonderful seam between Delta and Omicron. I am returning in 3 weeks for another month in France, Belgium and Netherlands.

The Covid surge is on my radar screen but I will wear N95 masks the whole time - airport/airplane/inside/outside. As I did in the Fall, I'll take it off in my room and when I am eating. Last Fall I could feel relatively safe in restaurants as then you have to proved you'd been vaxx'd to enter a restaurant and that rule has been dropped. I'm also doing some things to make sure I have a healthy immune system etc.

At this point the war doesn't concern me at all from a travel standpoint (it does concern me greatly from a democracy/humanitarian standpoint).

I worried endlessly about testing positive in October. I took several test kits with me so I could test along the way and not be surprised at a result but of course was negative. I took public transport in Paris, on long distance trains in France and I was also on a tour bus with 20 other seniors. My forum friends here assured me France was further ahead in some respects and I should not worry.

  • When I look at my local statistics, positive cases are up 262% in the last 14 days although hospitalizations and death are down by 34% and 23% respectively. 46% are fully vaxx'd (yes, I live in Idaho).

  • For France, positive cases are up 67% and deaths are down 28%. Fully vaccinated is 78%. Comparing home and France, France is definitely coming out ahead.

I used the NY Times Covid tracker to compare.

I'm packing!

Posted by
93 posts

I have a RS Italy tour coming up at the beginning of June. As far as covid is concerned, I feel the same as when I booked the trip. There's a chance I could be delayed in Italy before my return to the US, a slight chance, but a chance nonetheless. I don't feel that the chance of contracting covid has changed since I booked the tour last May. Covid isn't going away. If I book a trip for 2023, that same chance will still be there. If covid numbers skyrocket at the time of my travel, I'll be wearing my KN-95 nonstop. I was not expecting the war in Ukraine, however, when I booked the trip. At the moment, I do not feel that it will impact travel to Italy. Even Rick Steves has mentioned he does not see it impacting tours in Eastern Europe. If it does, I'm confident he'd cancel those tours.

Happy travels!

Kristen

Posted by
1143 posts

OP, I am not cancelling my trip but here are some things you can consider and write a plan for that might help you.

Regarding the war:

Italy is highly unlikely to be involved. You are highly unlikely to be at risk of anything other than trying to get a flight home in a hurry. In reality, these things are a worry all the time, as random terrorist attacks or even things like Pearl Harbor can happen anytime. In fact, weather situations etc can happen anytime. What are other things you forsee actually being a concern? Writing down your fears may help you place them in a category of 'reasonable' or 'unreasonable', allowing you some peace of mind.

1) Can you afford to get a flight back home that is different from your planned one? Travel insurance could be of help here, dictated by your home state and age, some offer excellent coverage for very reasonable cost, giving some peace of mind here.

Regarding covid: are you vaccinated/boosted?

1) Are you worried about hotel costs/extra outlay, getting stuck, or getting sick? Again, travel insurance can help with the first, and even with the second (also does your existing health insurance provide coverage if someone breaks a leg or has a different health issue, all realities prior to covid).

2) As for getting sick, the odds are that it will be a more mild case if you are vaccinated and boosted, and quarantines seem short. In fact, there may not be any mandatory quarantines anymore or by the time you go. Only the test to come back into the U.S., which per rules now you may travel after 5 days of a dr.'s note. Can you ask if your regular physician can telehealth you and provide an emailed document? Etc.

3) Do you have an emergency back up for responsibilities at home, which is something we should all have even before covid if needed? Ask the pet sitter if they can stay longer, etc. How your employers respond, etc.

4) How does your teen feel about this? Are they anxious, or affected by your worries, or are they eager to go? What about missing some school?

If you write these down with your spouse/teen and problem solve them, you may find your answer. Either you will relax and feel better, or realize there are issues or you do not feel comfortable.

I'm probably missing something but hopefully it's a start. Good luck. (FWIW I am traveling to Greece, Croatia and Helsinki in mid-May. I have an aged GSD and adult children and am immuno-compromised, but I have plans in place and am really looking forward to it.)

Posted by
37 posts

All good points! We can survive a quarantine in Italy fine. My hubby and I recently had covid (even though we were vaxxd and boosted we had a horrible 2 week bout of it and just recovered). We avoided it for 2 yrs and went to Vegas in early March where all masks were off and thats when we got it. Our 14 yr old has been exposed several times and never seems to test positive so I'm pretty sure with our now "double" immunity and mask wearing we'd be ok. The only thing is.... I'm still exhausted! I'm hoping in 3 weeks I'll be recovered enough to do all the walking. I guess if I'm not w will be forced to relax more which isn't a bad idea either. We tend to push ourselves too hard eye guzzling the country.

I've had friends and coworkers just shocked we would consider going to Europe at all right now and admittedly it's given me pause that maybe I'm not thinking though it? Italy is my happy place and I so desperately need it. At the same time I want to weigh the risks. It's hard to know when you're overthinking though.

My chiropractor literally just said to me "what will you do when europe shuts down the air space while you're there?" Uhhhhh

Posted by
5727 posts

Never say never, but your chiropractor is nuts if they think European airspace is going to close.

Covid is an issue, but no one here thinks that Putin is going to get involved in a NATO county, as they can’t take Ukraine which doesn’t have the defences of NATO. If he presses the red button, the USA is in the firing line as much or probably more than Europe.

Posted by
13762 posts

Jennifer, I wouldn't be to certain about the possible actions of a madman. Chemicals, Bacteria and Viruses and Radiation can all blow across a NATO border.

I maintained my March trip to Budapest, but as of now the April trip to Kyiv is on hold .... I'll either stay in Budapest or go to Bosnia & Herzegovina or Romania/Moldova. I am working on logistics for both and will decide sort of last moment.

Posted by
3118 posts

We're scheduled to leave for Greece on March 31. We've been watching Covid numbers there - they are very high and continuing to trend upward. We have not canceled yet but we we are concerned about getting Covid there even though we're double vaccinated and boosted - our immunity may be waning and we're reluctant to get another boost until there is more data.

We still have time to cancel hotels and get e-credit for airfare. Not sure about a Plan B if we don't go...

Good luck with your decision - it's a tough one!

Posted by
382 posts

I am actually sitting in a hotel room this evening for a flight to Brussels tomorrow. I refuse to worry about something that is beyond my control (Covid). I refuse to let a mad man (Putin) ruin my plans to travel. Yes, things can happen. I could fall down on the sidewalk outside the airport and break my leg before even getting on the plane. I try to squash down all the negative vibes and think positive. I will be wearing masks most of the time, wash my hands often, get plenty of rest and try to eat healthy. If I test positive before my Rick Steves tour starts, they have a good Covid policy. If I get a positive test result before I head home, I have extra meds with me and I brought my iPad with books loaded on the Kindle, so I can be entertained in my hotel room. (Rick Steves has a travel guard policy to help me navigate what to do next). I’m retired, so I don’t have to get back to a job. So think positive, look at YouTube videos of the places you want to visit and get excited about where you want to go.

Posted by
37 posts

Marsle - It really IS a tough decision. We have CFAR insurance so we're not too worried about the $ part although we'd lose a portion. Our boosters were in October and both my husband and I who have no underlying health conditions got VERY sick for 2 weeks after our Vegas trip recently. We masked religiously for 2 yrs but in Vegas we were loose about it and it got us. I'm assuming our immunity wore off because it definitely wasn't "just a cold" for either of us. We'd be ok having to spend another week in Italy although it wouldn't be much fun to have to quarantine for sure. So, anxiety while I'm there or depression here because I cancelled? Haha!

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks Janet! I hope you have an amazing trip! Traveling with RS is def more reassuring I'm sure.

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you to everyone who posted. People made very thoughtful comments. I have a trip planned for Italy April 8 to 27 and am unsure as to whether to cancel because of the possibility of contracting Covid (even though vaccinated, boosted, would wear masks) so this discussion is relevant.

Posted by
1856 posts

Collamore - Thanks for clarifying how you think you contracted covid. Like you, my husband and I are both vaccinated and boosted as of October. We managed to get through two years unscathed being super careful. In February, my husband got a very mild case of covid (a tickle cough, slight congestion, no fever) after being in close contact with someone who later tested positive. That person was wearing a cloth mask. My husband was wearing a N95. I think the N95 mask reduced the viral load to my husband and hence his case was mild. His doctor says the breakthrough case he got is like getting a booster and he should be good for another 3 to 6 months. Strangely I never caught covid from him despite being in close contact with my husband and unmasked.

Posted by
4958 posts

Mary some people apparently don't get Covid even if deliberately exposed. UK researchers deliberately exposed some volunteers. Only half became infected. (This was before Delta or Omicron, so maybe things would be different with one of these variants.) But it's still interesting that some people just don't get it at all even if exposed.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/challenge-trial-covid-5222374

Posted by
920 posts

Janet- my thoughts exactly. I laugh when you said falling down. My hubs and I just got back from St. Louis to get our global interview/card, the third day in stlouis, I did trip and fall on uneven sidewalk. Now I am bruised and have a fracture on my radius head. Ouch. We leave in June 🤞🏼

Posted by
890 posts

We are still planning to go to Croatia and Ireland in May.

We already travelled to Europe in November, but felt safer then because of all the precautionary measures that were still in place but have since been removed (or are soon to be removed). This is definitely a concern, particularly with the new variant. I heard an interview with an infectious disease expert today say that it is 40% MORE contagious than Omicron and is, in fact, one of the most contagious viruses known to man. This still isn't going to stop us from travelling, but we will definitely be masking and avoiding eating indoors, etc. My main concern is one tour I've booked that is on a bus. If others are not masking, then I will be having my window open, even if it's raining.

As for the war, that is a bit of a concern to us. (I mean, it is a MAJOR concern, but in terms of our trip, it is a minor concern.) We are prepared to cancel if things change, and if our government recommends against travelling, but we are hoping not to cancel.

Good luck with your decision. Travelling is certainly not as carefree as it seemed a few years ago. Sigh.

Posted by
9930 posts

Regarding comments from your friends/coworkers/chiro…are any of them International travelers? I do think when people make comments about travel you have to frame that by taking their experience into consideration. I give more weight to my peeps here on the forum who I know are open to leaving the US.

Plus, laughing, they are more likely to agree with me and I with them, lol!!

Posted by
4 posts

This is a helpful discussion — thanks, collamore, for starting the thread. I plan to travel to France in early May. I have backup plans in the event that I test positive before the flight home, but thought the mandatory isolation period was 10 days from date of positive test, after which you could travel again with a doctor’s note certifying you were recovered. @Aimee, your post mentions that the isolation period has been shortened to five days — when did that change occur? Is that info on the CDC website? Thanks!

Posted by
3261 posts

We are scheduled to go to London at the end of May and have no plans to cancel AT THIS POINT. I say that because in Mar 2020, we had the same trip planned and on a Sun morning earlier in March,I was telling everyone at Sunday School that we were still going but by that same night, my husband had cancelled our trip because of what happened at a biotech meeting held in Boston at the end of February. I haven't set foot in Europe in the past 2 1/2 years.

Posted by
37 posts

My understanding is the isolation period doesn't matter. You cannot get on a plane that goes to the US without a NEGATIVE covid test. My concern is that might take weeks for some people. It took me a full 14 days to get a negative result when I had covid.

Posted by
9930 posts

No, that is not correct. You can get a statement from a physician saying you’ve recovered once you pass the isolation period.

Here is the link to the CDC webpage with the rule.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

The licensed healthcare provider can be licensed in a foreign country. One of the forum regulars and her husband tested positive in France last Fall about 2 weeks before they were to return home. They did their isolation and got a local physician to write a letter of recovery. They were allowed to fly and return to the US with this documentation.

Editing to add: Here is the thread from the time with some edits from the Author as time frames changed. They were in France but the rules to enter the US are the same from any international destination.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/covid19/positive-test-flying-to-the-states-what-do-you-do-personal-experience

Posted by
37 posts

Pam - Thanks for this info. I had read on another thread about someone specifically trying to leave Rome and had an issue with this. So if I understand correctly, you can be shedding virus to the point where you would still test positive and get on a plane. All you need is a doctor's note to say that you are "recovered"? I wonder what the definition of recovered is. I'm seriously scratching my head as to how any of this protects anyone. Maybe it's because of my own experience with Covid, we were very ill for 2 full weeks and tested positive the entire time. My doctor said we needed to quarantine the entire time since we were testing positive and contagious. I guess this post is taking a wrong turn! Thanks again for clearing up the confusion. I suppose that makes it less daunting in some ways.

Posted by
1143 posts

Testing positive it’s not the same as “shedding virus”. You can test positive long after you have ceased to shed any virus on a PCR. But an antigen test is much less sensitive. There are plenty of reports of people testing negative on an antigen test within a week of a positive. Antigen is all you need

For reentry requirements for United States, if you test positive before your departure to come home you only need a physician letter of recovery. They will look at your resolution of symptoms- and if you are improving and have had no fever, the physician can clear you to come home.

ETA clarification

Posted by
2747 posts

I looked into this recovery issue just in case. If you test positive on a documented test (not an unmonitored self test, there needs to be a record of your test like the results email) then a doctor can deem you recovered and you can fly home. It looks like the time is 10 days and no symptoms so if you test positive on the 1st and have no symptoms on the 11 you can get the recovery letter. I’ve heard some doctors use the 5/7 day guidance instead which would be faster but 10 is for sure. There are telemedicine services that do this - you can log on from your hotel, meet with a doctor, and they will email you the recovery letter. My home doctor does this too, just need to schedule a telehealth visit which can be done in Europe. Not all doctors do, but the telehealth services work for anyone. My husband just did one in Portugal for a non-covid reason, got a rx for antibiotics within 20 minutes. If he needed it, I’m sure they’d do a covid recovery letter.

Posted by
1204 posts

This is useful. Thanks collamore

I have a trip planned in June-July. Im not exactly on the fence, but aware of when my first cancelation date is for lodging (May). Im looking into insurance this week, which Ive never used for travel before.

The main thing that gives me pause is that I too am traveling with my 14yo, and she will be at a summer camp for two weeks prior to us leaving. And this will be in June, when I expect the new very contagious variant to be circulating here. She could come home, test positive, and the whole trip is toast (plane tickets are changeable however, because I wasn't used to planning with insurance before alas).

Im not worried about being quarantined (summer break from school for both of us). Assuming I cover myself financially, my biggest concern after getting Covid is how much avoiding Covid will impact my enjoyment of the trip.

I am now looking into the fine print of insurance policies. As some have mentioned above, getting a doctor's note is needed and I am not clear how this works (if Im in Italy and test positive at a pharmacy, how to find a doctor to write a note while Im supposed to be quarantining).

Im not worried about the war as it is now. But I have several months to watch how things develop.

Posted by
1078 posts

We had scheduled two RS tours for 2022: Munich, Salzburg & Vienna (May) and Best of England (September). Friends had planned to join us for both trips. In December all four of us agreed to cancel the May trip given the uncertainty with COVID. We have until early May to cancel the September trip and get our deposit back.

To me the decision to travel comes down to two questions: Will it be safe? and Will it be fun?

Regarding safety, I am reasonably certain that I will not end up in the hospital with COVID (although there are cases of vaccinated and boosted people getting quite sick). The war appears to be creating issues with the absorption of Ukrainian refugees.

Will the joy of travel be diminished by the worry about arriving in Europe and missing the RS tour due to a positive test? Will the wonderful RS tour group dinners be a source of anxiety due to the fear of catching COVID? Will the concern about testing positive before the flight home cause undue stress?

Keep in mind that most of the people on this forum are extremely passionate about travel, and may not give the same answers as the average person.

Also, this discussion may be taken down because it is not in the COVID and Travel section of the forum.

Posted by
25 posts

We had a RS Greece tour booked for May but cancelled because of the pandemic policies. Though double vaxxed and having had Omicron around New Years, we do not want to have to deal with masking and not interested in a booster in their current iteration. I am hoping that policies moderate for a booked Spain trip in October, but getting less optimistic due to the recurring surges in the virus and overreaction by the body politic.

Posted by
37 posts

Bob - Thanks for your reply! I'm glad to hear from someone who has cancelled to get that point of view. I assumed that most of the people on the forum would not be canceling (which is why they are still checking the forum) so it's useful to hear your thoughts. I didn't really intend this to be a covid based post. My biggest concern when I wrote the post was the war and that doesn't really seem to fit in to any category. My concern still is the war. I won't be as worried about covid because I know what to do to protect myself, but you're right, enjoying Italy means enjoying the eating experience and not having to worry about having my mask off in restaurants. With the possibility of Covid being a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, I'm not sure I'd ever get back to Italy if I wasn't willing to accept that risk. Thanks again for your thoughts!

Posted by
63 posts

I cancelled my 2022 trip to Italy because of COVID (I am vaccinated and boosted). I am planning to book a 2023 trip--with the hope that some of these restrictions will be eased by the time of my scheduled trip.

I am not retired--I still work. My company will not look favorably on my needing to quarantine an extra 10 days. This is the deciding factor whether I will be traveling to Europe. I cannot take the risk.

I am very sad as I miss Europe very much.

Posted by
1976 posts

Me and the Hot Wife planned on Poland and Russia for this summer. As far as my long-held dream trip to Russia, well, it looks like that may possibly never happen, even though I do separate Putin from the Russian people.

My only concern now would be countries adjacent to Russia. A leader like Putin with nothing to lose, like a cornered rat, defies logic and reason.

And like others have suggested, don't casually dismiss another COVID variant or surge. Get travel insurance. There is no wall between Germany, Italy, or even China for that matter. If it's surging in one place it is only a matter of time before it spreads. It's a good point that we need to learn to live with COVID and proceed with our lives. My concern would be if the government doesn't agree with me. Also, as mentioned, it takes away the fun to be masked all of the time and worry about getting COVID. As Robin mentioned, my workplace would not be pleased if I had to quarantine beyond my scheduled vacation.

Posted by
9930 posts

"my biggest concern after getting Covid is how much avoiding Covid will impact my enjoyment of the trip."

Every person is different. I did my October trip masked the whole time and it did not impair my enjoyment of the trip. I spent about 2 weeks in Paris and did everything I normally would do on my visits there. I went to museums, churches, gardens, rode the Metro, rode long distance trains, walked, ate, uhhh drank wine, lol. I then did a Road Scholar tour of SW France and enjoyed that enormously. I stayed masked although many on the tour took their masks off on the bus (we were asked to wear them on the bus but I was shocked at how many did not follow the rules) or when outside. I was more comfortable staying masked with an N95 and on my travel day to France wore it just under 24 hours. It does not bother me to wear a well-fitting mask that long but I know others don't tolerate that well. I do take my mask off when I am eating/drinking.

"I assumed that most of the people on the forum would not be canceling (which is why they are still checking the forum)"

Oh my dear...most of us read the forum daily whether we are traveling or not! Gotta see what my online friends are up to!

Posted by
1178 posts

My company will not look favorably on my needing to quarantine an extra 10 days

This is my main worry too.

I think this issue is vastly different for those of us working, and those that are not.

Posted by
1143 posts

In regards to that question of one's employer not looking favorably on a 10 day quarantine: What would/will they do if you contract covid here? Make you come into work? Serious question, I'm curious as to the answers. If you can work mobile from home in that case, could you not bring something to achieve same overseas? Laptop, etc. A drag I know, but might be the answer.

The 'mildness' of Omicron (this is not a description but a reference point) has shown that some people will test negative on an antigen in less than a week. Which means, if their symptoms are receding they can either fly or return to work. Some will not. It won't matter what country you're in.

So what will your employer do if you are one of the ones here at HOME who become sick and have to stay out of the office? What is the difference?

Posted by
1178 posts

What would/will they do if you contract covid here? Make you come into work?

I work from home full time so if I contracted Covid at home I'd just keep working. I wouldn't be travelling with my work laptop though so if I tested positive it's not as if I'd be able to work remotely from my hotel in Europe. I think I'd end up having to use sick time/vacation time.

Posted by
37 posts

"Oh my dear...most of us read the forum daily whether we are traveling or not! Gotta see what my online friends are up to!"

Pam - I love this! Thanks to people like you I get my itinerary questions answered. I am thankful!!

Posted by
13026 posts

I feel uncertain, which is one reason I have pushed back my trip or reduced, scaled down the itinerary. The original itinerary also included going to Helsinki by ferry. That appears to be out for now.

The current plan is to be back in France and Paris by July, we'll just have to wait and see.

Posted by
1678 posts

I have a trip to Amsterdam and London in early June and still plan to go. I purchased travel insurance with my airline ticket that specifically covers COVID related trip delay, though I feel moderately confident we won't need to use it. I have generous leave time at work and my travel companion is on school holiday so a delay could be absorbed. And we'll take appropriate precautions as the situation on the ground two months from now warrant - and hope for the best.

As for the war situation, though personally troubled about it, I'm not worried about it affecting my travel plans since none of my planes will travel over or near the area. However, I have traveled to places that weren't so stable (Thailand during a civil uprising) so my risk tolerance may not be average (or possibly questionable!).

Posted by
228 posts

Leaving Wednesday for Italy for 2 1/2 weeks. Age 71 (now) for a trip that has been postponed for 2 years. Good news is we are retired, if we should get stuck with a positive test the only damage (hopefully) is to the Mastercard.
Conditions are obviously less than totally ideal for all the discussed reason but realistically the clock is running on our taking independent trips such as this. We have made our own assessment of the risks (and also gotten the 2nd booster), let's have a go at this!
All the bad news is somewhat counterbalanced by the reduction in crowds I hope when we get there. Cast off, Mate!!!!!
Will note that the Airbus 350 from ATL to FCO is completely full Wednesday evening.

Posted by
158 posts

We have signed up for back-to-back Best of Italy and Best of South Italy tours in September and October plus some pre- and post- travel. Like the person who replied previously, we are in our 70s, actually mid 70s, and have postponed or canceled travel for two years. We probably don't have too many travel years left so, barring a catastrophe, we are going.

Posted by
286 posts

Just returned from England, March 18-25. The test to return was a serious factor in our considerations about whether to go, especially since the numbers in England had shot up just before we left. We tried to adopt a good plan (e.g., less time in restaurants with others, wear masks a lot, etc.), but there's no guarantee that even with a well-executed plan you won't get "stuck" over there at great expense and hassle at the very least. At a certain point we just decided to go, stick to our plan and hope for the best. That's not right/wrong, just our approach and we were fortunate that it worked out. We had a blast and didn't let the looming test to return ruin our fun, even if it did change some of our approach.

Posted by
15 posts

Collamore, you hit the nail on the head...anxiety while there or depression at staying home. I'm in the same boat. Plans for Paris next week and I'm still not sure if we're going! Ugh...

Posted by
13026 posts

Both issues factor into my decision to scale down the scope of my itinerary. Even though it's a nuisance, I don't mind wearing the mask all day, on the trans-Atlantic flights, buses, or trains, regardless what the local rules state, it can be done.

The horrific war taking place in the Ukraine is different, it's unpredictable . When it's operationally unpredictable, then you look at the capability of the aggressor, also horrific and frightening.

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks Fred. Could you comment on how you scaled down the scope of your itinerary? Are you staying for less time?

Posted by
13026 posts

@ collamore....By scaling down the original trip plans, I mean the duration, ie, at least 88 days in Schengen countries and 8 days or so at the end in England and also the number of countries to be visited, if this were normal times.

I am setting my sights now for a much more modest trip, only France and Paris in July for about 14 days max. Covid and the war in the Ukraine are the two primary reasons.

Posted by
177 posts

Thank you, Joseph, for reminding people that the vaccine does not prevent someone from contracting Covid. We returned from Greece 10 days ago and tested positive 3 days later. We didn't suffer much and both of us wonder how much more severe the disease would have been had we not been vaccinated and boosted. Even though protocols are being relaxed I believe that mitigating efforts--disinfecting, masking, and distancing--are much more important in preventing the spread of the virus than vaccination, which prevents severe illness.

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks Joseph and Susan - Our flight is about to depart for Italy (connecting through LHR) on British April. We had gotten our heads around the possibility of needing to stay and quarantine in Rome, but we can't find reliable information on what that looks like. Some are allowed to go find an AirBnb, and others talk about being whisked away to some Covid Hotel. It's the latter that scares me. We can afford to stay the extra time, but we want the freedom of whoever is negative to be able to come and go. My husband and I JUST had Covid last month so we likely wouldn't get it again but who knows which variant we had and may be susceptible to a different one. (We were both very ill. BAD flu for 2 weeks. Binax tested every other day and it took almost 2 weeks to test negative).

Now, I keep seeing all the drama with British and IT systems crashing at Terminal 5. I read a quote from the CEO saying prepare for more, especially around Easter. Ummm, that's when we're going! We decided last night we're not risking it, then today woke up feeling adventurous and ready to brave it all.

If I could just get a qualified answer on WHERE you can quarantine in Italy when you have covid that would help. There is so much conflicting info out there on that.

Thanks all!

Posted by
19 posts

It's a good question. I have cancelled 3 trips in the past couple of years because of COVID. Didn't want to risk quarantines or worse.
Next year.

Posted by
37 posts

I definitely didn't intend this post to go in this direction and I hope it doesn't get shut down for that reason. Right now I'm looking at leaving in a week and trying to figure out how to stay out of a "covid hotel" in Italy. It's very possible we could test positive with the surge there now and photos of practically everyone unamsked at LHR. With their little technical glitches shutting down terminal 5 every so often, I hate the thought of being in a BA2 factory for hours and hours.

Again, I can only speak of my own experience. My husband and I were vaxxed and boosted. We are very healthy. No underlying conditions. 50 yrs old. Very active. Last month we got covid and were both bed ridden for over a week. Low grade fevers, vertigo, headaches, coughing, sinus congestion and brain fog (more like brain dysfunction) lasted almost 2 weeks. I was so weak I could barely shower and lift a cup to my mouth. My oxygen sat on a home monitor dipped to 90 resting and I had a nurse calling me daily to check on it and make sure I was doing my lung exercises to prevent fluid build up. It was scary and very unexpected. There were two days I thought I might end up hospitalized. It shook us. PSA to all my fellow travelers. Do not think for a moment because you are vaxxed and boosted it will "just be a light cold". We had a stack of home tests and took them every other day. It took us almost the full 2 weeks to come up negative. We now have letters of recovery so we don't have to test to come home from Italy. My son, though...that's the wild card. He's the one we're worried about.

Posted by
769 posts

Hello, I removed a side discussion here. Our guidelines re discussing the pandemic are still in effect. I can appreciate the challenge when Covid affects our travel plans, but just ensure that what you're writing is focused on advice or experience re travel. See the addendum to our Community Guidelines for more info. Thanks, everyone!

Posted by
4 posts

I just got home from Sicily yesterday on a tour with Odysseys Unlimited. There were only 12 people on the tour because several had canceled due to the war and Covid concerns. I felt perfectly safe. We were very conscientious about wearing masks inside and on the bus. Our amazing tour guide told me how gutted the tour guide community is about cancelations due to the war in Ukraine as they thought this would be their year to get back to normal. Gas prices are way up in Italy now which is impacting tour company decisions about the cost effectiveness of running smaller tours so those with lots of cancelations are being cancelled altogether.

On the positive side, this is a rare opportunity to see Europe without the crowds. We are heading to France in May with Rick Steves without hesitation.

Posted by
1109 posts

collamore, a dear friend was in Italy for two weeks this past January. He tested positive the day before he was to fly back to the States. He arranged with his hotel to stay in his hotel room and quarantine there. The hotel staff were lovely helping him arrange meals delivered, etc.. He never had symptoms and after a week was told that he could leave the hotel to walk in the neighborhood to "get some air." He eventually had a call with his primary care provider at home, who emailed him a letter stating his medical situation and that he had quarantined a sufficient period of time so that he was no longer contagious (even though he continued to test positive.) In the letter his PCP cleared him to fly. The hotel printed the letter for him and he was able to use that to meet the US govt and United Airlines Covid requirements to fly home.

Posted by
12 posts

We cancelled our BOE-14 that was to take place in June. We are still sad about it, and feel a bit of regret, but with 4 in our family traveling and to multiple countries there were so many factors to account for such that it wasn't fun anymore anticipating the trip when it was tinged with much worry and pressure to research and come up with contingency plans.

We have since made plans to do some traveling locally. And my son will also be going to Spain on a study abroad program during the summer, and my daughter will visit relatives across the country for a couple weeks - trips that wouldn't have happened if we had gone to Europe. And we find we are excited for them without the Covid worry because logistically dealing with one person delayed is so much easier than a family of four. We still hope to go on a Rick Steves tour in the future, just not this year.

Posted by
37 posts

Roubrat - We leave tomorrow!!! We're doing it. We cancelled in our minds a week ago and then decided we were crazy and need to take advantage of the fact that two of the three of us had covid a month ago and are hopefully super immune. Wish us luck!

Posted by
165 posts

Yes Collamore! I cheer you on! It just seemed your recent immunity is the best ticket! Sadly this war sounds to go on and on! And….Life goes on too!
We too still are on board with our trip mid May! Enjoy every minute of it!

Posted by
165 posts

As I mention the war in Ukraine and still planning our travel…I still struggle with my travel guilt. Not fear or worry for us. Just so sad for those innocent and suffering!