“When can I travel again?” is being asked all over the world and the good news is: it may be sooner than you think.
A lot of people have been asking me on instagram when they can travel again. While I don’t have a crystal ball, I do have some facts for you. My outlook is positive and yours should be too.
Will we be travelling again in 2020 or 2021?
Have you postponed a trip? Or perhaps even cancelled? I know I have. I should have been in New York City right now, face deep in a cheap slice of pizza in midtown.
When I tried to get a refund on my flight, I was offered an “open ticket”. That is, an offer to use the ticket at a later date – to be determined – when flights are no longer grounded.
The “open ticket” is valid for a year. But this begs the question, when will I be allowed to use it?
Will we travel internationally again in 2020 or 2021?
Signs are showing there is potential for late 2020. However, some countries will wait until 2021 to re-open borders.
Where can you travel after coronavirus?
So I started doing some digging. A deep dive into the internet.
What I’ve learned is this: The curve of new infections is flattening. Social distancing is working.
Skyscanner‘s Jon Throne suggests: “It is a personal choice of whether now feels like the right time to start thinking about a trip. If you do, be sure to check the policies covering your booking.”
Europe’s RyanAir is hoping to restart flights in June, while EasyJet has launched holidays for late 2020. Many airlines and hotels are offering more flexible bookings, however, you will still run the risk of not knowing. If you are itching to book a trip, 2021 looks safe for the most part. Late 2020 looks like a very real possibility, however, we are yet to know.
In Asia countries such as Bangladesh have closed to all Middle Eastern and European travellers until April 14. Indonesia has closed its borders until April 20, Cambodia to April 30 and New Caledonia to May 31 – to name a few.
The truth is this: many countries and destinations rely on tourism. The travel ban will only exist as long as it has to. When it is safe, borders will re-open. The best article I’ve read on what happens after coronavirus? Prepare for the ultimate gaslighting.
Will my insurance cover me?
If you’re desperate to book a trip in this time of uncertainty, you may want to think again.
Unless you purchased a policy before the 31 January, 2020 it’s unlikely you will be covered for coronavirus cancellations. This is because the virus is already a known threat and you would be booking a trip in spite of this.
While travel insurance is unlikely to be a fallback plan, flexible flights and hotel deals may get you over the line.
Is it safe to book a trip? Should you?
The more important question is – should you book a trip right now? The short answer is no – wait to book a trip. Once countries feel it is safe to re-open borders without major consequence, they will.
There’s not a whole lot of sense or need for booking a trip until you can actually take it. Plus, there will be major savings to be had. Flight deals, hotel stays offering deals like “stay for 4, pay for 3”.
When will that be? Look for these signs.
Travel insurance will reboot
Shortly after the outbreak, travel insurance companies stopped offering policies or severely adjusted their policies. When travel insurance providers resume allowing the purchase of policies, it means it’s safe to travel.
Schools and businesses will reopen
When school classes resume and you can sit down in restaurants again, this is a sign things are returning to normal and it may be safe to travel. China has already done that in areas and at the time of writing, Italy is re-opening in stages (source: BBC).
When politicians say so
Finally, an important note on the fine line between a health crisis and the economy. While the pandemic is rife, most countries have closed their borders. This is not just to keep foreigners out, but also to keep their nationals inside country borders.
When it is safe to open borders, politicians will waste no time in announcing that. This is because of a reliance on tourism and trade. Will we go back to normal? Yes. It’s just a waiting game for now.
Read more: 10 ways to turn your life around in 2020