The Bing Crosby “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” song takes on a whole new meaning in the year of the pandemic. We’ve made the difficult decision to cancel our trip to Europe and will not be leaving the house this year for Christmas celebrations.
Why I Cancelled My Trip To Europe
My wife is German and our general plan is to alternate between Los Angeles and Germany for Christmas each year. This year we had planned a trip to Germany.
But by late November it became clear that Germany would be difficult. A shutdown that was supposed to “save” Christmas did not slow the growth of the pandemic as hoped for, prompting an extension of the shutdown. Two weeks later, even the Christmas exception was eliminated.
Technically, we could have still gone to Germany, but with all but grocery stores closed and onerous quarantine requirements in place, we hatched a different plan: we would all meet in Spain instead; the Canary Islands to be precise.
We reserved a house on Airbnb. We booked our flights. Interestingly, I booked TAP Air Portugal for the outbound…just to try something different. It was cheaper to fly all the way to Las Palmas (LPA) on TAP than it was to fly from London or Basel on EasyJet…
Our return was booked on British Airways with an overnight in London.
Then a “mutant” strain of the virus broke out in London. Other nations, including Spain, panicked and blocked all UK flights. Since part of my wife’s family lives in London, the trip suddenly became physically impossible. It was also not clear if we would also be able to get back via London.
So we cancelled. Well, we postponed.
The plan is to try again in the spring. If that turns out to be soon, then we will try again in summer.
I’ll write up a post in the days ahead about dealing with United, TAP Portugal, British Airways, and Airbnb for the last-minute cancellation and re-booking.
I did not cancel my trip to virtue signal. That would be quite hypocritical. I’m also not telling you to stay home for Christmas. But for goodness sakes, be careful. I’ve seen firsthand how the virus spreads. As annoying as they are, masks help. Wear them. Wash your hands often. Keep your distance when possible. The numbers are grim in the USA. Travel cautiously this year.
I’ll be home for Christmas.