As the world re-opens following the coronavirus crisis, travellers must stay flexible and nimble if they wish to travel.
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Some Destinations Have Recovered
Italy has re-opened to Schengen-area visitors, Portugal to many countries as well. The US is mostly prepared to re-open, Spain is on the way too. New coronavirus cases continue around the world though the WHO has stated that the “iceberg is not as big” as feared and countries are ready to welcome tourists back.
Travellers Are Desperate to Return to the World
Many studies have found that travellers are ready to return to the world. I covered a few weeks ago Allegiant Airlines finding that customers are upbeat about recovery and plan to return to travelling quickly. Southwest may be even larger than it was before coronavirus crisis, the carrier was then the largest domestic US airline.
Following coronavirus, the world is in turmoil in relation to police brutality protests in the US. Hong Kong is experiencing further difficulty due to a Chinese law enacted recently. There’s a concern for some that a second wave of COVID-19 may emerge, locking countries down and suspending travel around the world again. Add to that the start of hurricane season in the US with storm Cristobal already on the way and it’s never been clearer that best-laid plans will change.
It’s imperative that travellers remain flexible as the world finds its way through a troubled 2020. Fortunately for most travellers, many carriers and hotels have kept waivers in place to encourage customers to return to the skies and the road. Those waivers will have cause to remain in place all year at this pace.
My Own Example
I was excited to secure a vacation with my family in business class on American Airlines to Hong Kong. The price was (shockingly) excellent considering American has been reluctant to fairly price flights reflecting capacity and seats sold.
While we had concerns about aspects of the trip when we booked, my Executive Platinum status with American allows me to change or cancel at any time without encountering a fee. I have been uninterested in cancelling as my entire family has been longing to return to Asia, whether our ultimate destination was Hong Kong, Bangkok, Sanya or elsewhere.
However, we aren’t welcome visitors to Hong Kong and perhaps to the rest of the region yet either. We have to accept that our return may have to wait a little while longer, may not be Hong Kong as we hope and may be delayed indefinitely.
Travellers that want to get back out in the world have to accept some frustration, remain flexible, and expect the unexpected. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, but for those that choose to travel or must for work, be nimble and accept that the agile will still find a way to succeed.
What do you think? Have you made future travel plans? How has flexibility played a factor for you?