With the end of COVID-19 uncertain, how are you to know if upcoming travel plans are truly worth cancelling or postponing? By simply changing the date of your future getaway, you might be helping out more than you know. About ten percent of the world works in tourism (Source)—imagine how just postponing might help those such as small businesses, restaurants, airlines, hotels, and tour guides in the long run?
If you’re on the fence about your upcoming trip, our team at Valor Hospitality Partners wants you to consider these four things before making a final decision.
1. Create personalized timelines and dates for postponing
Not everyone’s travel plans are going to be the same and not every company’s cancellation policies are going to be the same either. Do some research on your trip, including reading any fine print, and understand when you need to make your decisions by. This includes taking into account the repercussions of cancelling all aspects such as flights, accommodations, cruises, tours, or experiences. Know how each deadline coincides with the other and figure out a course of action.
If your trip is months away, don’t worry! You have time. Travel experts advise you to actually wait until the travel company cancels on you rather than you cancel on the company (Source). If you voluntarily cancel, you are less likely to have a strong claim for a refund from providers, insurance companies, and especially on airfare.
For early summer travel, it is encouraged to postpone; however for anything beyond mid-June, it is recommended to wait and see. Keep in mind that this date is based loosely on events now. Stay up-to-date with news and health information from the CDC and other media outlets to help you make your decisions.
2. Review any policies that have changed and/or updated
It is important to consider reviewing cancellation policies as rules might have changed with the unique circumstances we currently face. Don’t be afraid to reach out and call those providers that you have made bookings with and speak to a representative. There’s a high possibility that they might give you higher flexibility with your plans because they genuinely want to keep your business.
If you booked through a third-party agency or a travel specialist, let them advocate on your behalf. These professionals are specially trained to handle these types of situations and can actually end up bargaining in your favor.
If you are able to postpone, it might prove to be mutually beneficial to both you and the booking company in the long run. While you could potentially get something more favorable than your original booking, you’ll also be supporting tourism and hospitality providers in a time of need. We’re all in this together!
3. Be wary of making new bookings
With outrageous deals on airfare and hotels right now, it’s hard not to book a vacation this upcoming summer or fall. For those thinking about securing those low prices, experts are encouraging people to wait it out (Source). Though those fares might look good now, they have the potential to look even better as travel and tourism comes back.
Additionally while the industry as a whole is doing their best to provide refunds, vouchers, and credits, you need to understand how attaining these will be affected when purchasing low fares and discounted rates. If you need to cancel, what is the probability of getting your money back? Know your options and read the fine print.
4. Understand your insurance coverage
Travel insurance is a plan you purchase that protects you from certain financial risks and losses that occur when travelling. Losses can range from minor things such as delayed luggage, to more significant cases such as last-minute cancellations or international medical emergencies. Though many travel insurance plans don’t necessarily cover ‘global pandemics,’ there are still ways to mold existing plans to fit your current needs. For any traveler purchasing travel insurance right now, you should be looking for coverage that includes scenarios such as if you contract the virus, if you’re quarantined, or laid off from employment.
Take some extra time to walk through your travel insurance coverage as it could potentially save you money and time if you need to make changes to your upcoming trip.
While postponing rather than cancelling your upcoming trip might prove to be beneficial for the global economy, it might even act as a positive factor for your mental health during the pandemic. Having something to look forward to can help keep you hopeful for the future as we move past COVID-19, together.
Tell us, what have you done to decide whether to cancel or postpone your upcoming trip? Leave some tips in the comments below!