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Why I Don’t Plan to Cancel Any Trips Due to Coronavirus

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


I was surprised when my good friend René told me he canceled all his booked trips for 2020.

For gosh sakes, here’s a guy who would take a cruise to his neighborhood Walmart if there were a viable waterway that could handle a ship. He’d mileage run (business class, of course!) to the corner grocer.

I could see him laying off travel for a few months. But I was downright shocked when he said 2020’s off the table because of coronavirus unless things dramatically improve.

I, on the other hand, last week booked two trips.

Why I Won’t Stop Traveling (At Least Not Yet)

I’m not part of a vulnerable population. I’m well under 60 and in good health. (Although my sanity has been questioned from time to time 🙂 ) I wash my hands regularly. When traveling, I use Clorox Wipes to clean my tray table, IFE screen, armrests, air vent, light switch, etc. I keep hotel room TV remote controls in plastic bags.

I went to London last weekend — and wasn’t too worried about catching coronavirus. Frankly, I had a better chance of being stabbed than catching COVID-19. (And one’s chances of being stabbed are fairly low.)

3D illustration of Coronavirus, virus which causes SARS and MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
(©iStock.com/Dr_Microbe)

But I’m examining each trip on a case-by-case basis. Most of my travels are work-related. Aside from that, my wife, daughter, and I have a pair of trips to see family.

Plus, if so few people are traveling, then exposure to COVID-19 would seem even less likely.

If the coronavirus outbreak gets significantly worse, then we’ll postpone vacations. Some of the work trips might be decided for me.

Where I Won’t Travel

All this said, I don’t have any international trip planned for the rest of 2020. I’d love to take a China Eastern mileage run. Or visit Tokyo because, well, Tokyo’s awesome.

But I don’t know visiting Asia is the best idea right now.

Same with Italy.

However, we’re not even three months into the year. Things will change for better or worse before 2021 hits.

So there’s a chance we’ll be safe taking international mileage runs some late summer or somewhere thereabouts. (Though I’m certainly not holding my breath.)

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

One report suggests COVID-19 will peak sooner than later. Another says that even if things subside soon, another wave could hit just in time for the winter holidays.

And there is no way in hell I’ll get near a cruise ship. Imagine if someone sneezes — because they’re flowers in a centerpiece or maybe sensitive to cleaning products. People will freak out and assume the person has COVID-19. The boat might not come back for several weeks. (That’s one of the reasons René cancelled his cruising plans before forgoing all travel.)

Should You Cancel Travel Plans?

I’m writing about my plans, specifically. Some of my family canceled their trips. I know others who are on the fence.

As for your plans? Do whatever makes you comfortable. If you’re nervous about traveling, don’t take the trip.

What Will You Do?

I know some people who are canceling trips. But others who are full steam ahead with their plans. Where do you fall?

Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section.

— Chris

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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25 Comments

  1. I travel each week for work and have no plans to slow down unless my clients tell me otherwise. My family plans to travel to Portugal and Spain in late summer. At this time no plans to cancel, but we are keeping an eye on things. Armed with my Lysol wipes and spray I’m ready for whatever!

  2. I work in a medical field and I will be quarantined for 14 days if I come back exposed – already had a quarantine after coming back from Hong Kong in February. Cannot risk that alone. It is not the fear of the coronavirus (even though I just hit that “vulnerable” age, I am in good health). I am very sad to miss the upcoming trips and a cruise. Cancelling….

  3. I am not canceling business trips however these trips are kind of canceling themselves. Meetings and conferences I was attending got canceled so my trip was basically canceled. I haven’t planned summer vacation with family. For the last 5 years I had flights, hotels, tours, etc… all booked by December to travel in July. This time I didn’t and I think it was a wise decision. We have agreed to stay home this summer and explore the 10,000 lakes around us in beautiful MN.

    • @Santastico – I am with you. AA, at last, is letting me free change my trip I had booked for tomorrow. Moving it to late fall as I hope all will be better by then. This summer I am staying home.

  4. It’s difficult to fathom that you’re citing the New York Post () as an authoritative website for information about the spread of the virus.

  5. What? Are you flying AA now? AA and United are just Delta’s copycats. Their leadership team are useless and just follow whatever Delta decision is. BTW, Delta has waived all my cancellation fees for all flights booked before March 1st way before they announced they would waive the fees. I called them and a very nice agent proactively offer to waive all fees. Money was back on my Delta wallet for me to use for any flight I want later in the future. That is why they have my loyalty.

    • @Santastico – I have a bunch of AA points and burn them when I can. This was one one of those trips. I have zero plans to fly AA more than I must.

  6. Sometimes it is not about me, me, me…sometimes it is about the greater good of our community. Unless we do a voluntary moratorium on travel it will continue to spread. Cancelled trip to Spain for my birthday that had been planned for months.
    Requesting refunds provided an
    interesting view on customer service in the industry. Became very clear who I will re-book with in the future and who I will not do business with ever again.

  7. Thanks for making me laugh out loud with your opening paragraph about cruising to Wally World and a mileage run to the grocer.
    I have to second Andy’s comment above about the New York Post! They are a reliable source for nothing!

  8. At this point I am not cancelling anything. Granted I don’t fall in the high risk group. I even managed to score a round-trip from LAX to CDG on Delta for 48,000 points in May. Hoping Paris Disney doesn’t cancel their races in May. The booking company told me Disney will NOT refund or credit the price of the tour package (hotel and race fees) even if you had bought insurance thru them. Plan to see if Chase will do anything for me if it’s cancelled.

    I also have a trip to NYC planned for April and June. The hotel rates in NYC are slowly dropping and save a few $$ there. Just thankful I got most of my miles in for Platinum before all this hit. Hopefully the travel industry will be able to bounce back from this.

  9. We’re both over 60 , in very good health, and are going to London in September, no change in plans

  10. I have 9 trips left for this year — Chile, Spain, Itay, Portugal and the rest Asia and I’m taking it trip by trip. Already cancelled Vietnam for this month and dealt with the fees . Chile is scheduled for April and will likely get cancelled but it is on points.

    I am also feeling healthy but don’t want to risk being a “healthy carrier” while things are on the rise. Am mentally expecting Europe to be a no go but hoping things will have cleared enough by August to take my first flight to Asia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/british-couple-contract-virus-on-flight-from-heathrow-to-vietnam

  11. I ha e a MR to UIO no stay over March 20-23
    And I’m goin
    I have a MR April on VS to Mumbai no layover
    And I’m planning to go. As of today
    I have been wearing gloves at work- the kids are mucous machines- and will wear them when I fly.
    I have 2 trips on DL to London in May and as of now plan to go
    Wearing gloves
    I’m 69 and no special health conditions
    Am I crazy?
    Thoughts plz

  12. I have a few domestic flights booked. May, June, Sept, and Dec. I’m not changing anything. Will diligently keep my hands clean and continue to run an hour a day as I’ve always done. Unless things take a very serious turn for the worse I going to keep on keeping on. I’m 68.

  13. I’m in Houston this week, with plans for trips on planes for the next 4 weeks in a row, and more after that. I fly for work–until the hospitals that I’m going to tell me I cannot come, I’ll be there. And yes–armed with hand sanitizer and wipes!!

  14. HuntingtonGuy Reply

    For personal travel I have no intention of changing anything, in fact, we are looking into planning another vacation this year.
    Professionally I’ve already been impacted and have already had to cancel one trip. I work for the gubmint and our senior elected official ordered all non essential travel cancelled. As a result myself and a group of staff had to cancel a training and related flights, hotels and other reservations.
    I am interested to see how the travel industry responds to an increasing number of similar cancellations and whether refunds, credits or other considerations will be offered. As for the trips I cancelled (same day) today, no bueno on credits or refunds.

  15. Unfortunately, as long as we allow our emotions (in this case fear) to rule over facts and reason, we’ll behave like the Chicken Littles that we are. Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy a Corona.

  16. Barry Graham Reply

    Well it could be worse, it could be the New York Times which is even less reliable!

    I have to go to the UK in May for an important family event and I am not planning on canceling this trip. I find it rather sad that certain governments and local authorities are shutting down religious events, including funerals. I agree with everything you say. Maybe when people are in charge they are so scared of being blamed or sued or making the wrong decision that they end up taking these drastic measures and worry about the consequences later. I cannot see how prolonging the agony through isolation is better than only isolating those that have the illness and those that could die if they catch it, and letting nature run it’s course.

    I hear the argument and it is a risk that that my thinking might put too heavy a burden on the healthcare system but if if the majority of people catching the virus this way would recover without hospitalization, would that really be more of a burden that the terrible strain being put on our economy and society right now?

  17. My husband and I are in our 70s and in good health. We leave tomorrow for a 5-week road trip in the UK. We are also planning on taking a 71-day cruise circumnavigating Africa in the fall unless Hollandamerica cancels it. No fear.

  18. I had no plans to cancel but, I did. I was to fly out to Belize next week. I am a preschool teacher. I did not want my coworkers or my families to feel threatened. And worst all, my school age kids to be isolated because their mother traveled abroad!! I could take an extra two week vacations (voluntary isolation) and God knows I need it!! But, it’s the people around you you want to protect.

  19. We have not cancelled trips but the meetings and events we are going to attend have been dropping like flies..Even the smaller ones with 50 people..Sad

  20. Currently in JNB and flew through Zurich. Feels safer to be in SA than in NYC. People are forgetting that travel to warm countries where there’s low incidence/cases of Coronavirus means there’s a lower chance of an outbreak since the virus gets killed by warm weather.

    It’s nice to see increased cleaning and people taking caution, yet I wouldn’t be worried if you have a trip planned to SA!

  21. Stop all travel Reply

    Just because you think you won’t be affected by the virus because you are so young & virile doesn’t mean you can’t transmit to others that aren’t in your position. It’s extremely selfish. And stupid because you really have no idea if you won’t be affected more severely than you think.

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