Being a travel advisor means staying on top of all the current travel trends and news. As you can imagine, staying on top of the current events in this COVID-19 era is an extra challenge. Things are changing daily (if not more frequently). I was reading this article about losing the buffet on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ ships from one of my favorite trade rags and it got me to thinking. Am I ready for this?
My family and I love to cruise. We love to travel in general for that matter, and we’re equally comfortable with what we call “no-brainer” vacations like cruises and theme parks as we are with more immersive vacations – you know, “real” travel. The kind where you meet the locals and things don’t always go as planned, if there even is a plan. Like many of you, we had our much-anticipated travel plans for 2020 cancelled due to the virus. That’s why early on in the lock-down we said that when things open up, we’d be the first to book a trip, both to cure our cabin fever and to prove to our clients that it is now safe to move about the world.
Well, things are opening up. Cruise lines are releasing their plans to sail (most of them toward the end of the summer). Disney is implementing rolling openings at its theme parks. Other parks are making similar plans. Resorts are getting the word out about their enhanced cleaning protocols and revised amenities. However, we still have not booked our first post-COVID trip yet.
We talked about this the other night and we just don’t feel it’s time. Partly because we are not convinced there is an adequate response plan in place if this all backfires, the number of cases increases, and the hospitals become overwhelmed. Partly because we don’t feel there is an effective treatment or prevention in place yet. We feel relatively confident we may survive, but we have a 6 year old and now they are finding potentially-lethal COVID-related infection that is affecting children under 8. We also realize we live in Florida where we are predominantly surrounded by residents in high-risk age groups. We don’t infect them.
Still, we think more than anything, we just aren’t thrilled about the idea of a vacation in which we have to wear face masks. We love food and a cruise without a buffet doesn’t sound the same to us. How can you explore a new place when the stores and museums are shuttered and the people are self-isolating? And flying… I don’t think so.
Looks like, if we do travel this summer, we’ll be getting back to basics. It’ll be time for the old family road trip, piled into a minivan. Since we are avoiding people like the plague (pun intended), it will be some quality time in the great outdoors too. I’m putting my money on rental car agencies, campgrounds and state/national parks for the foreseeable future. But hey, that’s just us. Are you ready to hit the skies/sea/road yet?