If you’re still hesitating whether you’ll proceed with your travel plans with friends or family within this year, I suggest you think twice. Right off the bat, the government implemented travel restrictions to contain the virus, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the disease will not continuously spread once the measures are loosened.
Last year, my boyfriend and I booked a flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines via AirAsia. I was excited because we availed the tickets for such a low price (it was a promo) and it would be our first flight together after he disembarked from his job in a cruise line. Everything was planned already—tickets, hotel, itinerary, and stuff. Until this coronavirus happened and we ended up canceling it.
Coronavirus is still around
Traveling this year is like offering yourself to the virus. Remember: there’s no vaccine yet.
It’s unsettling to travel while, at the back of your mind, you know there’s a higher risk for you to getting infected outside your home. You wouldn’t know whether the person you’ll meet at your destination has COVID-19 as asymptomatic carriers are the ones who commonly spread it the worse. It causes unnecessary paranoia and we don’t need that in life.
I personally think airports are one of the places one should avoid to stay uninfected aside from the hospitals. Needless to say, it’s a place where tourists from different parts of the world are found, and whether the airlines are trying their best to lessen the worry of their passengers, we cannot assure that we are still safe.
Also, you may not be covered by your travel insurance especially if you booked your flight way before COVID-19 happened. So make sure it’s clear and stated. Chances are, you’ll be quarantined at your destination if you’re detected with symptoms and you’ll most likely pay for your expenses. Getting sick away from home is definitely not a good idea, isn’t it?
More hassle, less pleasure
Tomorrow isn’t promised so you wouldn’t know whether the circumstance will change in the next few months. It’s a hassle to keep rebooking flights to schedules you are not even sure of, not to mention that airlines cannot accommodate all our queries.
We tried moving our April flight to May, and then when the quarantine measures kept extending, we moved it again to June. We were decided to pursue the travel should the lockdown be lifted, but, apparently, the situation hasn’t improved and we decided to just cancel it.
We’re still hoping we could travel again maybe next year so we just reimbursed our expenses on flight tickets via AirAsia Credit Account, so we can use the amount the next time we book. Learn more about this here. We then processed our refund with the travel agency who planned the itinerary, but we didn’t get it full, unfortunately.
Also, one of the things we considered before we cancel our flight is the adjustment we’ll experience when we get to Palawan. It’s expected that there’ll be establishments that are closed, you may not enjoy dine-in restaurants like usual, or there may be restrictions in the areas you’ll visit so it’s less likely to enjoy the getaway. You wanted to be there to have fun, not just for the sake of being in that place.
We’ve been locked in our homes for months and traveling is one of the things that comes to mind when the restrictions are over. But is it a good decision? I bet not.