Making the best travel decisions during these uncertain times
The headlines are changing daily and the information is developing even as you read this, so we understand it is hard not to be concerned how Coronavirus (COVID-19) will effect your upcoming travel plans.
We at LaVon Travel do not take this concern lightly and it is our priority to give the utmost attention to our clients to work through every question and concern they may have regarding their plans. Although we are not experts on this virus or nature of the disease, we do believe in being a trusted, empathetic resource to our clients so they can make the best decision for themselves. To that we would like to provide some helpful tips and guidelines to take into consideration during this time of concern:
1) Protect Your Travel Investment – By Seeking Professional Advice.
For those who have a vacation booked in the coming days, weeks or months, it’s valid to feel some trepidation. Fears of contracting the virus, or even being quarantined, are valid. While we as advisors can never make a decision for you on whether to travel, our job is to be a resource to you that’s on your side during this challenging time. A travel advisor knows if or when airlines, hotels, cruise lines and tour operators have waived change and cancellation fees (many have). We are here to provide expert advice, point you int the right direction for unbiased information and deliver support where needed. Instead jumping to decisions based on the deluge of information from the media, reach out to your advisor to find out their inside knowledge on the destination you’re traveling to. It is important that you have all your options in play and your advisor will do their very best to make those very clear. It’s our goal to be responsible and respectful of your time and the travel investment you have made.
In addition through years of personal relationships and partnerships we have access to real-time information from our on the ground partners to arm our clients with the facts needed to make confident decisions, provide informed answers to any “What would you do?” concerns, and handle the logistics that sometimes can’t be avoided, from last-minute flight changes to spring break contingency plans.
2) It's Still Ok To Travel - Just Be Mindful Of Who You Trust
We recommend you stick to the same trusted resources that we do for your information. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) and the State Department. We all know from over the years that when it comes to mainstream media – from Zika to deaths in the DR to Brexit to Greece Economic Shutdown – that headlines are designed to create fear and hysteria, which works. Then of course once the buzz is over you stop hearing about it and the media is on to the next as all these situations have found clarity. So be mindful of where you are clicking (images, articles, clickbait, etc) – as these are all designed to get your hear pumping and engage fear.
While we have seen travelers postpone or cancel trips to Italy and Asia, travel has not come to a screeching halt. Many of our travelers are choosing options closer to home be it the Caribbean or within the states to experience something new. Ask your travel advisor about options where you can travel that don't have concerns.
3) Lets Keep Perspective - Base Your Decisions On Timelines Not Headlines
The fact of the matter is that COVID-19 is still so new, so the uncertainty creates fear, but understanding the facts as they continue to roll out allows us to gain perspective on the situation at hand, and make informed decisions based on these findings. Numbers and findings by organizations such as the CDC and WHO are going to be ever changing as they work to get a handle on this new disease. Keep up to date and knowledgeable on exactly who is at risk and what that risk is. Avoid sources that promote the idea that everyone who gets this will die (people do recover).
4) Plan Now - Travel Later (With Insurance)
Traveling is meant to be fun, tranformative and educational. The recovery from all this will come and now could be a good time to look forward to grabbing great value on a vacation you have been waiting to take for quite some time. Speak to your travel advisor about booking ahead for late 2020 and 2021 trips. Many travel companies, hotels, airlines are offering relaxed deposits and cancellation penalites to encourage those who are looking for the next window of opportunity to travel rather than living in forever realms of fear.
Travel insurance is always a good idea. While “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) travel insurance policies may partially cover trip cancellations and adjustments related to the coronavirus outbreak, there are some restrictions, and the policy has to be purchased within 21 days of making an initial trip deposit. If you want to book a trip for later this summer, we highly recommend that travelers tak a CFAR policy.
4) Practive Good Hygiene
Wash your hands! As soon as you get through security at an airport head to the restroom to scrub your hands and carry hand sanitizer. Cash frequently changes hands, consider using credit cards that you can wipe down with a sanitizing cloth. While at it, wipe down airplane surfaces and wash your hands before and after using the restroom on the plane. Take precautions as needed with general hygiene practices and keeping loved ones who may be at higher risk in safe enviroments.
At LaVon we are dedicated to ensuring you as our clients feel comfortable and safe, no matter where in the world you go, and deliver your options in the most factual manner possible.