I’ve cancelled my travel plans for now. Here’s why that hasn’t stopped me from booking a future holiday

Mar 15, 2020

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We live in interesting times amid the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, which shows no sign of slowing down. The travel industry has been at the core of businesses most affected by the decline in demand. Airlines have been forced to suspend operations on a large scale, with some cancelling routes altogether until further notice. Some entire countries have been placed on lockdown, with many others introducing new rules each day. The U.S. has even introduced new rules that forbid foreign nationals from most of Europe from entering the country for the next 30 days — a restriction that now includes Ireland and the U.K.

Related: The new European travel restrictions will hit airlines hard

Whilst I am not personally worried about my health, I am very aware of the need for all of us to do our bit to keep those in more at-risk categories and the general population safe. (As we’ve all heard before, wash your hands!) At TPG, we are also taking measures as a company to protect the teams in all our locations.

And so whilst it somewhat pains me and makes me sad, this is not the time for unnecessary trips. That said, I’ve just cancelled my trip next weekend to Albania. I will also be moving my planned U.S. trip over Easter to later in the year, given such travel is likely to be still affected by the travel ban.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - MARCH 12: Closed counters pictured at Frankfurt Airport on March 12, 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced he is imposing a ban on most travellers from continental Europe entering the U.S in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. U.S. citizens and their families will still be allowed to travel and the measure is not supposed to affect international trade. Europe currently has approximately 25,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with approximately half of those in Italy. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

As sad as I am about cancelling my Albania trip for next weekend, I am an avid traveller, and the thought of sitting at home with little travel to look forward to was not overly appealing. While I’m not a medical professional, by following the advice of what we know now and hoping that the measures being taken now will lead to a much different world in a few months time, I did also book a new trip this weekend.

Given how badly the airline and travel industry is being hit by this crisis, there are some great deals to be had for future travel. On Saturday morning, I found myself browsing for deals and came across one that I simply couldn’t pass up for travel in July.

Related: Coronavirus crisis raises questions about if weaker airlines will survive

Of course, it’s difficult to predict what will happen over the next few days, weeks and months. And knowing that July isn’t that far away, it made the decision to book a bit tricky. However, knowing that airlines around the world have put generous travel waiver policies in place, I was perfectly comfortable booking a trip for the summer. If it needs to be changed or cancelled, it can be. And if I don’t feel comfortable travelling in July, changing or cancelling the trip is exactly what I’ll do.

If nothing else, it’s nice having something to look forward to as we get through the next few days, weeks and potentially months. And for an industry that is struggling right now, any support, however small, can only help.

Featured photo MNStudio/Getty Images.

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