Booking Travel, Lessons Learned In the Midst of COVID19

Here we are in the midst of the COVID19 outbreak. Here we are dealing with travel bans and travel alerts and having to go through thermal scanners before boarding a plane. Many people scrambling to change or cancel their travel reservations while some airlines take it upon themselves to cancel flights altogether. “Self-quarantine” and “social distancing” have become a household words.

It is a discouraging time for those who have looked forward to taking that long-awaited cruise. Even traveling by bus, train or car doesn’t seem like such a great idea right about now.

Who would have thought that this would be the case even just months ago when vacations or business travels were planned and booked? Definitely a first for the entire modern world, a world that aspires to travel more and more.

Yet, with all the chaos and uncertainty that we all face at this moment. This is a time when travelers should take time out and reevaluate the ways of Booking Travel, Lessons Learned In the Midst of COVID19.

Online Travel Agencies and Websites

 

I have always been an advocate of online travel agencies and websites. I am talking about sites such as booking.com, kiwi.com and studentuniverse.com . I’ve used them a few times to know that they can be a wonderful resource. After all, they do save you some time and money compared to other companies. However, with some of the stories I have heard about the challenges of either making changes to reservations or canceling reservations especially with the COVID19 situation, it appears that these online travel agencies and websites are not as flexible as others. I will still use them because of the deals they offer, but at this time of travel tribulations, they might not be the most ideal when booking travel.

Airline or Travel Company Websites

Another way to book travel is by going directly to the airline, cruise, train or bus company websites. I have also used these sites to book travel. Here you can also find some special deals and save on the booking and baggage fees that may be assessed when booking with online travel agencies and sites like booking.com, kiwi.com or studentuniverse.com. The one drawback when booking directly through airline or travel company websites is that you may be only limited to the one travel company. This means that if you choose to use United Airlines, for example, you are normally limited to using them for your travel from beginning to end which could cost a lot more than what you pay through other booking sites. The one advantage to booking with these companies, is that changes and cancellations in times of distress, like the one we are experiencing with COVID19, are easier to make.

Travel Agents and Agencies

If you have read my post…

Traveling Today, Fighting the Virus

then you will know that I have personal travel plans for the year. So, way before the whole COVID19 became worldwide hysteria, I was looking into booking my travels with a travel agency. The main reason I was looking into booking with a travel agency is because I wanted to assure, that should travel bans or travel alerts were to ensue especially with my travel destinations, that I would be able to reasonably get refunded or be able to change any booking reservations I would have.

As I called one agency to check on my dates of travel, the one thing that I learned was that booking through a travel agency might limit the number of airlines to choose from. This is because travel agencies may have contracts with certain airlines that they book with. So, this means that if I had a particular airline that I preferred I might not be able to book with them. This also means that I would pay higher prices compared to booking with an online travel website or with the travel company directly. Also, of course, there is a fee for booking a travel agency which is not a concern with me especially during this time of COVID19.

The Choice is Yours

When making travel arrangements it is great to know that there are so many options available. The choice is yours. Whether you are booking travel through online travel agencies, directly through travel airlines and companies or through a travel agent, do what is right for your needs.

Let other readers know how you book your travel plans and share your experiences.

This Will Pass

In this moment of a completely changing world, let’s continue being hopeful. We will get through this together. This will pass and traveling will once again be just as great as ever if not better now that we have learned “Booking Travel, In the Midst of COVID19”.

Today, here and now, continue to take proper precautions from spreading the virus.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website here are ways to…

TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Clean your hands

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Avoid close contact

  • Stay home if you’re sick

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Learn what to do if you are sick.

Stay home when sick

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Cover coughs and sneezes

If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Wear a face mask

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Clean and disinfect

Follow me on social media:
Please feel free to like and share 🙂
error0
Tweet20
fb-share-icon20

18 Replies to “Booking Travel, Lessons Learned In the Midst of COVID19”

  1. Yeah I personally think one has to be careful and stay safe in this COVID19  outbreak. When making travel arrangements it is great to know that there are so many options available. The choice IS yours. I appreciate the thought of: 

    “Whether you are booking travel through online travel agencies, directly through travel airlines and companies or through a travel agent, do what is right for your needs.”

  2. Hi ,

    My friends are having exactely this problem . They bought tickets and their flight was for the 17th .They didn’t know all this travel ban was going to happen .They tried to cancel around the 15th and till now they still are struggling to get their money back .They told me in the face that they may not get their money back .Really thank you for this nice article

    1. You’re welcome. I’m so sorry to hear of the challenges that your friends are going through. I hope that everything works out for them.

  3. You are right these are very challenging times.  With being stuck in our homes – it is hard to think about travel.   But, this too shall pass and I don’t plan on being afraid to travel in the future.   I have booked travel using both agencies and direct with the airline.   It seems to me that I have gotten a better deal with the agencies. What about local travel agencies?   With the competitive nature of the business (outside of what is going on today) are they still a viable option to explore?

    1. I haven’t had to use local travel agencies in many years but I feel that they might foresee more business after all this passes. Many who have booked travel using online travel companies and directly through the airlines have had many challenges either changing or canceling their reservations because of all the travel bans and travel alerts due to COVID19.

      Travel is at a standstill just like everything else but things can only get better from here on out. We just need to stay hopeful.

      PLEASE be happy, safe and healthy wherever you are.

  4. First, thank you for the informative and accurate topic. Every time I travel somewhere I make my plan not more than 2 weeks before I go, I’m just not used to make such kind of planning in a more distant future, yes this way is a little more expensive (or in a lot in some cases), but you don’t know when something can happen and ruin your travel plans, in this case scenario my strategy even saves me money. I’ve been planning a visit in Spain with 3 friends of mine in May, but seeing the current situation I don’t think it will happen before June, so not planning it months before doesn’t ruin my plans.

    1. Interesting travel planning strategy but it does help in situations such as the one we are all in right now with COVID19.

      PLEASE be happy, safe and healthy wherever you are.

  5. finding a good article does not come by easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and bringing up an article to help others with good information like this. the effect of covid 19 on the world now is great and it has affected the posibility of free movements 

  6. Hello Geri,

    This is a very well written and important subject to write about in these times.

    When I was young before we can travel internationally we had to take medical tests, injections and wait. I dont think it is the same anymore since the last few times I traveled If I had a passport and a ticket I was good to go.

    Your tips on keeping clean by wiping things used in the house are all good ideas and the washing of the hands is on point.

    I do hope things return to normal soon, as I had a trip planned to go to a Mexican resort in a few months.

    Courtney-

    1. We are all in this together…and it will all pass soon enough.

      Travel will be back and probably even better and improved.

  7. My pastor is having this problem now . He bought tickets and his flight was for the 15th. He had no idea about all that is happening right now, and tried to cancel but he hasn’t gotten any refund yet. I don’t know how this is going to end with any one affected this way afterword!

  8. That is so true Geri “When you travel, you become a citizen of the world.” That is why I have cancelled all of my trips to help confining this pandemic. I am from Canada and I planned a trip in advance to visit my relatives in April 2020. Even if I have planned this trip way ahead of time before the crisis, I am very much in the dark about what is going to happen with my tickets bought through Air Canada airlines. It was not an overseas trip so I didn’t go through a travel agency but you are reminding me that it is a good thing to do so if you are planning a big trip outside of your country. Stay home safe for now!

  9. Thanks for sharing about this. The coronavirus global pandemic has indeed change our travel plan quite drastic. I and my friends has booked cruise tour in South East Asia for next month, but it must be cancelled due to preventive measures in our country. Fortunately, the travel company understand and we can even reschedule our trip up to next 10 years! Wow. Also, thanks for reminding the steps to maintain our hygiene 🙂

    1. Wow! I am so happy for you. It’s quite rare that you find companies so accommodating.

      Please be happy, safe and healthy wherever you are.

  10. Thanks for sharing this information Geri, you are right it is a very scary time to be living.

    I think everyone doing a little bit to fight this silent killer and the world will fight it and win.

    Great post

    Stay Happy and Safe

    Steven

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *