Updated: Mar 27
These are such uncertain times right now. I know there are a lot of people canceling their future travels or having their travel plans canceled by the companies or the government, and understandably so. We all need to stop the quick spread of the coronavirus so that it doesn't put a strain on our healthcare systems and all people are able to get the care they need.
I also have had my plans canceled. I was due to visit Amsterdam April 2nd and I am heartbroken that this trip won't be happening. It would have been my first time in Europe (yes, I'm a travel agent who has never been to Europe, but that's not for lack of want) and I was so excited to be able to visit Keukenhof during tulip season, see the Windmills at Kinderdjink and visit the Anne Frank house, all of which meets my love of history, culture, and nature
But just because this upcoming trip has been canceled, that doesn't mean all hope is lost. I am planning a future trip, hopefully for the end of May if this pandemic is under control at that time. I may not get to see the tulips at Keukenhof as that is right out of season, but I can still visit Amsterdam and maybe fit in more sightseeing that I wouldn't necessarily have been able to do were it not for Keukenhof. Maybe instead of Keukenhof, I'll visit the Hoge Veluwe National Park, something I wanted to do but didn't have time for.
There are a lot of travel industries hurting right now, travel agents being one of them. The cruise industry is laying off people and cutting pay because 30, 60, or 90 days of not being able to cruise is painful for any industry! So what can we do to help them?
Plan your future trips!
Just do it. Think about where you would want to visit and put down that deposit. The cruise industry is doing all they can to take care of their travel agent partners by protecting commissions for trips that had to be canceled. So are many other suppliers, but that also means that they are protecting agents out of their own pocket! Unfortunately, this means that their own employees can be laid off as they will need to cut costs somewhere.
All Miami-Dade and Broward based cruise companies have mandated that their employees work from home, my husband being one of them. And as of today, another cruise line cut everyone's pay 20% and is instituting a 4-day work week, but at least everyone gets to keep their job, right?
The travel industry is one of the largest global businesses and a major contributor to the U.S. economy. Foreign and domestic travelers last year spent $1.1 trillion in the U.S., which directly supported nine million American jobs, according to the USTA, a nonprofit trade organization. Nearly 3% of U.S. gross domestic product can be attributed to travel and tourism, the association said. - WSJ.com
This is a completely unprecedented event. Yes, we've seen the shut down of the travel industry before, and it has suffered in the past, like right after 9/11 or during the economic crisis of 2008. But never has the travel industry completely shut down for a month or longer as it will now. The best thing that can happen is for everyone to show support of the travel industry by planning your future trips during this downtime and do your best to pay into it.
If you were like me and were traveling for a specific reason that will be out of season once this is all over, check off another trip on your bucket list and put the canceled one aside for a little bit longer. If you need help figuring out where would be best to go during that time, contact me and I'll help you find the perfect spot.
Let this also be a very important reminder of why you need to purchase travel insurance.
UPDATE: Ok, so May is a bit optimistic for my trip, but a girl can dream, right?! I may end up doing this trip as a Christmas Market trip instead and help Santa pick up some great gifs for the family in the fall.