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  • Writer's pictureMarc Pulisci

Should You Still Go on Your Scheduled Trip Right Now?

This is an article “Should You Still Go on Your Scheduled Trip Right Now?” by Marc Pulisci.

The short answer you’re looking for here is “no”. With most airlines around the world cancelling flights to destinations, pushing off your travel plans to a later date is the best and safest option while the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much active worldwide. As early as March 6, countries have imposed strict travel restrictions to avoid the further spread of the dreaded virus wreaking havoc in many travel enthusiasts’ plans for both international or domestic trips.

COVID & Traveling

Cancelled tourism

To date, there are over 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 all over the world with over 150,000 lives claimed and still counting. The scheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been pushed to next year in July, marking the first time the games were rescheduled to an odd-ending year. However, organizers aren’t quite sure yet if the set date will allow safer conditions for travel and tourism and have admitted to not having a Plan B in case the games get cancelled again.

Across the globe, major concerts and events including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Forecastle Festival in Kentucky, the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans which have all been set during the first half of the year, as well as all other events that would promote mass assemblies are scratched off the calendar.

The White House has earlier released guidelines that encourages citizens to avoid social gatherings such as weddings, sporting events, and festivals initially for eight weeks, but things still look bleak even after the quarantine phase has been lifted throughout the country.

Travel disruptions

Travel companies are hit the hardest with a projected 6% drop in revenue for the 2nd quarter alone, hauntingly similar to the fall experienced during the 2008 financial crisis. Visa cancellations and flight suspensions are being undertaken by governments all over the world due to the disruption caused by COVID-19 and things are expected to get worse before travelers can see any ray of sunshine or vacation hotspot for that matter.

If that hasn’t deterred you from packing your bags, what could probably convince you to put off your travel plans at the moment is the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation for those who are already immunocompromised or older adults who are considered as high-risk individuals to shelter in place. Younger ones who think they are in the pink of health are not safe from the virus either as they can still get infected and serve as walking hosts who can transmit COVID-19 to others despite being asymptomatic.

Gaming tourism

No matter how you practice safety measures like wearing masks and washing your hands, the safest precaution you can take right now is to stay at home until we flatten the curve. These days, more and more people are learning about virtual travel by the magic of VR technology. You can simulate climbing the high peaks of Mt. Everest or even drive a Mars Rover in space! You can find a vast library of virtual worlds you can try online and can still order the gadgets you need to experience virtual reality for the first time. For now, that's really the next best thing to actual travel.

Since last year, ‘gaming tourism’ has been reaping huge numbers with more people wanting to immersive in VR at the safety of their own homes. The good thing about this alternative way to travel is that more producers are looking to improve graphics and overall experience so you can expect more upgrades from Google’s Expeditions app, Rough Guides’ partnership with XBox, Vive, and Oculus among many others.

Stay at home

Checking in on the news right now may give you a headache, with varying opinions on how travel will return back to normal by 2022 rather than sooner. These days, it’s probably best to visit your home for a change and foster more meaningful interactions with the people you live with. Do some enriching activities with family and store new memories. Discover new things and explore your own abilities via DIY projects. When things are pretty dark, you can certainly trust yourself to find ways to make something better out of all of the crazy.

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