When Should You Book Your Post-Quarantine Trip? Ignore the “Experts”

an airplane parked at an airport
Photo: Jonathan Tallman

When Should You Book Your Post-Quarantine Trip? Ignore the “Experts”

If you’ve been on any media website lately, you’ve likely seen a myriad of articles about booking trips.  Article after article is offering what sounds like expert advice on a post-quarantine trip.  Should you book the trip this summer?  The fall?  Next year?  All of these are likely questions you’re already thinking about if you’re a traveler.  But my advice would be to avoid the “experts” all over the media.

Ignore the Experts?

I know, it’s not something I typically say.  I’m a big believer in listening closely to what experts say.  The difference with these circumstances is that these self-anointed experts are not really experts.  Sure, they may know all there is to know about aviation, miles, or other categories of travel.  But they aren’t experts on this disease, and they are way out of their depth to be pontificating to people about when they should book their next trip while pretending only they can predict when the time is right to travel again.

Don’t Ignore These Experts

After just telling you to ignore the experts, I’m telling you to listen to these experts: doctors, nurses, and other people in the health field.  Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx are doing a tremendous job fighting the coronavirus and are a shining example of experts with authority on this topic.

They actually are telling you when you should book travel.  Their answer is actually honest.  They don’t know!

Of course, they haven’t come out and explicitly said that, but they don’t have to.  From the very beginning, they have made it clear that 1) the virus is calling the shots and 2) no human around can absolutely make a determination on when this will be over at this point.

Even at yesterday’s White House Task Force briefing, Dr. Fauci said, “But we feel confident that, sooner or later, we will get to the point — hopefully sooner, with safety as the most important thing — to a point where we can get back to some form of normality.”  In other words, it will happen eventually, but we don’t know when that will be.

These doctors are some of the most intelligent and qualified people in their fields, and not even they know when this will end.  So if somebody is pretending to know when it will end and offering advice based on that, ignore it.  They aren’t experts. and they clearly also don’t know their limit of knowledge.

When Should You Book Your Next Trip?

Whenever it feels right to you and guidance suggests it is safe to do so.  That’s honestly the best advice I think one can give (but then again, I’m no expert).  That’s because travel is different for everybody, and the things people are willing to go through to travel differ.

Some people may want to wait a couple of months once non-essential travel resumes to test the waters on how the virus is spreading.  Others may want to be on the first flight they can get on.  Others may decide they want to drive to see family in a neighboring state, while other might want to jet across the globe as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.

In addition to all of those personal preferences, there’s also a matter of people’s tolerance for dealing with travel disruptions.  Perhaps somebody finds themselves very frustrated when a flight is canceled.  They may want to refrain from booking a trip for some time.  Others might not care one bit about having to reach out to get a refund for a canceled flight or needing to reschedule a trip because of last-minute changes.  I’m booking a cruise in Hawaii for next year completely understanding there could be drastic changes or a cancellation to the trip.

Do What Feels Right to You (With a Caveat)

There are so many variables one has to account for before booking a trip.  That’s why I think all of our readers should do what works for them and what they are comfortable with.  I caution you against following arbitrary dates or time schedules created by “experts” in the media who have never once been involved in a  crisis like this.

I would only add one caveat to you doing what feels right: listen to those real experts.  Listen to the doctors and what they have to say.  Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx don’t have an agenda outside of defeating this virus and keeping America healthy.  Put stock in what they say, and if they are cautioning you about the time for travel, at least consider it in equation.

With that, go book — or don’t book — your post-quarantine trip.  You don’t need a travel expert to tell you when the time is right.

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  1. Good grief. Does anyone with a travel blog ever, actually, go outside?

    I’m at ATL connecting after a 5 day road trip through the Carolinas. It was beautiful.
    People are still traveling…. NOW. Right now.

    I’m traveling the next 6 weeks in a row, all domestic trips, all over the USA.
    If everyone listened to bloggers… the whole world would be locked in a padded room.

    Good grief people, go and travel NOW. It’s uncrowned and some of the easiest and best leisure traveling I’ve ever done.

  2. LOVE Tony Fauci, but he is changing things as he’s going along, because guess what? He really doesn’t know. That’s why back in January he said this was no big deal-worry about the flu, not this. Then in March he predicted a much larger # of deaths—and yes those models included social distancing/shelter in place; but even the best case scenarios were not as good as what we have seen so far. So who knows? Educate yourself as best you can and keep up to date because it is all still evolving in front of us, and frankly none of us yet know what we don’t know about this (even the best experts).

  3. I agree with most of this but the main thing is to look at what is legally or could legally be in place. For example, I love Europe but would be concerned about booking a vacation there prior to 12-31-20 as there has been a lot of talk about the EU banning Non-EU tourists for the rest of 2020. I have some travel booked for the end of the year and may book a cruise for late 2020 or 2021 but I work as a part-time travel agent and will use travel information more than health information in my planning. We have no idea what health issues tomorrow could bring. Nobody planned for the flu hysteria of this year so it’s impossible to plan for that in 2021,22,23, etc. I think travel insurance will be much more important in the future as well.

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