Travel Think Tank

When the news gets in the way of your travel….

This post originally was created when there were worker strikes in France in 2019. It seems rather appropriate during these COVID-19 times…. because, just like in 2019, we will travel again!

I’m posting this today in honor of my best friend. She and her daughter were meant to board a plane today and take off for a well deserved trip to Europe. It’s hard when your hopes are high only to be dashed by something so far out of your control. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow but we will travel again!

Way back in 2019…

My sister-in-law and I were recently chatting about her upcoming trip to Europe. They are excited to spend some time in London and Paris. A great idea to enjoy in January to my mind! She, however, is now a bit concerned with the Paris leg of her trip due to the recent events that have shut down icons such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. A very real concern for any traveler.

So what do you do when your perfect plans are flung into the chaos of current events? Well, first thing’s first: check on your travel insurance options. Does the inconvenient payment you made when you booked cover a refund? Probably not however it is possible that it could cover a reservation change. Additionally, if you used travel services through your credit card, like American Express, check in with them to see if their services can assist you in any changes you need to make.

COVID-19 Note: It looks as if EVERYONE is on the refund bandwagon, so you should be good to go! If you don’t have a reasonable refund option don’t forget to try and negotiate a voucher for future use.


Many times, however, we are locked into our plans because of time and money. So, how do you make the most of what you do have? It’s time to think out of the box. Can’t get to Rome? Swing on down to Sorrento. Athens is all caught up at Syntagma Square? Hydrofoil to Hydra. Paris in Protests? Check out stunning Strasbourg or romantic Reimes. A quick shift to a second city like this allows you to keep on track, enjoy, but stay clear of whatever issues are going on.

COVID-19 Note: Think about second cities and alternate destinations when you get around to using all of those travel refund vouchers. Your voucher may extend your vacation options later on.

Clever and careful planning will always be the cornerstone to good travel but just as important is the ability to be resilient and keep our eye on the prize: good, educational travel experience. For now, I hope that the people of Paris can work out their differences and my sister-in-law gets to enjoy a little shopping on the Champs Elysees.

COVID-19 Note: Paris indeed rallied back in plenty of time for a great January visit. Today, Europe is slowly starting to emerge from the Coronavirus crisis. Because it will take quite a while for Americans to start crossing the pond, look for the travel industry to take the next three years to lick its wounds and get back on track.

When things change during your planning or while you're traveling, what are your options?
Photo by veerasak Piyawatanakul on

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