CANCELLED! A GUIDE ON HOW TO NAVIGATE HALTED TRAVEL PLANS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC
While there are bigger and more pressing issues that the world is facing right now, greater than scratching that travel itch, the technicalities of reimbursing cancelled paid-for plans are a taxing sight to behold. Here are some key points to remember when navigating these cancellations.
When did you get your plane tickets? Have you booked your hotel room back in 2019? Scratching your head over this abrupt halt to your plans? We all know that many travellers hunt for the best deals that span months or even a year in advance to make the most out of their travel budget. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone into a standstill. Many countries are restricting tourists, as they should, and news on travel bans change almost weekly—bad news for anyone suffering from wanderlust.
While there are bigger and more pressing issues that the world is facing right now, greater than scratching that travel itch, the practicalities of paid-for plans and what to do about these cancellations are a taxing sight to behold. And as the concept of getting back on that next trip to your destination grows bleaker and bleaker, here are things to remember on how to salvage cancelled trips and events.
The barkada trip
If your group decided to splurge on a big vacation and it was suddenly cancelled, make sure to tie up any and all loose ends. Check the reimbursement details on your travel tickets and accommodations. Also, make sure everyone in your group is informed of the changes. Depending on your airline or travel package provider of choice, you can try to get refunds or travel credits to reschedule and use the reservation when we all can travel again.
This might be a head-scratcher and patience-tester, but keep you cool and follow instructions. Remember, this situation is highly-unprecedented, meaning even businesses–from the higher ops and representatives are blinded by the crisis. While it is true that this reveals who are prepared to take on the best interest of their consumers, for your sanity, it’s best that you just see this through.
And since everyone is indulging in online spending, get more travel points on your credit card! Save up and your next trip can be bigger and better.
The destination wedding
Destination weddings are usually very well planned. Everything from the venue, to the flowers, to the food, is typically booked and billed months in advance.
Although policies from different suppliers may differ, you should be able to get some money back from goods and/or services that have been cancelled. Don’t be afraid to ask about your options or suggest alternatives. Flights can be rescheduled, or converted into travel points. Flowers can be returned. Food can be used for other purposes—maybe a gift to healthcare providers and first responders?
The live concert
Maybe you can’t go see any live acts, right now. Don’t fret. Safety first. The fact that you are safe at home is a gift, in itself. But to get a slight sense of normalcy, there’s so much entertainment online now. Many artists are using this time to throw free concerts and raise money for charities. A cursory search on Google or on any social media platform would lead you to some of the most memorable ones that we have seen of late. You can even throw your own concert and sing your heart out with friends on karaoke apps and live streaming platforms.
So, how can you celebrate or get together with friends safely? Check in on everyone from time to time. A simple, “kumusta ka ngayon?” goes a long way. Being forced in this weird world of isolation takes its toll on everyone. While intimate encounters and memories made by physical gatherings are now replaced by virtual gatherings and technology-driven connections, this is a new reality we have to face and get through together. Although the pandemic may be forcing everyone apart, there are still many ways we can connect and have “fun”.