Corona Virus Disruption

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I am traveling with a Nestle employee in April. Or not. Nestle has embargoed international travel fir its 350,000 global employees. How is the virus changing your travel plans? Short term, and for the rest of the year?

I have solo independent travel booked for Venice, Bolzano and Amsterdam April 22-May 15. Am I nuts to hold out hope that things will have improved enough by then for me to go? Would you cancel everything now (the trip was booked last June and is covered by insurance), or continue to cross your fingers and see what happens next? I am 63 yo in good health, and have been to VCE and AMS before, so closed museums are not as much of a concern as closed restaurants. I'm interested in your thoughts regarding how long you would wait before cancelling. I'm not certain I would rebook this trip in the near future, which is contributing to my dilemma.

I would review the Terms and Conditions of your travel package, and insurance. Currently those countries are listed as level 3, the highest level for infection and would require you to go into isolation upon your return to USA. From what I've hear China is the only country that has peaked in the infection level. I would continue to monitor the situation and be guided by the time lines of your contracts. Your dates are a long time out and things may improve by that time.

I concur with 1Traveler's advice to review your travel package and/or contact your travel operator. I was scheduled to depart April 7th for a few days in Paris followed by a tour of Morocco booked through Overseas Adventure Travel. While their website lists cancelled trips and company policy, today I was allowed to change my April 7th Morocco reservation to a different tour in 2021. Their suggestion was possibly to consider somewhere in South America which would not involve travel through Europe or any 'hot spots.' So, I opted for Guatemala and Honduras. Since this trip is less expensive than Morocco, the Guatemala trip will be paid in full with surplus funds returned to form of payment, i.e. travel credits, credit card, or check. Their policy permits travelers to modify reservations outside 90 days without trip insurance. I plan to investigate if my trip insurance, not through OAT, will cover the reservation change. Good luck! Be safe. It's a worrisome time.

Well, I just had the disheartening revelation that Travelex does not cover cancellation of my trip for Covid-19 unless I am actually physically quarantined: I completely missed that clause the first time I quickly scanned through the advisory. And no, I did not purchase a Cancel For Any Reason upgrade (let that be a lesson to all...). I pre-purchased everything (air, train, Airbnb) myself, so I will be proceeding as planned until I decide to rebook or Delta cancels my roundtrip flights. Thank you for your thoughts on the matter, and I wish everyone good health and a speedy return to normal.

To my knowledge, no insurance lists as a covered reason pandemics or epidemics, so your insurance is not useful unless you had a policy that allowed you to 'cancel for any reason.' Those. policies are usually sold through the tour company, and the 'cancel for any reason' benefit is NOT provided by the insurance underwriter, but rather as an add-on and provided by the tour company, so the 'benefit' is usually in the form of a voucher for a future trip( with an expiration date ), and not for a cash refund. Certain insurance companies did at one time offer a 'cancel for any reason' benefit in cash, but those policies are prohibitively expensive and I'm not necessarily certain if any are even being offered at all. The 'cancel for any reason' benefit may be useful under the present circumstances, but how often does something like this occur? Rarely. In normal circumstances, the covered reasons are almost always suitable for whatever reason you would cancel a trip. If you want some information, I would suggest you contact the TRAVEL INSURANCE CENTER, an organization feequantly mentioned in ITN. Dan Drennan is the lead broker, but I use Alan Lightbody. they're all good.

As far as my travel plans are concerned, I've already rolled over my India trip that was supposed to depart on 3/22/20 to 2/7/21, being eminently thankful I purchased the 10-year paper visa instead of the one-year e-visa. It would have been a loss if I took the e-visa, so, I'm thankful for small things. I hope my remaining trips to Svalbard( scheduled to depart 6/29/20 and to Madagascar ( scheduled to depart 10/28/20 ) will be a 'go.' I suspect they will, and I suspect the current hysteria to subside by the end of April and would even go so far as to predict that trips ( including cruises ), will depart as normal again by the beginning of May. But then again, I can't worry about things over which I have no control. I just have to hope for the best.

I agree with everyone's comments but travel insurance does not cover this virus or epidemic.
"Cancel for any reason" policies may only refund 80% if the reason for cancellation is non medical.
Tour operators will gladly rebook travel for a later date but you can also ask for a refund if you do not wish to plan too far ahead. Some tour companies will refund.
Good luck to all and Happy Travels!

I booked a 10 day tour in Sicily with extra days tacked on at the beginning, scheduled to leave May 21. As things heated up in Italy my daughter and wife, both with advanced medical degrees, advised me that my multiple risk factors made taking this trip a big mistake for me. Later it became impossible as Italy banned entry and the US banned non-essential travel. I informed Atlas Tours (the broker), Globus, and TripMate travel insurance that I was cancelling my reservation utilizing my “cancel for any reason” rider and initiating a claim on March 16. Luckily I have only paid my initial deposit. Unfortunately my traveling partners have paid about 75% of the total airfare and tour costs.

We’ve all received confirmation of our claims along with confirmation of our claim documentation but nothing after those acknowledgment e-mail messages received on 3/19. Checking up today on line a little more than a month later shows no further activity in our claims. A phone call never got me a person. I’ll keep checking but I’m not that optimistic. With almost everyone in the world cancelling trips the travel industry will never be able to "make whole" everyone who’s paid for their vacations. I’ll keep ITN folks updated periodically.