We are just at the beginning of a pandemic caused by the new Coronavirus (SARS-Cov 2) which affects 204 countries, with 2 million confirmed cases and more than 120,000 dead so far. Even so, some travel agencies are already selling packages for the second half of 2020, offering good discounts and other benefits to customers. We all want to travel, especially with good discounts. But, is it time to think about the long-awaited trip?

In this article, I’ll explain why it’s still not time to plan a trip abroad, even in the second half of 2020.

1. Uncertainty about the pandemic evolution

Unfortunately, we still don’t know how the epidemic will evolve in different countries, despite the simulations carried out by famous research institutes (such as Imperial College London).

Pandemic Evolution, Imperial College London
Pandemic Evolution in the UK – different scenarios (source: Imperial College London)

But, following the experience of some Asian countries, even after the peak of the epidemic, the end of social isolation will not be complete. Periods of openness and isolation will alternate to prevent further waves of COVID-19. During the opening periods, it may be mandatory to wear masks to leave your house.

As I warned before, countries could take restrictive measures for tourists, such as a ban on foreigners entry, mandatory quarantine, the closing of stores and tourist attractions. In addition, airlines could cancel flights. And that’s what they actually did as I predicted.

But even after the easing of isolation, concern over the second wave of contagion could make governments reintroduce restrictive measures. To get an idea of what this means for tourists, just see what is happening now with many foreigners “imprisoned” abroad.

Besides the government measures, you should also be concerned about your health.

As long as there is no vaccine for Coronavirus and as long as there isn’t a large vaccine coverage, it won’t be safe to travel, especially, abroad. In fact, COVID-19 also reaches young people, not just the so-called “risk group”.

Finally, after the pandemic, the “trauma” caused by the 2020 experience could lead countries to introduce permanent restrictions and new requirements for foreign tourists.

Before thinking about traveling, you should be aware of all of this!

2. Economic Crisis

Parallel to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are already suffering an economic crisis due to the paralysis of several economic activities.

Whatever your profession, whether you are an employee, a microentrepreneur or a liberal professional, you may experience a loss of income, temporary or permanent, until the economy starts to recover, which can take at least 6 months.

In this context, would it be reasonable to think about new expenses, even knowing that you may not enjoy the benefits?

Prudence recommends that we make only basic needs expenses for a while. It’s time to make some savings and prepare for what’s yet to come.

After all, what is it like to plan a trip, make expenses, and have to cancel it ahead for economic or public health reasons?

3. Tourism Industry in Crisis

The tourism industry is undoubtedly the most affected by the pandemic. Tourism agencies, operators, airlines, and hotels could go bankrupt and the dismissal of employees in this sector will be high without the help of governments.

Latam Airplane at GRU Airport
Latam Airplane at GRU Airport

Of course, as tourists, we would have a moral obligation to help companies in the sector, but we have also been (or will be) affected by the economic crisis. It is mainly up to governments to come to the rescue of companies.

In this context, are you sure that your travel agency, airline, or hotel will be sound when you travel? Are you willing to take that risk?

4. School Calendar

If you are a university student or if you already have children at school, you’re certainly not sure how the school calendar will be until the end of 2020. Therefore, you cannot plan your trip.

Before thinking about traveling, wait to see how class replacements will be made. But, for now, forget the 2020 summer vacation!

What if I still want to plan my travel?

If, after all this, you still want to plan your trip, travel in your own country after October 2020. Before that, it is not safe in most countries.

Also, travel by car instead of by plane. You will certainly find interesting destinations close to your city. Flights, even after the peak of the epidemic, may be subject to cancellations or undesirable changes. Furthermore, if you travel by car you don’t have to pay for anything right now.

Finally, make free cancelation bookings with no prepayment. So, if you have to give up the trip, you will not incur unnecessary expenses. Above all, think about flexibility!

Stay Safe! Stay at Home right now! Let’s win the Coronavirus!