Last year, I started planning a big Trip to Portugal for this fall. In the past, my husband and I have always traveled with a group tour company. This would be our first solo trip to Europe. Much research and planning has gone into developing the travel plan and itinerary. For part of my preparation, I ordered in maps and guide books, followed Portugal’s tourism sites and have watched a ton of informational YouTube videos. I feel like I am truly ready!
Because I am a Budget Traveler, I worked hard on points earning strategies for over a year. I hoarded up my points and miles like Scrooge Mc Duck to redeem for our airfare and hotels. After finally banking enough points and picking out our flights and hotels, I was ready to start booking the trip. Everything was going according to plan……
Coronavirus is an uninvited player in this scenerio. Although I had planned for a variety of other speed bumps that could arise, this was one obstacle that I hadn’t prepared for.
Because I work in the healthcare field, I don’t panic easily. We receive regular updates from the CDC and other reputable medical agencies on best practices for dealing with the situation. Every few years something like this pops up, ZICA, SARS, Ebola, Swine Flu, Bird Flu….the list is long. My strategy is always to read the facts, follow the precautions and go on living life. I know a lot of people who are already really anxious about the virus. While others are running around spreading misinformation, which only adds to the panic that everyone is already feeling.
My husband and I are in our 50’s and in pretty good health so I feel like even if we were to contract the virus, we would probably be ok. There are no guarantees in life, but you can’t spend your days worrying about the what if’s. You just have to arm yourself with knowledge, tune out the panic mongers and make smart choices.
Initially I was not concerned about our travel plans at all. But as time has passed since the initial onset of the virus, travel restrictions have been issued and some airlines are now cutting back their flight schedules. Keeping all that in mind, I have decided to wait a little longer to see how things progress with the virus before making our reservations. Although it is disappointing, I would hate to make all those arrangements only to have to turn around and cancel them due to travel limitations.
Just to be clear, I am not trying to down play the gravity of this situation in any way. I am merely explaining how the outbreak is affecting my plans for travel.
In the meantime, I have a large block of time off set aside for this fall. Sadly, just in case things don’t work out for us to go to Portugal, I am starting to think about a possible Plan B trip. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
For now, I am still hopeful we will get a handle on this outbreak and it won’t get to that point.
Photo Credit: CDC Instagram