Home Travel How To Deal With Trips That May Not Happen Due To COVID Restrictions

How To Deal With Trips That May Not Happen Due To COVID Restrictions

by joeheg

For fully vaccinated people, travel has opened up again. Many countries are welcoming visitors who are vaccinated. Others still require a negative COVID test, which shouldn’t be a big concern if you’ve already received a COVID vaccine. While there are various places to visit, there are also many popular locations that haven’t opened up to visitors.

Countries like New Zealand and Australia have no plans to reopen anytime soon. Other countries, like Singapore, have released reopening plans without any timeline attached. Then some places have announced a reopening date, only to push those dates back when cases in the area start to rise again.

While I don’t think anyone is making leisure travel plans to visit Australia right now, it’s not unreasonable for someone to look to make plans to visit Singapore or Bali that are several months away, even if they aren’t open at the moment. I’d make sure those reservations are refundable if the trip doesn’t happen.

But what do you do when you already have a trip planned to somewhere that hasn’t announced plans about reopening?

After originally postponing it at the end of 2020, we still have a trip to Japan planned for the end of the year. The country is getting ready to host the Olympics and I’m sure any future plans will depend on how that all turns out. At the moment, less than 5% of the population have received 2 shots but the country hopes to finish its vaccination program by November.

I’m not confident Japan will reopen its borders to international tourists, but I don’t want to cancel the trip for the following reasons:

  1. I may not be able to get this block of time off from work again. I requested this vacation time back in 2020. Not many people were thinking about vacations and it was easy to get off for 2 weeks at the end of 2021. The same will not be true for 2022 as people want to travel and have plenty of saved up vacation time.
  2. I doubt that I’ll find the flights I booked for the same amount of miles. I booked a flight in JAL business class with American AAdvantage miles and a return on ANA first using United MileagePlus. I don’t know if I’ll find saver award space if I’m looking for flights in 2022 or 2023.
  3. As we’ve seen, things can change quickly due to COVID. Just as places shut down seemingly overnight, the same thing is happening as areas reopen. If their vaccination program is effective and cases drop, Japan could decide in October that the border will reopen in November.
  4. While there are other places we want to visit, we want to see what will actually be open during our trip. No sense going somewhere if the only things we can do are things we’ve already done.

I’ll leave the trip on the books for now, but I’ll keep looking for other options. I want to get our first post-COVID international trip under our belt before I think about changing our second one.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

3 comments

Christian July 8, 2021 - 12:19 am

I just canceled a trip to Bali for my wife and I in October. There were just too many factors working against us with increasing cases, heavy shutdowns, unpleasant quarantine restrictions for vaccinated people, and constantly changing requirements. Ultimately it comes down to whether you think that you’ll have a good enough time to make the trip worthwhile. If you have serious doubts maybe look into somewhere else. Greece is lovely.

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DaninMCI July 8, 2021 - 5:28 am

You’ll likely know if the trip is going to happen about a month or so out. I just had to cancel upcoming tickets to Israel and you are correct that you won’t be getting the same sort of deal from AA on a different trip. They have had huge increases in award costs. Any pretense of having an award chart seems to be totally gone.

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AlohaDaveKennedy July 8, 2021 - 10:22 am

We are in a similar boat with a late September cruise booked out of Yokohama and flights and hotel reservations. My partner is Japanese so we keep a close eye on what is happening regarding COVID and restrictions. My educated guess is about a 25% chance of the cruise and flights happening, down about 10% from last month. Athletes coming in have already brought in the Delta variant, the Japan vaccination rate is still very low, IMHO, Since most of the population does not want the Olympics due to COVID risk any increase in COVID cases during the Olympics will be a ‘told you so moment’ and the response will be to continue to keep the borders closed.

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