Finding the Silver Lining
I’d like to share a story about travel in pandemic times. In 2019, I booked a cruise for clients to sail the Danube with Ama Waterways to see all the Christmas Markets. The trip was scheduled for November 2020. Well – we all know what happened next! The pandemic hit and the cruise was cancelled. The cruise was rebooked for November 2021. I’ll fill you in on a little secret. The client was me! I planned the trip for my family of four and my sister and brother-in-law. We were planning to arrive in Europe a week before our cruise. I had made restaurant reservations, planned private tours, purchased train tickets and transfers, and started packing to leave in two days. This morning, I woke to the news that Austria will be going into lockdown again – the day we were scheduled to arrive. After several hours on the phone with the cruise line, I was informed that the cruise has been cancelled. I have spent the better part of the day cancelling those tours, transfers, train tickets, and restaurant reservations. Because I’m well aware of the risks of planning travel in these times, everything I had booked was fully refundable so we will be getting all of our money back and I will be rebooking us on a Christmas Market Cruise for 2022. Third time’s the charm, right?? What is the lesson? 1. Remember that the world changes quickly. What seemed fine less than a week ago is now impossible. Be flexible. 2. Because things change, be sure you are insured and aware of cancellation policies. Vacation travel isn’t cheap, and you must be careful to protect your investment. 3. To stay on top of things in a pandemic world, you should consider using the services of a travel professional. The cruise line is calling all passengers as quickly as they can – but I have already handled all of the changes that are required to get my refunds. 4. And last but certainly not least, remember that time spent together is really what it’s all about. My kids and my sister and brother-in-law will be traveling to Chicago for some much-needed family time. We will hang out and play games, see movies, and eat turkey on Thanksgiving instead of goulash. But you can bet that we will head down to the city, to visit our own Chicago-style Christkindlmarket. I’m grateful.