By Jeanne Hernandez
Premier Travel Advisors
If you’re thinking about changing or canceling your vacation plans, I would advise that you change your travel dates instead of canceling your trip. Many cruise lines and airlines are allowing travelers to change dates without charging a change fee. If you’re available to change your vacation to sometime in the summer or later, consider changing your vacation instead of canceling it completely. This will help boost your mood and get rid of your “I had to cancel my vacation” blues.
According to my favorite travel expert, Samantha Brown, “A little fact I love is that simply the act of PLANNING travel puts us in the same psychological happy place as BEING in a destination. So dream and PLAN your next trip for this (Summer/Fall) because right now your Mental Health is just as important. What makes us happier makes us healthier.”
If you wish to cancel a cruise because you’re worried about the Coronavirus it’s best that you wait until the last possible minute. If the cruise is canceled by the cruise line you should (on most cruise-lines) receive a future cruise credit from 100% to 150% of the amount of your first cruise and no penalty will be assessed. Depending on the cruise-line, if you cancel your cruise yourself (and you’re within the cruise-line penalty) you might only receive your taxes back.
The same situation applies with the airlines. If you are concerned that the airline might cancel your flight, you should wait and keep your fingers crossed that they do so. If you cancel it yourself, you can keep the amount of the ticket as a future credit, however, they’ll charge a change fee when you want to use it. The fees are usually $200.00 for domestic and $300.00+ for international flights. With the current Coronavirus situation, most of the airlines are allowing changes to flights at no additional charge and some (not many) are giving their customers a refund. So it’s better to change rather than cancel.
Your travel agent will be able to walk you through your options to come up with the best solution for you. If you didn’t work with a travel agent for your vacation, it may be a good idea find an experienced travel agent to work with in the future. It’s their job to help you navigate this world and be your advocate.
If you are unable to change your dates, don’t stop dreaming and planning future trips, because travel will bounce back. It always does.