Many of us have been glued to news media outlets the past few weeks tracking the progression of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The possibility of a pandemic brings travelers to consider what this means for trips they’ve already booked and the ones they are considering planning in the future. If you find yourself in either of these categories, we’ve come up with a few steps you should take moving forward.
Consider Where You’re Traveling
There are a few countries that have a larger number of outbreaks at this time. However, travel plans may be delayed in countries neighboring those with high outbreaks as well. Check government websites and travel advisories for the country you plan on visiting. Even if delays aren’t expected you may be faced with extensive inspections and checks upon arrival. This may even extend into necessary quarantines. Countries will likely update any travel policies and restrictions daily if necessary, so keep an eye on it. Ultimately, be prepared to spend a bit more time going through security and customs.
Consider When You’ll be Traveling
It’s important that you don’t stress before necessary. If you’re traveling within the next few weeks, you should start considering steps you may need to take in order to stay safe and protected. If you’ll be traveling further into the future don’t prematurely panic. It is important to monitor the situation as time progresses and as your trip gets closer. By being well informed and prepared, you’ll be better able to adjust should it become necessary.
Contact Your Airline
Many airlines are canceling services or are expecting interruptions to certain areas of the world. The best way to get a handle on the status of your airline and their activities is to reach out to them directly. Some airlines have announced that they would waive change fees on tickets for travelers going to areas that greatly affected by the outbreak like China, South Korea, and Italy. Therefore, cancelling or postponing your trip potentially won’t cost you any additional fees, as long as your destination and airline are on that list.
Check in with Your Travel Advisor
All of the information circulating the media can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, its easy for the validity of information to get lost in the media during times of global stress. Reaching out to your travel advisor will help you find the information you need. Not only will they most likely have better insight into which reports are correct, they will be able to help you reach out to travel providers, and to consider any options you have moving forward.
Review your Travel Protection Plan
Some situations may be covered by your travel protection plan. It is important to consider the benefits in your plan before jumping to conclusions about what to do for your upcoming travel. Depending on the type of travel protection that you’ve purchased, you may be eligible for reimbursement on non-refundable trip costs. Some coverages require time sensitive periods to elapse before benefits are payable, such as Travel Delay coverage. If you want to cancel or interrupt your trip due to fear of the coronavirus outbreak alone, it is important to note that you must have a Cancel for Any Reason or Interrupt for Any Reason benefit on your plan. Make sure you read your plan document carefully and reach out to your travel protection provider for any questions. Visit Travel Insured’s Coronavirus statement for more information
Stay Safe at Home and During Travel
Regardless of whether you decide to continue your travel plans or stay home, it is important to stay safe and protected. Practice good personal hygiene and preventative measures moving forward. Avoid close contact with others if there is a possibility that you are sick. If you are sick, wearing a mask reduces the risk of you spreading even the common cold to those around you. Carry disinfecting wipes with you, to sanitize publicly shared items such as airplane seats and tray tables. Finally, we should all be washing our hands frequently.
To find out more about Travel Insured’s travel protection plans, visit www.travelinsured.com.