In this week’s Show Me the Money, the coronavirus pandemic has a lot of us rethinking our travel plans. So should we be canceling our summer vacation?
Sarah Gavin is the head of communications with Expedia group, which owns several travel websites including Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz. She says while now may not be the best time to take a trip, don’t cancel your plans just yet.
“If you tell me you’re traveling in July or August I would say think about how different life was a month ago, we don’t know what it’s going to look like a month from now. So if you’ve got that flexibility I would strongly counsel you to wait,” Gavin said. “It’s going to be very different for everybody I think everybody is going to come back to travel on their own emotional journey and in their own timeline.”
James Crummel asked when restrictions ease up, will there be deals out there? Is it a good idea to wait and see what opens up?
“I think so. I think there’s going to be, pretty soon actually, there’s going to be a lovely supply and demand that’s very much in the consumer’s favor,” Gavin said.
Since we don’t know what the future holds, you’ll need to be smart about the travel packages you buy.
James said, “If I book a trip now how easy is it to cancel, get refunds? Are airlines and hotels working with people on that kind of thing?”
“For me and any of my friends or family, I would say book refundable if you’re going to book anything through summer and maybe even the beginning of fall. We tend to lean toward booking non-refundable because it’s less expensive but I’m hopeful there will be so many good deals out there because everyone’s going to want to get people back out traveling again. I’m hopeful that even the refundable flights or refundable hotel reservations will be so much less expensive and that refundable is just as affordable as non-refundable was before. You’re buying yourself the luxury of flexibility,” Gavin said.
If you do need to cancel a trip, be patient. Call and wait times are way up. Gavin says the good thing about this situation is that it has forced companies to allow customers to do a lot more for themselves online.