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Old 04-02-2020, 03:02 PM
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Is it safe to make vacation plans for late summer?


Back in January I asked you guys for advise in planning a road trip down Highway 1. I haven't booked any hotels or anything yet, which was probably a good thing with the whole COVID-19 thing. With that in mind, I'm thinking it would probably be a good idea to delay my trip a bit, and take it in say late August or early September. I know it's impossible to predict the future, but do you think it's safe to assume that things will be back to normal by then?

Part of me wishes I could just go now -- hotels in Santa Cruz, a block from the Boardwalk, are dirt cheap right now. Of course that would go completely against the stay at home order, and with everything being closed that wouldn't make for a fun vacation anyway.

BTW, I decided to just keep things simple, and rather than planning every detail I'll just do 2 nights in Santa Cruz, 2 nights in Monterey, 2 nights in SLO or Morro Bay, and 2 nights in Santa Barbara, and I'll just figure out what I want to do when I get there.
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:05 PM
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I have been wondering the same thing. Our annual family trip, this year to the Gulf Coast, was supposed to be the first week of June. Well no way that's happening.

Now I'm wondering if trying to plan something closer to home for the week of July 25 would be a safe bet.
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:17 PM
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There's really no way of knowing. I'm not even considering planning a significant vacation until Thanksgiving.
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:20 PM
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I have a trip planned for mid-late June. I'm waiting to hear what'll be open and what'll be closed for the period of time I'm gone before I make any big decisions. If stuff is open, I'm going.
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:47 PM
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I have plans to attend a needlework convention in Tucson in August. The organizers have admitted they don't know if it will happen. A lot could happen between now and August, but I have doubts that things will be normalish by then.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:05 PM
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Once the shelter in place order is lifted and things like National Parks are generally open for business I plan on hitting the road. Not only as a cure for my held-in-check wanderlust, but I know all of the businesses along the way need all the support they can get.

Last edited by blondebear; 04-02-2020 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:06 PM
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There's no way to know whether hotels, airlines and anything else tourist-related will still even exist four months from now.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:24 PM
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I think the answer to "is it safe" (taking "safe" to mean a reasonable confidence that you'll actually be able to take the trip) is an unqualified no.

It's plausible to me that things might have started to open up in that timeframe. But it's equally plausible to me that we'll still be in the thick of things and just as closed off as we are now. If that happens the economic consequences would be horrifying, but I don't think it can be ruled out at this point.

I'm not even going to push back that much against Alessan's tourism related industry existence question. That would be shocking, but we're in pretty unchartered territory right now.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:24 PM
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Once the shelter in place order is lifted and things like National Parks are generally open for business I plan on hitting the road. Not only as a cure for my held-in-check wanderlust, but I know all of the businesses along the way need all the support they can get.
Most NP's are open, but visitors centers generally closed and guided tours/events generally on hold. So yeah, when they fully open is also when we'd go.

Members of our extended family planned a June trip to Europe. We backed out back in February without putting any money down, others put down money. Last I heard some still planned to go, but no way would I do reservations that far in advance for any trip prior to COVID being largely defeated with a vaccine and/or highly effective treatments which is probably not likely within this year. If it's just burned out or effectively largely kept out of a particular area it would be very much play it by ear on shorter notice.

When we road trip I plan it out in (notorious) detail, but don't actually make the hotel reservations till a few days in advance; I don't even make all the reservations for the trip before we leave home. That method will probably be well adapted to conditions on any trip this year, along with careful attention to news sources to avoid any areas that are hot spots as of say late technical summer after Labor Day, which I'm tentatively targeting.

I think saying we don't know if hotels and airlines will exist in 4 months is perhaps getting a bit carried away, or alternatively we never know that 100% for sure (especially including the possibility of dropping dead in any given 4 months without COVID )

Last edited by Corry El; 04-02-2020 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:36 PM
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When we road trip I plan it out in (notorious) detail, but don't actually make the hotel reservations till a few days in advance.
That's the thing, I'm the type of person who likes to make reservations months in advance. I'd get stressed out not knowing if the place I want to stay will have rooms available when I want to go. I know, I could try for one of those last minute Priceline deals, but I like knowing exactly where I'll be staying well in advance.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:44 PM
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Some musician buddies and I have an annual roadtrip for a sort of camping and jamming retreat over Memorial Day Weekend. It's rural and we don't need hotels or airlines but I'm wondering if we'll be safe just driving together and hanging out by then. Right now, it looks like it won't.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:56 PM
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And I was hoping for Las Vegas by Labor Day. I don't like my odds.
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:13 PM
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We had a bicycle trip planned for the coast north of San Francisco in May. We don't need much other than grocery stores and restaurants, which are probably still open now, and the State Park campgrounds, which are all presently closed. Of course, the Stay-at-Home order over-rides everything, and we would not want to risk infecting ourselves, or others along the way, until things are more clear, so the trip for now is on the bubble. Fortunately, we have not invested anything other than some time in planning.

That's one of the problems with this whole situation - the uncertainty is exceedingly high, so it is very difficult to predict when anything will be in a place where anyone can commit to anything.
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:52 PM
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Won't most hotels let you cancel anyway, unless you booked at a special "pay in advance, no cancellations" rate? If there's no airfare involved, I don't see how you have that much to lose.
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:59 PM
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I would probably be hesitant even if they open back up, because that's too soon for vaccination to exist yet, and thus it's likely there would be another outbreak. The best model I've seen recommends that we keep closed for a while, then reopen until there is a new outbreak, then close back up again, and repeat until we don't have to do that anymore.

That said, I'm more cautious than most due to living with at least one if not two at risk people. I'm worried not only about the virus, but also whether she can get the treatment she needs.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:43 PM
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We made plans back in November for a trip to Hawai'i this year in October. I'm not at all sure that we're going to be able to make it. Both the cancel and change options at Hawaiian Airlines would want us to use any credit certificate against a future flight which must take place by November - one year after the original purchase date.

Then there's the two-week quarantine for visitors to Hawai'i going on now and who knows for how long.

At this point, I'm fairly sure we're not going, and that we're going to have to eat the airfare.

This was going to be our last visit to Hawai'i, as a five hour flight is getting a bit arduous for us as we get older.

Last edited by teela brown; 04-02-2020 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:51 PM
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There's no way to know whether hotels, airlines and anything else tourist-related will still even exist four months from now.
This is unfortunately true. There has only been a modest amount of discussion about this but without way more support than this “stimulus” package is providing many small businesses (which is all non-chain restaurants, B&Bs, and various sport and leisure businesses) just aren’t going to be able to pay their basic expenses much less keep people employed. I wouldn’t make any vacation plans at this point that don’t involve roughing it or improvising as you go along, and I wouldn’t lay down any big deposits that you’d miss if the business goes bankrupt. This is why we need a complete nationwide freeze on rent, mortgage, and other loan payments, basic income assurances (not a one time payment but enough income to at least survive on), and a metric fuckton of post-epidemic business investment that doesn’t go to Fortune 500 companies and investment banks.

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I would probably be hesitant even if they open back up, because that's too soon for vaccination to exist yet, and thus it's likely there would be another outbreak. The best model I've seen recommends that we keep closed for a while, then reopen until there is a new outbreak, then close back up again, and repeat until we don't have to do that anymore.
That is really the nightmare scenario from an economic standpoint because it would undermine any effort at recovery. Hopefully we can get universal antibody testing so people know whether or not they are immunized and at least part of the economy can still function.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 04-02-2020 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:01 PM
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Look into buying or renting an RV. There should be good deals available as lot of people will be hurting for money. Give it a thorough cleaning. Then you don't need to worry about catching COVID-19 in a motel or restaurants (cook and sleep in the RV).

People will tired of stay at home regulations in a month or so and COVID-19 will not be gone by then. It will then increase rapidly. I don't see any improvement for at least 18 months when there is a possibility of a vaccine.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:47 PM
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I don't think it's a safe bet. And I kinda doubt we'll be taking our annual roadtrip to the NY Ren Faire this summer ��
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:51 AM
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We're in the UK, and have already (obviously) lost our easter trip to Thailand. Our July trip to Hungary is most likely going to be cancelled, we're waiting for the airline to cancel and refund the flights. So far we're looking at christmas in Honolulu now...
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:05 AM
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Look into buying or renting an RV. There should be good deals available as lot of people will be hurting for money. Give it a thorough cleaning. Then you don't need to worry about catching COVID-19 in a motel or restaurants (cook and sleep in the RV).

People will tired of stay at home regulations in a month or so and COVID-19 will not be gone by then. It will then increase rapidly. I don't see any improvement for at least 18 months when there is a possibility of a vaccine.
We travel exclusively this way, and have done so for decades. In the past* several years, the majority of private RV parks have acquired large groups of permanent residents. I'm guessing that most of those parks will survive since they're not entirely dependent on travelers, and we can resume our trips once restrictions are lifted. State and national parks will obviously still be around since they aren't dependent on profit.

Most parks have fairly generous cancellation policies, with KOA (national chain) being among the best. Even if you can't cancel, you're out only 50 bucks or so per night.

*I'm not sure when this started becoming more common, but it seems to be post-2008 recession. I suspect this is related to the increases in housing expenses and nomadic lifestyles.
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:57 AM
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My Wife and I had a trip planned to Key West at the end of this month. Our airline flights where easy to cancel. American just said the ticket is safe to use when ever. Well, the money we spent on it, we can just re-book. United just refunded all of our money. It was surprisingly easy to do. I thought I was gonna have to jump though hoops. So kudos to them.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:28 AM
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I would think you don't even need hotel reservations for the rest of the year, as occupancy rates will be nil and you can probably just drop in and find a room. If they are even open.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:36 AM
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There's no way to know whether hotels, airlines and anything else tourist-related will still even exist four months from now.
Hello Mr Optimist.






Probably right.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:04 AM
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Most NP's are open, but visitors centers generally closed and guided tours/events generally on hold. So yeah, when they fully open is also when we'd go.
Actually, no, most NP have closed at this point. https://www.nationalparkstraveler.or...s-whats-closed
Of the most popular, only Zion remains open for unclear reasons, and it's under a lot of pressure to close as well.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:46 AM
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Actually, no, most NP have closed at this point. https://www.nationalparkstraveler.or...s-whats-closed
Of the most popular, only Zion remains open for unclear reasons, and it's under a lot of pressure to close as well.
Yeah you're right. I just looked at a couple of our favorites from recent trips and they were open (though no visitor center etc) but most of the big names are closed. Those were favorites (TR Roosevelt, Great Basin) in part because not a lot of people go to them, which is probably why they aren't closed.

We were also at Zion last year, magnificent but big crowds so unless those crowds have trailed off drastically it seems like it probably should be closed.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:53 AM
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Actually, no, most NP have closed at this point. https://www.nationalparkstraveler.or...s-whats-closed
Of the most popular, only Zion remains open for unclear reasons, and it's under a lot of pressure to close as well.
We have plans for Yellowstone in early September, including reservations in the park’s lodges. That might not happen. YNP is completely closed now. I’m keeping an eye on the upcoming reservation cancellation deadlines, still many weeks away.

Last edited by Bullitt; 04-03-2020 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:29 AM
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We were supposed to go to Ann Arbor in mid-July for a family thing, and I have no idea whether that's going to happen. Luckily no real planning is involved - we're close enough to drive and we would be staying with family.

A few weeks ago, when Italy was heating up, my oldest childhood friend called for advice - her son is graduating college this year, and the plan was for a family trip to celebrate - an Italian cruise She had already put the kibosh on that plan, and the cruise line was being completely inflexible and refused to refund her $1100 deposit. She had already bought the plane tickets, and at that point she was debating whether to cancel the flights right away, wait and see, or keep the flights and just book another flight onward somewhere from Italy that might be less impacted. At the time, she decided to keep the flight reservations and wait and see what happened, on the theory that she wasn't going to lose any more than she already had by waiting to cancel.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:43 AM
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Look into buying or renting an RV. There should be good deals available as lot of people will be hurting for money. Give it a thorough cleaning. Then you don't need to worry about catching COVID-19 in a motel or restaurants (cook and sleep in the RV).
You don’t want to travel CA-1 in an RV unless you are really comfortable driving it, particularly the section between Point Reyes and Sausalito, and south of Carmel to Ragged Point. A fun and scenic drive in a convertible but hours of steering-wheel-gripping terror in a big box with no feedback and inadequate power.

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Old 04-03-2020, 09:57 AM
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We normally buy our Sint Maarten/St Martin plane tickets for next January in April. I don't know. I haven't missed a year in the last 15, my gf in the last 20. We even went right after Irma just to pitch in with the rebuilding. But I don't know. I might be dealing with the closure of my business and figuring out the future.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:09 AM
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You don’t want to travel CA-1 in an RV unless you are really comfortable driving it, particularly the section between Point Reyes and Sausalito, and south of Carmel to Ragged Point. A fun and scenic drive in a convertible but hours of steering-wheel-gripping terror in a big box with no feedback and inadequate power.

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Yeah it did originally say Pacific Coast Highway/CA-1. I know in a Ford Expedition EL as driver for 6 other people the scenery was great but the driving not fun, after awhile 'when is this road gonna straighten out a little, please'. In a BMW M2 it was 'crap, this road is straightening out already!' . I agree I wouldn't want to drive it in a big RV.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:20 AM
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I was going to go on vacation the first week in June, first in July and a week in August. All were planned to be in the USA.

That first one ain't happening.

SEcond one is a long shot.

Third, probably, but no guarantee.

Of course, the first one is the one where I have a flight booked. The others were all going to be planned last minute anyway so who cares.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:21 AM
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Hello Mr Optimist.






Probably right.
There will be hotels and airlines when things clear up. A lot of them might be under new management, but where there is demand, the supply will be provided.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:55 AM
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I'm supposed to be going to a gaming convention in Columbus, Ohio in mid-June. While it hasn't been cancelled yet, it seems likely that it will be in the near future; the convention center where it's held may soon be refit to serve as an emergency hospital space. So, I'm pretty darn sure that that trip won't be happening.

I also have an annual get-together with several of my old gaming friends up in the Wisconsin Dells in late October -- we rent a big condo at one of the resorts, and play role-playing games together over a long weekend. We're hopeful that, by then, such a trip will be feasible, but we already recognize that it might not happen.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:59 AM
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My wife and I made plans last year for a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton this September. Last week I contacted all of our hotels, all plan on being open and operating in September. All but one gave me the option of canceling now. We are still planning on going as of now.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:10 PM
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There will be hotels and airlines when things clear up. A lot of them might be under new management, but where there is demand, the supply will be provided.
True, but it might take a while to sort things out, and there's no guarantee that new management will honor old management's obligations.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:31 PM
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We normally have at least 3 or 4 holidays booked in advance. As I type we were due to be on a flight en-route to Auckland. That's all fallen through and we've got refunds on all cars and accommodation and just waiting for the flight refunds. We had a weekend booked in Germany for early May and Norway for late May, we expect to have those cancelled for sure. Our summer holiday to Austria in August is probably going to be cancelled and we've stopped making any plans for a potential Scotland trip in October.
We go skiing for xmas and new year in Austria as well and as it stands we have not booked anything for that but realistically we are looking at that being the next major overseas trip that has a realistic chance of taking place.

I think the OP's plans are optimistic but if you can get them booked with the ability to cancel then where's the harm? However, be ultra cautious because I'm sure cancellation and insurance exceptions will be re-drafted on anything you book now and expect to see plenty of liquidations and closures.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:35 PM
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You don’t want to travel CA-1 in an RV unless you are really comfortable driving it, particularly the section between Point Reyes and Sausalito, and south of Carmel to Ragged Point. A fun and scenic drive in a convertible but hours of steering-wheel-gripping terror in a big box with no feedback and inadequate power.

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There's another thread in MPSIMS called "Things You Learned the Hard Way". Does this story qualify?
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:37 PM
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There will be hotels and airlines when things clear up. A lot of them might be under new management, but where there is demand, the supply will be provided.
There won't be as much demand as previously and when the borders reopen who knows what requirements might be implemented.

I think a vaccination card is going to be mandatory for decades now.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:38 PM
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There will be hotels and airlines when things clear up. A lot of them might be under new management, but where there is demand, the supply will be provided.
Not to pick on you specifically, but there seems to be a pretty large blindspot in general about how this is going to affect the United States economically and socially for years to come. Even if someone came up with a magic potion today that made the SARS-CoV-2 virus spontaneously disappear from every infected person, we're going to see massive economic shockwaves going through the global economy, especially because nothing effective is being done to 'freeze' or protect the economy save for that US$2T stimulus package (which is a drop in the bucket) and to ensure that the vultures don't descend upon the resulting mess and start picking the bones they way some (*cough*Steve Mnuchin*cough*) did post-2008.

Not to dim the o.p.'s interest in taking a road trip, but I wouldn't make any long term plans right now or put any amount of money down in a deposit that one can't afford to lose.

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  #41  
Old 04-03-2020, 12:45 PM
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We were supposed to go to a concert in mid-March in Barcelona. It has now been rescheduled for mid-September, so I guess they think it's possible.

My parents (in the U.S.) have flight, some hotel and cruise reservations in October in Europe. The reservations were made in January/February and now they're waiting before making any more plan.

We had tentatively planned something for May. That's not happening. We have a week scheduled for July, but no plans. So maybe we'll do the May thing in July. And hopefully meet my parents when they reach Europe.

The company wants us to take a certain amount of vacation in the first part of the year, so that people don't all wait to take their vacations at the end of the year. Reasonable from the company side. Fortunately we had already put our vacation schedule in the system, so hopefully we get to keep it as is. Otherwise the July vacation will have to move forward, whether we're allowed to go anywhere or not.
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Old 04-04-2020, 06:17 AM
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We had tickets for yesterday’s home opener for the San Francisco Giants. I’ve gone to Opening Day every year since 1996. But, nope, didn’t happen.

And then today, my wife and I had tickets to fly to — believe it or not — China. It was going to be 13 days traveling to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, and Xi’an.

Oh well (sigh).
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Old 04-04-2020, 02:42 PM
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Look into buying or renting an RV. There should be good deals available as lot of people will be hurting for money. Give it a thorough cleaning. Then you don't need to worry about catching COVID-19 in a motel or restaurants (cook and sleep in the RV).
I initially thought to echo this point but I fear it's still joyriding, non-essential travel that may attract cops' unkind attention. We'd roughly planned another cross-continent trip in our 25-foot RV but that's not going to happen and no, we wouldn't risk rolling down twisty CA-1 again just now because collisions are possible and we don't wish to become medical statistics. We will STAY HOME as advised.

Quote:
People will tired of stay at home regulations in a month or so and COVID-19 will not be gone by then. It will then increase rapidly. I don't see any improvement for at least 18 months when there is a possibility of a vaccine.
The regional ranger has prohibited all access of national forest "developed recreation sites" except trailheads; violators can be fined $5k and jailed for 6 months. All California state parks and parking lots are closed and I bet many other states are likewise shut down. Their re-opening may signal a safe time to go roaming again.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:27 PM
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True, but it might take a while to sort things out, and there's no guarantee that new management will honor old management's obligations.
Oh don't misunderstand; I wouldn't BOOK now. I don't trust Owner B to honor a sale by bankrupt Owner A.

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Originally Posted by Stranger on a Train
Not to pick on you specifically, but there seems to be a pretty large blindspot in general about how this is going to affect the United States economically and socially for years to come.
That is... true, and not in the slightest relevant to my point. We are headed into a terrible economic depression, but there will be hotels and airlines and stuff. It's not a blind spot to point out that, in fact, some people will run hotels. The world's supply of hotels isn't going to vanish, even if there are fewer and some of them are under new management. I'm not sure what point you were responding to.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:38 PM
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The point is that demand (and the capital necessary to develop capacity to provide for it) are likely to be severely limited for the foreseeable future unless people get on the ball and take effective measures to protect the economy and provide debt relief and loan assurances for the duration of the emergency, which is not happening.

I would personally not plan on any vacation or other luxuries with a substantial dollar figure. Better to squirrel away the money you might have otherwise spent frivolously or invest in tools and supplies that will give you a greater degree of self-reliance and employability.

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Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 04-04-2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:42 PM
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The point is that demand (and the capital necessary to develop capacity to provide for it) are likely to be severely limited for the foreseeable future unless people get on the ball and take effective measures to protect the economy and provide debt relief and loan assurances for the duration of the emergency, which is not happening.
Yes, there will be fewer hotels and fewer flights on most routes. No one said there wouldn't be.
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Old 04-04-2020, 07:51 PM
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I have a trip to Paris planned for the 1st week of July. I'm still hoping I'll be able to go, but that's looking less and less likely. I also have a Memorial Day weekend trip to Philly planned and plan on going to the Central PA Theatre Fest in June which has yet to be canceled.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:27 PM
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We are headed into a terrible economic depression, but there will be hotels and airlines and stuff. It's not a blind spot to point out that, in fact, some people will run hotels. The world's supply of hotels isn't going to vanish, even if there are fewer and some of them are under new management. I'm not sure what point you were responding to.
In point of fact, even in the most dire of economic circumstances, there will still be businesses and their owners, and there will still be people who live a successful and prosperous lifestyle, including travel.

The proportion of people who can live at that level will dramatically decrease, and people struggling with poverty will dramatically increase, but it’s hyperbole to suggest that there won’t be hotels or airlines, or that literally everybody is going to be subject to economic ruin.

While I would certainly not be making reservations at this time for an upcoming vacation, because of the ongoing uncertainty, I wouldn’t rule out a summer trip, either. “Wait and see” seems to be the most prudent approach at this time.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:48 PM
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We usually do two weeks in Mount Desert Island, Maine, in early July, to cover the Ukulele Lady’s birthday. This year we reserved for two weeks through Labor Day in August/September. Hope it works out.
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:14 PM
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Yeah it did originally say Pacific Coast Highway/CA-1. I know in a Ford Expedition EL as driver for 6 other people the scenery was great but the driving not fun, after awhile 'when is this road gonna straighten out a little, please'. In a BMW M2 it was 'crap, this road is straightening out already!' . I agree I wouldn't want to drive it in a big RV.
And I should add, for me the whole reason I want to take this trip is to drive CA-1 in my new (well, 1 year old now) Miata. Renting an RV would completely defeat the purpose.

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it’s hyperbole to suggest that there won’t be hotels or airlines, or that literally everybody is going to be subject to economic ruin.
I don't know how much publicity this has gotten outside of California, but the state has actually rented a large number of hotel rooms to house homeless people so they can isolate themselves, since that's pretty much impossible to do in a homeless camp. That on its own will likely keep at least some hotels in business.

Quote:
While I would certainly not be making reservations at this time for an upcoming vacation, because of the ongoing uncertainty, I wouldn’t rule out a summer trip, either. “Wait and see” seems to be the most prudent approach at this time.
Yes, that's what I'm now leaning towards now. I'll wait and see rather than booking something right now.

I got an email from the California Capital Airshow stating that this year's show, scheduled for October 3-4 this year, is still on. So they seem to think there's at least a possibility that things well be back to normal by early fall, which is one of the things that made me optimistic that I could take a trip in maybe late summer.
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