Coronavirus Cancellations (+ Staying Sane During Social Distancing)

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What a long week it has been!  Like most of the world, we spent the week carefully tracking coronavirus news, yet never expecting we would be where we are now.  The week started with some uncertainty about our March Break trip to Mexico, but by Friday with schools being closed and the government advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel, we knew we had to pull the plug on our trip.

We made the final decision 6 hours before our scheduled departure.  While we were sad to walk away from our trip, we knew right away that we were making the right decision.  We weren’t worried about our own health, but believe strongly in the efforts to #flattenthecurve.

When we made the decision to cancel our trip, we accepted that we would be losing a substantial amount of money.  One of the disadvantages of budget travel is that we fly with discount airlines, don’t purchase cancellation insurance (which wouldn’t have covered us anyway), thereby self-insuring our travel plans.

BUT, we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to recover most of our costs.

Our Flights

We booked budget flights last August on Interjet, a Mexican airline.  When we called them, they refused to even allow us to change our flights, regardless of the Canadian travel advisories.  Luckily, we remembered that we had booked our flights on Expedia.  We went online, cancelled our flights and received an Interjet credit for the full amount.  Now, our credit has a lot of restrictions on it, to the point that we aren’t sure if we will actually be able to use it.  But, once again Expedia has come through for us.

We always recommend booking directly with the airline or with Expedia.  Expedia has bailed us out before and we have always been very happy with their service.

Our Accommodation

We had booked two beautiful apartments, one in San Miguel de Allende and the other in Guanajuato.  We were dreaming of spending the evenings on our rooftop balconies looking out over the colourful cities, wine in hand.  As always, I had spent hours researching to find the perfect places.

The first was booked through Airbnb.  When I pushed the cancel button on my reservation, I fully expected to loose all of our money since we were supposed to check in the very next day.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that we were immediately issued a full refund.  In the future, if you are looking for a great Airbnb, check out this beautiful place in San Miguel de Allende

Our second booking was through VRBO with no cancellations allowed.  Fortunately, the lovely host refunded us.  If you are looking for a beautiful place to stay in Guanajuato, check out this place.

I know so many people were in the same boat as us, trying to decide to go or stay.  I completely understand the stress, anxiety and disappointment. Did you have to cancel an upcoming trip?  I would love to hear what your experience was with refunds or credits.  Leave us a message in the comments below.

Is it crazy that I am still hoping we might be able to reschedule this trip for later in May?

Social Distancing

A few days ago I hadn’t even heard terms like social distancing and R0 and wouldn’t have known what was meant by “flatten the curve”.  Now they are all part of our lexicon.

After watching what happened in China and what is happening in Europe, we feel strongly that we all need to take social distancing seriously.  If you are at all questioning the importance, check out these models.

Keeping the Kids Entertained

Three weeks is a long time to be at home.  While we sadly put away our Mexico packing, we brainstormed some mini-vacations we could take.  We booked a 2-night stay in a yurt at Killarney Provincial Park, a park we have wanted to explore for years.  We are also planning to spend some time up at my family’s maple syrup sugar shack.

The Type A teacher in me knows that the only way to survive 3-week at home with the kids is to have a schedule.  I provided the schedule and Ella created this piece of art:

We will be using lots of ideas from our list of unplugged activities for kids and playing lots of family games, including these favourites over the next few weeks.  How are you planning on spending your time over the next few weeks?

Our Upcoming Year-Long Trip

We are set to leave for our year-long trip in July…in 4 months.  While things are evolving constantly, we don’t see coronavirus affected that trip.  That trip is a camping road trip, so we can’t think of a safer place to be than the woods even if we are still in pandemic mode.  The first part of our trip will be in western Canada and we can adjust our plans as needed.

The real problem is that we still don’t have a vehicle for the trip.  Mexico was supposed to be part-reconnaissance mission to try to determine what would work the best down there.  So instead we will just have to make our own decision.  The tough part is that we have been looking at vehicles all across Canada and the US and now it will be difficult to get a vehicle from the US, thereby really limiting our choices.  Minor problems to have.  We will find something.

Looking for Travel Inspiration?

Travel blogs aren’t exactly flourishing these days.  But if you are looking to dream about your next trip, check out these popular posts on our site (we could use the viewers!):

Flores IndonesiaBrowse around and read about our Australian Outback road trip, exploring Komodo National Park by Boat, ruin hopping in Mexico, visiting remote islands in Papua New Guinea, celebrating Holi in India, and so much more on the blog.

If you need to purchase travel supplies, we always appreciate support at our Amazon page.

I am hoping to use the time at home to work on catching up on some of the posts from our travels last year that I haven’t had a chance to write.  Is there anything you would like to know about?

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