Rebooking you vacation because of COVID complications

For his wife’s birthday, Michael Heckert booked a vacation to Barbados.  He booked the trip in October, but the global pandemic has left him trying to change his plans.

Heckert: Couldn’t get a hold of anybody, that they were making arrangements to reschedule, that they weren’t answering the phone, you couldn’t call resort. There was just nothing we could do.

The resort did eventually reach back out, but only with the option to rebook his trip.

Heckert: I think they should’ve given you a choice. I would’ve rebooked anyway, but it would’ve been nice to have the option.

His only option would’ve been to go through travel insurance, but they said it wasn’t a viable claim.  Travel agent Vicky Wilderman says this experience is all too common.

Wilderman: If the destination is made uninhabitable, then that’s covered. But there’s nothing to cover this. It was a whole new ballfield in the travel industry, including insurance.

Vicky has been a travel agent for 14 years, but for the last two months, she’s watched her industry change and adapt.

Wilderman: Mostly trying to decide when to cancel (laughs) is mainly what I’ve been dealing with since the end of March. When to cancel, when to wait for them to cancel, and the companies have all gotten better once it got going about their policies. Honestly, U.S. travel is all you can do right now. Most of clients, even if they got their money back, are wanting to rebook.

When it comes to booking a hotel, Vicky suggests doing some research into how they are operating.

Wilderman: Look and see what they’re saying, like a lot of them are doing every other floor, but that’s what keeps them from overbooking and having too many people at one time.

As for flights, check out what they’re doing right now if you do decide to book.  You should also expect to wear a mask.

Wilderman: They’re asking you to wear them on the flight. They won’t be able to enforce it, but it is something that in that kind of area, it would be wise to have one on.