Coronavirus: Should You Cancel Your Holiday Or Not?

In two weeks, me, my wife and little toddler are flying from Melbourne to Honolulu for a 14-day holiday. As the spread of Coronavirus causes more and more travel restrictions and cases of self-isolation, we are left wondering: should we cancel our trip?

The status of Hawaii and Melbourne

At the time of writing, Hawaii barely has a coronavirus presence, with a few new cases (you can count on one hand) a few dozen people self-isolating (just in case). Melbourne, meanwhile, is also relatively low risk for the moment, with some confirmed cases, but no full-scale outbreak.

There’s definitely a feeling of escalation, however, as Melbourne schools begin to close, and the Formula One event cancelled. People are panicking and buying all the supermarket toilet paper, and workplaces are encouraging people to work from home.

Travel insurance

As we always do, we bought travel insurance in mid-February. Safe, covered.


For anyone who booked after 23rd January, any effect on travel caused by Coronavirus are not covered. So, were covered, but not if the trip is cancelled, and not if we need medical attention.

I am prepared to cancel the trip financially, and the chances of having to go to hospital are low (we’re in our early thirties, and at low risk). But the uncertainly exists.

The cost

For almost anyone who is considering cancelling a trip right now, a major factor is losing money.

We booked everything ahead of time. Flights, interior flights, hotels, Airbnbs and tours. Some are refundable, but some aren’t. At the moment, we’re calling around to see what we can rebook or get a refund on.

Travel with a toddler

We have an 18-month old, who is our main concern. Yes, it looks like young kids are the safest age range in this coronavirus pandemic, with no recorded deaths at this time. But, better be safe than sorry.

But as any parent knows, if the little one catches a bug, the parents are sure to follow…

Staying away from crowds is easy. But the plane…

We are planning on staying in small towns, self-driving, and generally relaxing on the beach, just the three of us. We are not too worried about picking up the disease in Hawaii.

But the plane is a different story! It feels like an incubator, full of coughs and sneezes and recycled air. We can’t give a mask to our toddler, so we’re just hoping for the best.

Final verdict – cancel or go?

At the moment, we’re still going. Both destinations are low risk. We’re in low risk age groups and expect that catching the virus would be like catching a bad flu, and then recover.

But, we need to check the situation every day. Trump closed the borders to all EU countries as of today, and I have no doubt he’d do the same if Australia’s coronavirus cases escalate. So, it’s up in the air for now.

Spreading the coronavirus

Of course, we don’t want to spread coronavirus either, which is why we’re watching infections in our departure and destination countries.

We are prepared to self-isolate at home (but hopefully not in Hawaii), to prevent transmitting the disease.


What would you do? Have you already cancelled a trip, or did you push on anyway? Looking forward to hearing your comments!

16 thoughts on “Coronavirus: Should You Cancel Your Holiday Or Not?

    1. Yes, that’s how we’re going to play it. Tricky to cut through all the overreacting and hype with this pandemic, so we need to go with our instinct. Thanks for sharing the links! πŸ˜€

  1. We had plans to travel around Scotland for two weeks and to visit our relatives in Amsterdam but due to coronavirus spreading more rapidly, we decided to cancel all our plans. It’s better safe than sorry especially when traveling with young children.

      1. In six weeks. With the way things are going now, I’m not sure if we even gonna be able to spend our vacation time exploring Ireland. Looks like we are going to be isolated at home πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ and we don’t have the TV πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  2. Things are escalating really quickly. Countries such as Canada are taking preventative measures. Who knows where this will all end up? At the very least we are in for some changes in our daily lives for the next two months if we judge by the situation in Asia. Travelling under these conditions is never an easy decision. Having said all that, my sister travelled to South Africa from Toronto a few days ago. She said the plane was only half full. She has registered with the government and is receiving all notices of any possible changes to her travel plans by email…so far, no changes. She will self quarantine upon he return. Voluntarily. Whatever you decide to do will be the right decision for you and your family. Best wishes from πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

    1. That’s good advice. Keeping informed is definitely something we should do every day, and I think self-quarantine is likely to become mandatory for all people returning from overseas.

  3. I’d rather cancel my trip and save the budget, and add some more, for traveling after the outbreak. But, the thing is, no one is sure when is this gonna end.

    But, whatever your decision is, I hope for the best for you and your family.

  4. I agree, cancel your trip and recoup what money you can. The problem traveling is someone you have contact with may have the virus. Symptoms show up from 2 to 14 days after contact. I wouldn’t take a chance, especially with a toddler along. Here in CA, some people are doing self-quarantine just to be safe away from crowds. Best of luck to you. Your sketches are extraordinary. πŸ“šπŸŽΆ Christine

  5. Did you go? We’ve had all our holidays cancelled so far so not had to make that decision. Luckily receiving full refunds because we’ve been ATOL protected. But I don’t have kids so I am only risking my own health therefore I would have gone anyway. I hope you managed to sort out your trip or at least get to go another time in the near future πŸ™‚ ps your drawings are really good!

    1. No, we decided not to go. It was a wise decision, because soon afterwards both Australia and Hawaii instigated mandatory 14 day isolation periods, so we wouldn’t have been able to do anything. The airlines also later cancelled the flights. Amazing just how quickly things escalated!

      1. Yep I work for an airline so I live and breathe flight cancellations at the moment sadly! I can’t wait for normality to happen and then we can all start holidaying again!

Comments are closed.