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.
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.
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!