As a travel agent who has worked incredibly hard at keeping my clients informed with the constant changes amid travel this year, I can tell you that the past ten months have been a giant mess of information streaming in from every available source outlet- some accurate and some inaccurate. As travel agents it is our duty to be ambassadors of facts and ensure we relay correct information as it becomes available to us. I have great confidence that the travel industry will remain united in mitigating risks and distress through education and communication with each other and our travellers.
So what has changed between March 2020 and today? Not a heck of a lot other than this continued assault on travel abroad does not seem to be going anywhere.
I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who has contacted me to ask questions about their upcoming trips and their future travel credits. With deadlines approaching to bookings that fell under new dates to book by, I am continuing to work hard on your behalf. As you know, I’m always here for support.
I would also like to take this opportunity to discuss the current situation with regards to coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel planning. I believe that it’s important to not let fear dictate our lives, but we need to be resilient and educated. My top priority is, and always will be, the safety of my travellers. I am choosing to remain optimistic about the future and encourage you to do the same. I am also choosing to not add fuel to the fire by promoting or booking travel at this time. With all the what-if's that could happen during the planning stage through to when clients are actually away, the risks outweigh the actual benefit of traveling right now. From changed and canceled itineraries incurring financial loss, to impending border closures while you are away preventing your return home - which could result in career loss, to catching the virus in another country, the list goes on and on. You are still able to book travel, but it is not recommended at all . Our federal government advised two days ago that anyone that currently has a trip booked should cancel it. It appears as though preparations are underway to close down our out of country air traffic. This is evident in twitter feeds from government officials:
Add the latest bad news of our vaccines being halted all together due to supply issues, and we are in this for a while.
My thoughts are with those individuals who have already been affected by COVID-19 as well as my travellers whose plans have been disrupted and those of you unsure about proceeding with upcoming travels. For those who wish to travel regardless of the government advisories, I too long to travel and its been difficult staying put.
All we can do until travel restrictions are lifted is to be there for each other. Stay home. Check on people to ensure they have their needs met - both physically and emotionally. Make some deliveries to those who are unable to leave their homes. Spread good words and kindness. Shop local to keep those hurting business' alive. Be patient with others since many struggle in silence. Finally, don't let life escape you . This struggle will pass and as with most hardship, the negativity will lesson and we will remember the acts of kindness of strangers in our time of need.
For support :
Text4Hope - Free daily text messaging services, evidence-based tool that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours a pandemic might be expected to provoke
To subscribe text COVID19HOPE to 393939.
Healthy Together - A guide to family and home life during COVID-19
Mental Wellness Moment with Dr. Nicholas Mitchell - Videos on topics including how to deal with stress and talking to kids about COVID-19
Virtual Mental Health Supports – Learn more about virtual mental health support, including Togetherall a free, online network that offers anonymous, peer-to-peer mental health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week