Spotahome is a mid-long term rentals platform that allows you to book your new home from anywhere! Our tenants come from all over the world. We know many of our tenants are already planning their summer, and their next semester abroad. Here is our advice on what to do about those plans, even if right now we are all confined to our homes.
While travelling seems like a thing of the past, we all should be sure it will also be a thing of the future. Soon enough we will be back at packing our bags and heading to European capitals, exploring jungles and other unknown destinations. And while most of the world is #stayingathome, nothing stops us dreaming about our future holiday and summer abroad plans. Here is why you shouldn't cancel yours just yet.
The crucial thing to remember is that there are thousands, if not millions of, people relying on tourism. On us, travellers. Around 10 per cent of the world works in tourism. And right now most of those people probably have lost their jobs or are having major issues as the world, and tourists, have stopped globally. And I am not just talking about airlines, big hotel chains and museums which most likely will have some sort of support from their governments. I am also talking about that independent travel guide that took you around to explore Rome, the owner of that apartment you rented in Lisbon and the fisherman who supplies the catch of the day to the tiny restaurant on La Rambla in Barcelona.
The world will need you.
This is why you shouldn't cancel your holidays plans right now.
Postpone, don't cancel
Considering that we will be back to one of our favourite things, travelling, and that things will go back to normal at some point, we should connect with our hosts, hotels and travel agency and find a way to postpone our travels for future dates. If you think about that little, cute independent hotel you've stayed at in Paris, you'll soon realise that it's not just about the people who work in the hotel, it's also about their suppliers, and their suppliers' suppliers. And their families, too. When a business goes out of business (apologies for the wording), there is a microcosm that fades with it.
Think about the bigger picture
Since I'm an optimist, I can't stop looking at positive ways to analyse what's currently happening. One thing is very clear to me. In this highly globalised world, we are all connected. Long gone are the days where borders could act as ancient fortifications of impregnable kingdoms. We live in a circular economy and regardless of where you are or where you wanted to travel to, our actions have an impact that is greater than our own footstep. Be the difference.
Start researching your future destinations
Marco Corradino, CEO of Lastminute.com, on a call with analysts said that:
“We expect that people will start again to book holidays and vacation in May, June, to arrive to a normal level in July and August,”
And if a travel expert like Corradino said so, we should probably trust his expertise and start to at least research our next destinations. With more time on our hands than usual, we could definitely invest some on reading some reliable travel blogs, on Instagram and on proper travel guides. And keep reading to find the answers to some of the most frequent questions from our readers.
Can you cancel previous bookings without penalty?
You should refer to the airlines you booked with to find detailed information. The same is valid for hotels, apartments and hostels. However, and in general, most hotels and airlines are offering the option to modify your reservation for future travel through December 31, 2020 without penalty. Some hotels are allowing date changes without charge or offering vouchers for your booked holiday.
What if there is a second wave of lockdowns? Can you do a date change?
We expect travel companies to offer the same refund or exchange policies that they are offering now. However, no one really knows if there will be a second spread of Covid-19 and a second global lockdown.
Should we be planning future travel now?
It depends. I know, I hate this answer too. But. Booking travels now greatly depends on your own risk aversion and willingness to possibly change dates. If you can't wait to book new travels (I totally get you), you should check the post-Covid19 updated cancellation policies. These used to be very strict. In fact, every time you had to change or cancel a flight, you would normally pay a couple hundred euros. But now many airline carriers are offering free change fees and cancellations. By the way, remember that:
if a flight is canceled and there isn't a rebooking option, airlines are required by law to issue you a refund.
All in all, having future travel plans brings joy to our life. The anticipation of exploring new countries and cities grows within, weeks or even months before.
Travel companies are constantly updating their Covid-19 related travel policies. If you are thinking of booking travels, you must check them in order to be aware of the specifics refunds, waivers and re-bookings policies.
If you still didn't book your new home for your semester abroad, Spotahome can help you find it from the comfort of your sofa, across major capital cities in Europe.
Look no further, if you need some travel inspiration, you can read these articles: