Has TRAVEL become a ‘dirty’ word amid COVID19 Pandemic?

Is the mere topic of travel insensitive to bring up during COVID19?

Is it insensitive to even think about traveling, or even unethical to cash in on these deals caused by COVID19?

There will always be someone who will be sensitive to *insert here* being discussed because ideas and conversations are not entirely absorbed by the intention behind the message. You could insert anything in that sentence, and someone has been offended. A huge factor in how we, as individuals, interpret information is based on the environment around us and how we percieve it… and here we are, each of us, in a worldwide pandemic. Most of us are on lock down, social distancing, and even quarantined. Does this warrant the topic of travel something we should avoid; like is travel joining topics such as politics and religion? Is it better left unsaid to avoid offending someone or creating conflict? Just because we are all experiening similar orders from the government doesn’t mean we are affected the same mentally/physically/spiritually.

Let me ask this; is it insensitive to post a workout video or a ‘how-to launch a business’ podcast? Probably not. Although, if someone is feeling lazy, depressed, or is suffering COVID19 symptoms… isn’t that insensitive? It could be, sure, to someone who is ‘stuck’ from the scenario at hand. Not everyone is stuck though, so it can ALSO be super helpful to those who are looking for ways to be productive with the added time they have.  

Has Travel become a topic
to avoid during COVID19 Pandemic?

The short answer is: ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Here’s why…

For writers and content creators –

sharing travel diaries, or itineraries, and even guides allow people locked indoors to escape to somewhere they’ve never been. It might expose readers to a place or culture they’ve never even heard of. This can create a dreamy sense of adventure, followed by a little research, and a plan to take a trip once the travel bans lift. In return, this has made a positive impact for the reader/follower by not only giving them an immediate escape but also an escape to look forward to while everything else seems quite dreary and unpredictable; it’s an escape from COVID19.
And as for the idea that it’s insensitive to those who’ve lost jobs, can’t even fathom taking a vacation, or the people in the hospitals dying without family nearby… that argument can be made for EVERY person who work(s)ed for the travel industry. People are losing their jobs and/or closing their businesses due to travel restrictions and the overall stay-at-home orders. There are entire communities, cities, and even entire countries that rely on tourism to make ends meet. They’re suffering as well. Many travelers, flight crew, and hospitality staff that still held on to their jobs have risked their own life as well as their family’s.
…NO, it’s not insensitive to expose people to an escape away from the same four walls they’ve been trapped in for who knows how long. And it’s not evil to create a sense of adventure and plans to help the tourism industry bounce back. It is not insensitive to drive demand to places that are suffering while tourism is on pause. A lot of wonderful places need advocates right now. Write and create to provide an escape, to inspire hope, and to help the economy bounce back. If someone says that’s ‘insensitive’- than open their mind… I HIGHLY doubt they’ve taken a step back to understand that, while travel is a luxury, it is essential to companies in the industry and communities around the World that built their entire economies around it.

To my fellow travelers, those who are seeking the opportunity to become travelers, and even ‘regular’ vacationers-

the market is changing. This Pandemic has given the buyer all the power. And at the risk of repeating myself, VOTE with your dollar. [Buy from the companies/industries you believe in; the ones that uphold their values and promises.] Your money is your ‘support’ of the product/service. That being said, the Travel industry is by far struggling. Without demand, supply is at an all-time high, this is driving prices to the lowest of lows. Check out flight deals right now, they’re a steal… an actual robbery. And, most (if not all) airlines are protecting the customer should they not be able to fly due to COVID19 circumstances. Even resorts are disarming the alarms and asking for burglaries… figuratively of course. I have never seen prices this low!

Is it unethical to book the deal while the industry is down?

Are buyers taking advantage of the system caused by an unforeseen virus?

Again, the answer is NO!

There are two roles in every business transaction, and each role comes with its own risks and responsibility per decision. It’s the sellers’ responsibility to manage risk assessments pertaining to business costs and to adjust and transition accordingly. It is the buyers’ responsibility to decide when to purchase, especially in an industry as price elastic as tourism. Airlines and accommodations are known to set up price algorithm tools to maximize revenue- they include search history and the more times a user checks the price, it actually increases. (Insider tip: use the incognito window or tab from Google’s browser to prevent tracking). This means the only risk and responsibility incurred by the buyer is based entirely on obtaining the best (and fair) deal. *I mention “fair” as it pertains to tipping.

Now, with COVID19, I’ll add the risk and responsibility of purchasing from reputable companies that won’t just disappear like Wow Airlines. And, like the added risk that technically should be taken, with or without a pandemic, companies are responsible for appropriately adjusting. They can go out of business for other unforeseen changes in the business environment, too- i.e. added competition, new innovations… etc. Think about BlackBerry or another company that was once considered a leader and eventually became obsolete when new competition joined the industry and they didn’t adjust or innovate accordingly- the act of owning a business is a risk in itself and a constant challenge. AS A BUYER, IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO WEIGHT THE REISKS OF A BUSINESS OPERATION- if the business has decided to operate then they need buyers to perform- to decrease the heightened risk and meet their goal.

COVID19 has made travel more affordable

For a long time, tourism has been a seller driven market, and right now, at least for the short-term, the tables have turned. It’s the perfect time to steal those deals. Considering the stimulus bill of $2 trillion, was passed to stabilize the economy, we may see this balance out more quickly and this opportunity to pounce will be an opportunity missed. (At the same point, out government cannot afford to bail out these companies, and neither can we as a society). Right now airlines are banking on the fact that people will purchase tickets; and if they don’t fill enough seats, the airline will/can cancel the flight and provide a credit toward a future flight/voucher to be redeemed when they are profiting again. They’re not refunding buyers when they can’t deliver. They are moving the money so they can afford operating expenses RIGHT NOW, in the present time. This was a business decision they made. Similarly, if an accommodation is offering deals for dates in the future but insists on a deposit, this helps them offset current costs while their doors are closed.
INDULGE! Buy those tickets and book those stays because while you are getting an epic deal YOU ARE ALSO helping a company survive. There is absolutely NOTHING unethical about that. Think of it as pouring your money into your local restaurants who are struggling- ONLY YOU get to decide where you invest your money and what company/industry you vote to support in this time.

This is the “indulgent travelers” choice: choosing to help an otherwise ‘suffering’ industry; putting the tourism industry back on its feet, so-to-speak AND helping communities that rely on it.

I don’t know who needs to hear this,
You’re allowed to have hope and make plans for a future, and as a buyer, it is your choice where to spend your dollars. If someone is offended that you chose to book that trip, then the tourism industries and entire countries are offended that no one is supporting their struggle.

As an advocate for travel, I encourage anyone thinking about booking a deal to do it- it’s an investment in yourself and an opportunity to help communities and companies that are/will be directly suffering from COVID19 to recover long after the world resumes.

[Author’s note: As far as any hyperinflation possibilities go, trust me, the chances are extremely low. I did an extensive deep dive to gather as much insight as I could for the comfort of my own savings. Even still… I picked up a job and have been working 60 hour weeks because one can never be too sure. Actually I picked up the job to have purpose and because I am not sure of how quickly the recession as it pertains to jobs will bounce back.]

One Comment

  1. Theresa

    I love how positive about travel you are during this complicated time. You are absolutely right – a lot of these places are depending on us to come back and spend our money as soon as it’s safe to. I cannot wait for that day to come!

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