Travel During the Coronavirus? Please, Just Don’t Do It.

by Skylar Renslow


In the past couple of weeks, I’ve dusted off my snowboarding gear and bought a new (uh, used?) cable knit sweater. I even ordered a knee brace (perks of that post-ACL surgery life). All of this in preparation for my upcoming ski/snowboarding trip to Tahoe. Though I’ve grown up on the west coast of the United States I’ve never been to Tahoe. So I was pretty stoked to hit the slopes and enjoy the “aprés ski” festivities, of course. But then COVID-19 happened. I had to re-evaluate my upcoming travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the coronavirus turns our world upside down, we are all impacted in several ways. From extensively planned trips to new continents, family reunions, or weekend jaunts, many of us are re-evaluating travel plans. Or if you’re fortunate to be in the right demographic, the prospect of cheap airfare and few tourists may be enticing enough to book that next flight.

That trip to New Zealand sounds pretty good right about now, no? Some might think “The coronavirus won’t affect me, right?” or “Even if I do get sick, it’ll just be a few sniffles”…. You’d be lying if you said those thoughts didn’t run through your mind recently. And sure, for the majority of young, twenty-somethings that’s probably true. But that mentality could end up hurting countless people across the world.

Please don’t travel during the coronavirus. There is plenty of research that shows how “flattening the curve” or “social distancing” can combat the spread of this virus. I know this isn’t very easy, speaking as someone who is always on the hunt for my next trip. Still, it’s crucial for us as a collective whole to limit our social interactions, including travel during the coronavirus outbreak.

So, we canceled our trip to Tahoe. Fortunately, many companies are updating their cancellation policies to account for the coronavirus. We got our money back from Heavenly (ski resort at Tahoe) and Airbnb, as well as credit to Alaska Airlines towards a future plane ticket. We are pretty fortunate, to be sure. Some of your situations may be different, and you might not be able to recoup the full cost of the trip. I get that, and though it would make for a tough proposition, I strongly urge you to re-consider your travel during the coronavirus outbreak. At least for the next few weeks.

If the civic duty isn’t enough to keep you home, maybe recent pictures from airports across the country might be enough to make you think twice.

Updated Travel Policies During Coronavirus Outbreak

Alaska Airlines

You can cancel or change your reservation for no fee if your trip meets one of the following:

This includes non-refundable first class, main cabin, and award tickets. You’ll get credit towards your next flight which must be used by February 2021.

For a full list of airlines and their updated trip cancellation/modification policy during the COVID-19 outbreak, read more, here.


Existing reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 for stays and Airbnb Experiences with a check-in date of April 14, 2020, or earlier, and with at least one night occurring between March 14, 2020, and April 14, 2020, are covered. Guests who cancel will receive a full refund, and hosts will be able to cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual to reservations made after March 14, 2020, and to existing reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 with check-in dates after April 14, 2020.

Read more, here.