First Destination Post COVID
I'm just gonna say it...Africa is a shithole axax))
Read an article last night that Croatia is itching to open. Sounds like they’ll be one of the first.
From the first series of lockdown relaxation rules announced, it seems that the safest bets to book will be from the end of June onwards. As this is not quite ‘peak’ season and people are still jittery/uncertain about flying, flights booked at the tail end of June are still going relatively cheap.

I’ve just ‘hedged’ my bets and booked my travel itinerary.

It’s looking like this:

End of June- Serbia
Mid July- Croatia and Montenegro
End July- Budapest

(I have to intersperse these with a couple of trips back to London in-between for business, but in all these three set of flights have cost me under 180 Euros (when converted) from London return with Wizzair- and they do give credits back in case of disruptions to schedule, so I think it’s a good bet in all.

(In late August I’m in Costa Rica- but that has been booked ages ago and was at higher prices- just looked at the same sorts of flights for that schedule and that’s going 40% cheaper than I booked 5 months ago.. so I’ll say now is the time to ‘hedge’ bets and book for the brave and adventurous- I would say from late June/early July bookings will be a safe bet to aim for- as world will start opening up by then and travel operators would not want to miss what is left of the peak summer season.
I'm cancelling most everything. I had a train trip planned with multiple legs across Europe from late May through late June. Although some of those countries might ease lockdown measures during this period, actually getting inside is another matter entirely. Especially with international train travel in Europe, most of it is still either cancelled entirely, or you have massive restrictions. E.g. I had a Thalys train booked from Amsterdam to Paris in late May. In practice, that would have meant:

- Two trains a day with an exchange in Brussels, instead of a direct connection every hour or so.
- Masks and social distancing required on the train.
- I'd need a form proving the essential nature of my visit, otherwise I'd get sent straight back home with a fine.
- Even if all the above wasn't true, I'd be in Paris standing in front of a closed hostel and with no actual tourist activities to do.

So far most places I'm staying are offering either cash refunds, reschedulings, or vouchers for 12-18 months, even if they were originally booked under non-refundable policies. So there won't be much of a financial loss for me. I booked most of this stuff before the pandemic was declared, mind you. It would obviously be different if you were to book something non-refundable today.

Here is an overview of some European countries and the outlook for the future:

Quote:Covid-19 throws Europe's tourism industry into chaos

No one knows if summer tourists will arrive, or how businesses will survive if not

Jon Henley and Guardian correspondents

Sat 2 May 2020 05.00 BST

The coronavirus crisis has flung Europe’s tourism sector into chaos, with borders closed and airlines grounded. But if that is frustrating for holidaymakers, it risks ruining holiday businesses and devastating the economies that depend on them.

From the Algarve in Portugal to the Greek islands, and from the chic resorts of Italy’s Amalfi coast to the pubs and clubs of the Spanish costas, no one knows whether Europe’s holidaymakers will come this year, or how to survive if they do not.

The losses are already dramatic. The European commission estimates that the EU’s hotels and restaurants will lose half their income this year. Tourism revenues fell by 95% in Italy and 77% in Spain in March, according to the banking group UBS.

Across southern Europe, where recovery from the 2008 crisis relied to a significant extent on tourism, the sector is vital to national economies. It accounts for 20% of GDP in Greece, 18% in Portugal, 15% in Spain and 13% in Italy, according to the World Bank.

The EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, has called for a “Marshall plan” using funds from Europe’s vast economic stimulus packages to haul hotels, restaurants and tour operators back from collapse, and the EU’s executive has promised guidelines for a coordinated restart to travel.

Increasingly desperate business owners are demanding action, but many governments do not sound positive. Holidays in other EU countries are not yet possible for Germans, the chancellor, Angela Merkel said bluntly on Thursday.

France’s prime minister, Edouard Philippe, said it would “not be reasonable to imagine travelling very far abroad very soon”, and Spain’s foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, said the country would gradually reopen to tourism, but not until “we are in a position to guarantee tourists’ safety”.

The bloc’s internal borders remain closed for leisure travel, with no prospect of an imminent reopening or decision likely before at least the end of May.

Germany this week extended a warning against foreign travel until mid-June. Until further notice, all non-nationals arriving in France, including from EU states, must declare an essential professional or family reason for their journey or they will be turned back.

Even domestic travel is still severely restricted in some countries. Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has said Italians should go on holiday in Italy, but they will not be permitted to journey between regions when restrictions begin to ease on 4 May. French citizens, too, will be limited to a 100km radius of their homes from 11 May.

The EU’s transport and tourism roadmap suggests travel restrictions within the bloc could first be eased “between areas with a comparably low reported circulation of the virus”, prompting the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia, which have reported low numbers of infections, to propose corridors to the Adriatic coast.

These could perhaps be accompanied, it has been suggested, by a common “Covid-19 passport” testifying to the bearer’s health before travel, or by in-resort testing once they arrive.

Germany has rejected bilateral solutions. The country’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said an EU “race to see who will allow tourist travel” first would pose unacceptable risks, turning down an offer from Austria for Germans to take their holidays there and pointing to the role of the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl in accelerating the spread of the pandemic in central Europe.

For the destination countries most affected, part of the strategy involves ensuring visitors unable to come this summer return later. In Portugal, which has so far kept its coronavirus death toll below 1,000, vouchers are being issued to those forced to cancel, allowing them to reschedule trips until the end of 2021.

Some hotels and restaurants are still counting on being able to reopen, but the head of the Algarve tourist business association, Elidérico Viegas, has said many will not. Foreign visitors are unlikely to return until April next year, he said.

Spain’s coronavirus outbreak has spiralled into one of the world’s worst, and more than 24,500 people have died, but some of the country’s tourist hotspots have emerged relatively unscathed, allowing some hope that they might yet host a summer season.

“The Balearics rank among the safest areas in Europe with one of the lowest rates of contagion,” said Iago Negueruela, the regional official in charge of economy and tourism for the islands. Officials are cautiously hoping that international tourists could be allowed to visit Mallorca and Ibiza from late July.

Spain was the world’s second most-visited country in 2019, with nearly 84 million tourists. A heavy economic reliance on tourism has left administrations scrambling to develop protocols capable of protecting what travellers do this summer.

“We want to have everything prepared so tourists can arrive as soon as possible,” said Negueruela. The challenge lies in striking a balance between attractions such as the discotecas of Ibiza and the new reality demanded by Covid-19. “Some sectors will have more significant adaptations,” he said. “That much is clear.”

Greece, like Cyprus, is pushing for the EU to agree a common way forward. For both, the question is existential. More than a fifth of their workforces are employed in the sector, almost double the EU average, and tourism is the single biggest contributor to their economies.

“The most important thing now is a common travel protocol to avoid the confusion of different countries having different rules,” said Cyprus’ deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios.

Greece says it foresees a July start to the season, with a low rate of infection and Covid-19 deaths fuelling optimism it can project itself as a safe destination. “All bets are on the next two months,” said Grigoris Tasios, the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers.

Resorts in northern Greece are looking to boost occupancy from neighbouring Balkan states that have also handled the pandemic well. “Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Skopje [Macedonia] together have a population of 40 million and from any of them people can get to us by car,” he said.

Italy’s small business federation CNA expects 25 million fewer foreign visitors between July and September. Sicily, one of the country’s flagship destinations for summer tourism, is already reporting 65% of bookings cancelled. The National Tourism Agency forecasts a €20bn fall in income compared with 2019.

Italy’s tourism minister, Dario Franceschini, said the country was working hard to strike a balance between safety concerns and the reopening of tourism facilities. “It won’t be easy, but we’ll see it through,” he said.

Businesses are experimenting with four-metre plexiglass barriers on beachfronts and restaurateurs with glass shields between tables, but all know the impact on tourism will will be felt for years to come. Business is not expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels until 2023.

Additional reporting by Ashifa Kassam in Madrid, Helena Smith in Athens, Lorenzo Tondo in Palermo and Philip Oltermann in Berlin

I noticed some guys here mentioned tourism corridors, although it seems these are mainly intended for people from less hard-hit countries in Central and Eastern Europe to travel to the Croatian coast.

Generally speaking it seems there are going to be possibilities for Portugal, Greece and the Balkans from mid-July onwards. Personally I don't like to travel during the school holidays so I'll probably wait until September and take a few weeks off in June just to relax at home.

A lot of things in the Guardian article seem a bit pessimistic. Some countries are obviously chomping at the bit to reopen tourism. When Portugal starts raking in the dough, I can't imagine Spain staying closed, even if the coronavirus situations are different between them. I can't imagine that the insistence that the entire EU should have one policy will be able to hold under this pressure.

I also wonder to what extent cheap flights will be available from September 2020 through May 2021, even under flexible cancellation policies. Might be a good time to book when many people aren't thinking about this yet. But this is just a hunch and I'd have to check if there are really good offers. Has anyone else tried this?
My flight leaves from Chicago on July 19. If they make you still have a quarantine by then. I will just stay home.
France will implement a 14 day quarantine for all people traveling to France. The article is vague. But I guess they are opening the borders later this month.
Harem Scarem dateline=' Wrote: I also wonder to what extent cheap flights will be available from September 2020 through May 2021, even under flexible cancellation policies. Might be a good time to book when many people aren't thinking about this yet. But this is just a hunch and I'd have to check if there are really good offers. Has anyone else tried this?

I just booked a trip to Cape Town from Jakarta end of November, the flights were half what I expected.
I'm stuck in the Philippines right now, but hoping to get on an embassy sweeper flight back to the States in the coming days. I've had two non-sweeper itineraries cancelled on me since the lockdown started, so I hope the third time is a charm.  Things in the Philippines were actually okay until the moron-led government shut everything down six weeks ago. Now, we're four months into this with 600 related deaths in a country of 100 million. Absolute absurdity. I'd stay here but girls refuse to leave their homes for fear of getting grandma sick, and the government is not showing any signs of easing restrictions. I've been talking to this Tinder girl whose building I can walk out my front door and see. She refuses to leave and come take a walk with me. Unbelievable. The government actually just placed a one week ban on all incoming flights to Manila.  The Filipino public has totally bought into this being the new black plague. Fuck that. 

With that said, I'm hoping to fly into LA next week.  From there, I'll get a truck and head north on I-15 to Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. It's just starting to be spring in the mountains, and I'd like to do a little fly fishing and camping. Pretty much the only thing you can shoot this time of year is feral swine, and those aren't as prevalent in the west as they are in the east. The three big national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier) are still closed, but should re-open soon. I'm going to guess there won't be many people there. Normally, it's insanely difficult to get a campsite in a campground in one of those parks. You'd have to be at the campground at 5 am waiting for someone to leave their site so you could run up to the placard and place your ticket. I'm thinking it'll never have been easier to get a premium site in this situation. Dispersed camping in the backcountry is always an option in those parks, but you have to pack everything in and out, and I don't want to do that without several other people.

For that last few years, I've been thinking that this would be the summer I relocate back to that region, and take a year long sabbatical. I have two other contract offers here in Asia, but neither are tenable with the current situation.  If I take a sabbatical, I'll just basically fish, workout, hike, ski, hunt, re-model a rental house, go dirtbiking, fix up a late 70s C series Silverado... That kind of thing. There are plenty of good looking women in the Mountain West who like that stuff too. This virus bullshit has given me added impetus to go. My dad splits his time between there and AZ, and I went to college in the region, so it's an easy move now that I've got some resources and understanding of what I want in life. I'd like to be there for my dad, as he now moves into the autumn of his life. It hurts every time I go back and see him just a little slower and older.

After that.... I don't know. If I had to say right now, the next trip would be a January 3rd or 4th flight to Bogota, Cali, or Medellin for 5 or 6 weeks. I absolutely love Colombia and have been itching to get back for the last three years. I'm in my mid 30s and I'll tell you, I will put a bun in the oven of a sexy Colombiana. I love those women. 

(Wildcard: If Canada re-opens soon, I might just drive all the way to the Arctic Ocean. The thread has since been deleted (FFS!), but Laner's stories of driving the Dempster Highway placed it on my bucketlist. I'm getting a full-sized pick up and doing that at some point.)
I am currently in the wind (LAX - Las Vegas - Phoenix - New Mexico - TBA) and lodging / accommodation prices have actually increased vs normal. For some reason AirBnBs I think have been taking their inventory off the market.

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