MAKING THE DECISION TO TRAVEL IN UNCERTAIN TIMES | Published December 24th, 2021 | Last Updated December 24th, 2021

Woman looking at a flight path with planes flying over a map of the world

Last week, I eagerly sat down to write a post about the importance of supplementing travel insurance with COVID-related insurance. I was getting ready for a trip to the Maldives on January 17th; with all flights and accommodations booked, I realized the importance of protecting the trip from both a financial and health perspective.

After looking into COVID insurance options I felt prepared. Nothing was going to get in the way of this vacation after three years of travel delays due to cancer treatments and COVID.

But then came the announcement;

"We may not be able to assist Canadian residents in returning to Canada. You could become stranded in the country you're visiting "...

Before I go any further, let me confess. I'm stubborn, especially when it comes to travel. Three years ago, this sentence would not be as intimidating. I would have taken it with a grain of salt, hopped on the plane and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, times have changed. People have changed. The rules have changed. The situations we are confronted with necessitate far more thought than a throw-caution-to-the-wind and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality. We can no longer make a rash decision to take those vacations without a care in the world.

Here's the dilemma: do you take the risk and travel anyway, or do you listen to the advice you're given? For myself and the friend I was travelling with, we gave this decision a lot of thought, and these were the questions we considered:

  1. Can we afford to miss work if we need to quarantine upon return?

  2. Is it safe to travel when Omicron is spreading so quickly?

  3. Will we even be able to relax if we try to keep up with the most recent requirements to return?

  4. How difficult will it be to complete the testing required to re-enter Canada from such a remote location?

  5. Will our loved ones or colleagues be affected if we catch COVID?

And now the ever-important question; should you travel? The answer is that you must decide what is best for you and how you respond to the above considerations. The decision is very personal, and only you can answer it.

If you have a remote job, you may not need to worry about quarantine; as long as you don't live with anyone you may put at risk when you return.

If you're immunocompromised, is it worth putting your life or health at risk for a vacation? If getting away is a must, maybe consider a getaway to a city or town near you.

What happens if you get COVID while you're on vacation? Can you afford to be quarantined in a different country for 10 to 14 days until you are cleared to travel again? (This is why COVID travel insurance is highly recommended).

After much deliberation, we reluctantly decided to cancel our trip. The risk was simply not worth it. Would I make the same decision if I was cancer-free and carefree? I don't know. What I do know is that travel will still be there when we get a better handle on COVID. I still have other trips to look forward to this year, and hopefully, I'll be able to finally scratch this intense travel bug that's been plaguing me for years now.

So, what is the right choice for you? It deserves a lot of careful consideration. Remember, we are in uncertain times, and the decision to travel needs to be taken more seriously than it ever has. So buckle up, weigh the pros and cons and let the decision-making begin!

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