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Stay Home Now, Travel Later: Changing Course with Coronavirus

Original post date: Friday, March 13, 2020

UPDATE: We are now only posting flight deals for travel for July and beyond.

This is hard. And it's only getting harder.

The coronavirus outbreak has the world on edge. It’s infected 880,000 people and counting, killing more than 44,000. Countries are locking down or shutting out visitors while governments plead with their people to stop moving around to slow its spread.

It’s an anxious time for all of us who love travel. It’s certainly painful for airlines. It’s hard for us as a business that relies on both. But this is bigger than all of that. This is about curbing the spread of a virus that public health experts warn will kill millions without drastic action.

That’s why we’ve asked you all to join us and stop traveling for now unless absolutely necessary.


We all need to do our part to get through this outbreak together, and that involves some sacrifice. To that end, we're doing things a bit differently here at Thrifty Traveler for the foreseeable future.

We’ll continue posting domestic flight deals here daily and sending dirt-cheap international fares to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members. But effective immediately, all those deals will be for travel in July or later. And we’ll continually reassess the situation to determine whether to push that out even farther.

With generous change and cancellation policies from airlines, hotels, and cruise lines, you may not need to make a choice between public health and losing your money on a big upcoming trip. And the unprecedented ability to change or cancel most airline tickets booked this month gives travelers a chance to stay home for now while planning a trip for later – with the ability to reconsider down the road as this all unfolds.

Keep reading below to see everything we’re doing to change course during this coronavirus pandemic.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether to keep traveling or stay home.

Make an informed decision with the input of public health officials and your doctor. But please consider that it’s not just about you, but your entire community – and now the world. Just because you may not get sick doesn’t mean you won’t contribute to the spread of a virus that affects others – especially the elderly and vulnerable – much more.


Don't Give Up on Travel

This is an alarming time, but it’s not all doom and gloom. This will pass, and hopefully, we’ll be back in the skies in no time. By winding down travel now, that day can come sooner.

But that doesn't mean you should give up on travel – just the opposite. Just as travel fuels and replenishes us, cities and countries around the world rely on tourism dollars. Travel will play a critical role in making sure we all rebound from this together.

So keep planning and daydreaming. Just do it from home – for now.

Read our tips on how to safely book a trip for future travel.


From Flight Deals to Coronavirus Coverage, How We're Handling this Pandemic

This is an unprecedented time, so we have made some changes in how we help you spend less and travel more.

Finding cheap flights is at the core of what we do. But while prices have bottomed out for flights nearly worldwide, it's not the right time. So here's what you'll see from us:

  • Every domestic flight deal we post here or send to Thrifty Traveler Premium members will be for travel in July and onwards. As the coronavirus outbreak progresses, we may push that window out even farther.
  • We'll include relevant information on the cancellation and change policies for all of these fares. That way, you can book future travel with confidence that you can change or cancel for free if the situation worsens.

Meanwhile, our team is also covering every twist and turn with coronavirus and how it's affecting airlines, hotels, tourism, and more. It's changing not just daily, but hourly. So we've set up a hub for all of our coronavirus coverage, so you can keep track of it all in one place. We're also keeping a master guide with all of the basics surrounding coronavirus up-to-date.

If you want these stories to come directly to you, sign up for our daily newsletter. You'll get all our ongoing coverage – plus flight deals for future travel, destination guides, and more – delivered every weekday afternoon.

Finally, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We're posting updates as they happen, and always happy to take questions or shed any light on the rapidly unfolding situation.


Bottom Line

As hard as it may be, as drastic as it may seem … putting a stop to travel now will make sure we can all get back on the road (or in the skies) sooner. And more importantly, it could help slow the spread of this global coronavirus pandemic.

Let's get through this together.


6 Responses

  • Thanks for this post and your previous COVID-19 posts. I really appreciate TT’s excellent coverage on this issue.

  • This is great intentional thinking for all of us travelers to get in our minds immediately!! Well stated!

  • You guys are great. (Ditto all the previous comments!)

    This morning, I was considering my plans for an upcoming trip to Mexico (while listening to a podcast on COVID-19), and I’d somewhat concluded that the virus doesn’t seem bad or risky enough to halt my vacation (“Even if I get sick, I’ll most likely recover just fine!”). However, this message is a good reminder that my own travels could put others at risk. I hadn’t really thought of it that way, and I appreciate your approach to this whole situation.

    Thank you for your candor and tact. 🙂

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