Spring 2021 travel plans in limbo for millions of Americans

Back during the initial COVID-19 shutdown in March, most of us assumed thought things would be back to normal by the start of next year.

It was our pandemic travel dream: the virus disappearing and travel to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe returning by New Year’s.

But now, it’s not looking that way.

Carnival Cruise Lines is again pushing back its return to cruising from U.S. ports, from September to November, and now says many of its U.S.-based ships may not sail again until spring.

Carnival has restarted limited cruising in Italy, but most American travelers cannot fly there to take a cruise.

Even European travel guru Rick Steves doesn’t want to travel now, saying he does not want to have to quarantine for 14 days when he gets to a new country.

Besides, Canada and most European countries are still not welcoming Americans except in rare instances, and don’t know when they will.

Spring breaks already on hold

So, from the doesn’t that stink file, the travel planning limbo most of us are in right now.

Where are we going for spring break? Maybe nowhere. And if you have been cooped up for 6 months, that stinks.

A growing number of colleges are already canceling spring break to prevent thousands of students congregating on Panama City Beach and other destinations, and bringing the coronavirus back to campus with them.

However, travel agents say there’s one thing already booking up: beach houses, from travelers using vouchers from last year’s canceled trips.

What you can do

So what options do you have?

If you don’t mind waiting, you may want to see what happens with a vaccine and the virus in general this holiday season.

If it looks like the virus is disappearing, if a vaccine starts becoming available, that may be your cue to book that big spring or summer vacation.

Until then, reserving a flight to Mexico or Europe right now remains a leap of faith. And trying to get a refund if you need to cancel will be as frustrating as trying to get a refund this past spring.

Until a vaccine is in widespread use, and air and cruise ship travel feels safe again, many travelers will likely stick to road trips.

And so our 2021 travel plans, and great hopes for summer travel next year, remain in limbo.

As always, don’t waste your money.

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