travel

Summer Holiday – Booked

Today, I have been quite the ballsy one. Chock full of bravado and daring-do. Spunky, even. Brave as a Rolex dealer strolling in full bling bling mode through a favela in Rio. Adventurous. No, not adventurous. The word just isn’t strong enough. Basically, today I strode onto the internet packing a pair of cojones the size of jet engines falling out of the Colorado sky and booked some flights to Bergerac for late June. A summer holiday!

I know, what an utterly ridiculous notion. A summer holiday indeed. Lockdown must have gotten me all a little delusional. But it’s too late now, I’ve gone and done it. I’m committed. Ryanair sure won’t be giving me my money back when I come to my senses and realise I’ve been an utter buffoon. I’m going to have to see this one through. But…don’t think I rushed into this without giving the pros and cons of such a risky endeavour at least a fleeting moment of thought.

The Pros

  • If some of us don’t start booking holidays sometime soon, there won’t be much in the way of holidays left.
  • These flights were dirt cheap. Less than fifty quid each, return. And paid for from the ‘Refunds 2020’ fund that we have set aside.
  • Ryanair will allow us to change the flights without penalty twice before the end of October, if necessary.
  • Mrs P and I, by my reckoning, will likely have had our first jab more than a month before take off.
  • We really, really want to go someone warm that is not England. A soggy beach hut on the south coast just won’t cut the mustard.
  • Infection rates are plummeting. And If the virus is seasonal, then June is surely out of season for it…?
  • We’re currently cold and bored and locked down, and now we have a holiday to look forward to and dream about.
  • We can hotel shop. Fun times! And they will be free to cancel right up to (or very close to) date of travel. No risk, which is how I like it.

The Cons

  • A new variant appears, one that laughs in the face of vaccines and eats our existing anti-bodies for breakfast. It’ll probably be the El Chapo variant.
  • A lack of take up on our flights leads to it being cancelled. Perhaps I should give the airline some free advertising…
  • Boris decides that all travelers who have been silly enough to try and keep the industry alive must have tests on the way there and back at a cost of £100 each way, per person. That, I’m afraid, is holiday over. You can’t add £400 to a four night Euro break.
  • Or worse, that he decides that everyone returning to the UK must quarantine at the sort of expense that has the bailiff and bankruptcy industries rubbing their hands together with glee.
  • Someone decides that vaccine passports are needed to travel (a perfectly good idea) but that a holder is only considered inoculated – and therefore permitted to travel – after the second dose. Which would be a ridiculous idea given the current data on effectiveness. At least permit travel for one dosers within 12 weeks of that jab.
  • The FCO decides that the time won’t be quite right at any point in 2021 to ease the don’t travel anywhere advisory.
  • Macron gets in a big huff about something and decides to say ‘Non’ to visitors who’ve had the AstaZeneca jab. Oh the absolute scenes that would cause.
  • The vaccine rollout is delayed and Mrs P and I are left hanging on for a dose of AZ’s finest corona juice.

I am, as I have tried to be throughout the pandemic, pragmatic. I’ve no intention of taking foolhardy risks. I’ve suffered at the hands of a virus quite enough in the last couple of years thank you very much and have no desire for a repeat performance. But one wants to enjoy life too. And I fully accept that life will never be a zero risk event.

The bottom line is this. The cost of our flights was low enough that we could walk away and lose the cash without feeling too devastated. Indeed, the disappointment of not having our holiday would hurt more. There’s plenty that could go wrong between now and June. Heck, there’s plenty that could go wrong between now and dinner time – this is still 2021. Mrs P and I will just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

But I feel a growing confidence that normal is on its way back. Ultimately, the decisions that need to be made to reopen travel corridors are not ours to make. We are at the mercy of the powers that be. Some experts see May 1st as the date things get going. Others believe August is more likely. Boris will give us a clue tomorrow evening as he reveals his roadmap out of lockdown.

Stay tuned.

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6 thoughts on “Summer Holiday – Booked

  1. My traveling companions on the Vancouver-Tokyo cruise in September have talked me into canceling. We booked the same cruise in 2022. That sounds like it is the center of The Forever Away.

    I did not mind moving the cruise because I was only minimally interested in it. What I was looking forward to was the flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles through Dubai in a first class suite on Emirates. I can no longer use my Alaska miles in the future to book one. So, I may simply fly to Tokyo in September to board the Emirates flight to effectively fly full circuit around the world. Finding my inner Cantinflas. Come to think of it, that is far more enticing than the cruise itself.

    You probably do not need to guess my opinion of your holiday booking. It was the logical thing to do. May you share the same excitement of my anticipated flight.

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    • A first class suite? Tokyo? Both have me sold. In your shoes, I’d need little persuading to go for it. If only because it makes a great story to tell folks, about the time you took a ‘day trip’ from Mexico to Japan….

      As for my trip to Bergerac. It is possible it will happen. But perhaps unlikely. For me the best case scenario this year is a domestic road trip in late April, Bergerac in late June, Malta in September and Chicago or Merida in October. I’d say they are all 50/50 at best, except Bergerac which is perhaps closer to 15/85.

      The worst case I’m planning for? One solitary trip, to Malta for a week in October. We’ll fly there by changing the Bergerac tickets. Obviously, the worst case is no holiday at all, but one doesn’t need to do much planning for that. And truth be told Steve, whilst it’d be beyond disappointing to go nowhere, so long as we all stay alive, reasonably healthy and financially solvent, there’s always 2022…

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  2. No flies on you! Now that our furry friend has passed away we can consider flights of fantasy as well.
    I’m considering selling one of my bikes, the Gold Wing has turned thirty one summers and I’m thinking of flogging it and buying a more recent one to travel further afield in Canada and perhaps in the US now that the orange menace has hung up his apprentice tool belt! California beckons again but there are wineries here to explore.
    Sadly this virus has taken a huge toll down there and in Mexico and I feel it may be several years before either of them will be safe to travel in without the worry of picking up more than a sniffle unless the inoculation proves to be successful of course!
    The issue of course is whether the jab will protect us going forward or will we need a seasonal jab to keep ahead of the posse as well as the flu jab or perhaps a combination. Fer instance my last flu jab incorporated a sars H1N1 and H3N2 and the influenza B virus know as the Washington strain inhibiters, that last one was a painful one though I think she stabbed the bone with the needle! So there are a lot of questions with open ended answers. The biggest issue here now is the slow down of deliveries from the various suppliers has some clueless ones blaming the messengers. I suspect that if #45 had won there would have been a lesser response to delivering the cure but because Mr. Biden has swung into top gear I bet he persuaded the pharmaceuticals that it would be in their best interests to keep the home fires burning first before their commitments to the rest of the world and that is why our supply has dried up almost completely. Now I could be completely wrong but usually when our neighbours to the south swing their weight around we are left empty handed and that usually means we are put on the long finger!
    Initially we were told that we might get our jab in March but now it might be Octember or the twelfth of never which ever comes first. Hopefully you will not have to wait so long!

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    • I was sorry to hear about Duff. My condolences. But yes, the silver lining is that you can travel now. My mum has seen a lot more of the world since the last of her furry friends went to live under the grass in the back garden.

      It seems likely that the over 50s/vulnerable will all have had their first shot by the end of March to mid April. And then they start jabbing the under 50s. At 48, I’ll be at the head of that queue. Mrs P also – just – fits into the 40 to 50 bracket, so she won’t be long after.

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