Reflections of 2020 – How The Pandemic Affected Our Travel Plans Last Summer…
By Marcella Meeks
Our family travel plans for June and July 2020 were awesome but short-lived due to the restrictions and quarantine guidelines set forth in some states that we were planning to travel to. We had to cancel out our plans in several states and because we had booked and paid for rooms in advance (some of these rooms were cheaper because we took the No Refund way out for cancellations) not thinking about the situation at hand – simply thinking we were saving money. We saved a few dollars at the time of the booking, but lost out in the end because we couldn’t make our destination due to Covid-19 restrictions and quarantine rules set for those states, and the motels wouldn’t refund us our money.
We left Louisiana, drove across Texas and made it to Colorado last year where we spent the first several nights in Salida, then on to the Great Sand Dunes Lodge in Mosca, then to South Fork. We were heading to New Mexico for five nights, then to Las Vegas, Nevada for 5 nights, and come back through Arizona and then back home. But after our nights were up in Colorado, we found out that New Mexico had quarantine rules set up. If you come into their state to stay more than two nights, you’d have to quarantine for 14 days, as well as Nevada.
No way could we stay in New Mexico, and Nevada for 14 days each state. We had other plans. I called and we couldn’t get our money back and couldn’t afford to stay that many days in either place. Just luckily, I left Arizona rooms open (I didn’t book rooms for us there) so we could travel any way we wanted, so we didn’t lose anything in Arizona.
Our vacation money I had saved for us went out the window right then and there. Colorado was the only state that didn’t have quarantine rules in effect but our money was already spent and lost on the rooms in New Mexico, and Nevada. We were on a strict travel budget as it was and couldn’t afford to pay for additional rooms especially after having lost our money elsewhere so the only thing we could do at that point was turn back and go home. So that’s what we did. It upset me so bad knowing that my grandchildren (as well as myself) were counting on going to Nevada and Arizona because we had never been before.
Hundreds of dollars lost – down the drain in 2020 because of the pandemic and no, we never got our money back. It was hard returning home and loosing all that money but we have limitations on what we can spend and believe me, the whole virus thing cost us way more than that trip was worth. I’m not saying we didn’t enjoy being in Colorado – we did. It was wonderful. But we had plans to go to the Hoover Dam in Nevada which we found out at the last minute that it was closed due to the pandemic. All our plans had to be cancelled right then and there.
It took me a long time to save that kind of money for a trip like that, and it was hard just forgetting it especially having lost that kind of money on rooms that we didn’t get to stay in whatsoever.
I want to plan our summer vacation this year but I am not paying forward this time. We might save a few dollars in booking fees but I learned my lesson in 2020, especially when this country is going through the pandemic crisis. From what I have heard on the news, it’s not getting any better and there is another virus creeping in.
2021 travel plans are under way but I’m not booking anything and paying in advance until we leave and know that there are no restrictions set forth. When the 2020 vacation plans were made it was well before the pandemic had nearly shut the country down. It might cost me a few dollars more in the long run, but I’m not willing to throw away my money this year on nothing. We could have used that money that was wasted in Colorado and stayed there the entire time. Hindsight 20/20 I guess you can say!
My plans do include these states in 2021 but the only way we will go is pay when we get there and if there are no pandemic quarantine restrictions.
We know how to social distance ourselves and wash our hands and wear a mask – we’ve practiced that for an entire year now and it’s second nature.
This country is hurting bad because of the pandemic. I’m sure people are hurting too and have lost family members to Covid-19. But people are also dying from heart attacks, cancer, flu, diabetes, old age, abortions, and suicide and murder – right on down the line. I don’t exactly see the government making a big deal out of any of this – matter of fact Biden is all for abortion… No, I won’t even get started on political matters… a story for a different time, I guess.
Before I bring this reflective piece to a close, let me do mention that businesses everywhere are hurting because of the Covid-19 pandemic and what the whole
thing has done to our country. Our country has become so fearful that most people have become prisoners in their own world – shut-ins if you please.
In October 2020 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 mouth cancer the second time around – the first time was in October 2017. I had to have major surgery again and nearly died twice from the results of the radiation from the first cancer. Yes, I was frightened but I am alive and going to go on living until my time on this earth is up. I’m not going to hide and become a recluse – a prisoner and live my life like that just because I had cancer. It can come back and kill me. I know that could happen just like I know someone (even me) could get the Covid-19 virus. But people – this is America. We need to restore it back to where it was before 2020 and live our life free of restrictions and fear.
Social distance, wear your masks and wash your hands. Take disinfectant wipes, pinesol, bleach and peroxide and clean everything if you must. Clean everything you can. Heck, take your own linen and towels if you think you need to. I do that anyway when we go places because we camp out sometimes, and it is necessary to have things available.
Just don’t become prisoners to this whole pandemic thing. That alone can kill you. Let’s get out, take a stroll, go camping or hiking and live our lives as happily as we can. Fear will destroy your life if you let it.