France the French way


Change of Travel Plans!

Posted: 2011-05-26

You’ve planned this great holiday through Egypt and Tunisia. Then the news headlines come “Riots in the Streets of Cairo”. What on earth do you do? Do you go on your planned trip? So you change your plan and you organise a cruise through Scandanavia starting in Oslo. Your bags are packed and then you read the headlines “New Volcano in Iceland blows its top!”. What on earth do you do?

It sounds like this traveller is having a dose of the bad luck blues, doesn’t it.  Well actually it’s all of us, you and me. It’s without doubt that we have all been in a similar situation more than once in our travelling life.

In my travel planning business over the last twenty years I’ve experienced everything; two Iraq wars, nationwide strikes through France (often!!), Bird Flu, the attacks of 9/11, volcanoes, recessions and regular regional country unrest.

There's always something that may disrupt our travel plans? What do you do?

On 1 June this year I have had a trip planned escorting a tour group through Morocco and the South of France.  Four weeks ago however I advised my group that I had cancelled my group travelling through Morocco, and instead we were going to travel to Portugal. My travel members were beginning to show anxiety to the Arab unrest that was sweeping the north of Africa. I advised them that it could have been possible to proceed but that we would need an escape plan in place in case things turned nasty in that country. John, one of my travellers said “but when I go on holiday I don’t want to worry about anything – I never want to be looking behind me to see if any trouble is brewing”.

So instead we are now going to Portugal, Provence and Paris, and we are going to have a ball!

Anyway, days after making the decision not to travel to Morocco, there were headlines announcing the bombing in the central square in Marrakech, where ten tourists were killed. So we travel to other destinations with a good feeling in our travel legs!!

But now that we are just about to begin our tour of Portugal, where I will arrive in a few days, we get news of another volcano – if it’s not one thing it is another!!

What is the situation when you have to cancel your travel plans. Travel insurance will certainly cover you for travel plans disrupted by health and other issues, but when it comes to unrest in a country, the situation is very complicated. Most travel insurance companies will only reimburse you in “extreme” situations – even if your country offers a travel advisory not to travel to a country this is not enough to immediately claim for a travel insurance reimbursement.

So on Wednesday I meet my group in Lisbon, where we will begin our three week tour. So providing no more international disasters take place in the next few days, think of me over the weekend sitting in a plane for several days as I happily make my way to Portugal about to being our own “journey of discovery”.  I look forward to updating you on my progress!

I’ll go to Morocco another time!