Dream Trip Canceled – Now What?

Twenty-one family members and friends of ours, babies to elders, were supposed to leave in early July for a vacation trip of a lifetime to Hawaii. Flights were reserved last October, lodging was booked, everything was ready and all we were waiting on was the time to pass.  I had a countdown widget on my phone – this trip was going to be amazing. Coronavirus (COVID-19) had other plans.

As we watching COVID-19 wreak havoc on the global community, we prayed that it would be kept away from the US.  Once we confirmed our first cases, our family hoped that it would stay away from our region, but deep down we all knew that it was just a matter of time.  We kept asking ourselves what we would do with our trip and we agreed that we would hold out hope and wait a while longer. The airline finally announced that they would allow us to cancel for flight credit if we canceled by April 30th, so we decided that that date would be our action day.  If things did not look better by then, we would cancel.

And so, we did.

Hawaii was still requiring all visitors to quarantine for 14 days and we were not willing to take a chance on losing out on the money we spent for flights. We canceled and automatically received the travel credit to use in the next 24 months.  Not sure when we will be able to travel as a big group again, we manually initiated the request for a refund and that status is still pending.

Our kids were SO excited to finally fly in an airplane and had been talking about Hawaii for months, so they were devastated when they heard us confirm the cancellation of our trip.  We explained the situation to them, of course; but being six-year-olds, they do not fully grasp it.

But Now What?

We really do not know at this point.

We all feel very blessed that we, and all of those in our party, have remained healthy to this point. And of course, that we were even able to make this trip happen in the first place.  My husband and I are now trying to find a place to take the kids for some long weekends, especially now that the State Parks are opening back up.  It is certainly not the same, but we are looking into a few lake houses and cabins so that we can get outside and explore our regional area.

One thing I do know is that we are going to make it fun – and this mama is secretly hoping for a place with no WiFi.

Do you have any suggestions on regional travel destinations?

Kelly Atchetee
Kelly is a Baton Rouge born and Acadiana raised Environmental Engineer. She is married to Bryan and they are parents to their six-year old twins, Oliver & Amelia. After many years in Louisiana’s “Cap City”, she and Bryan decided to move their family closer to home and now reside in Youngsville. When Kelly is not working, she enjoys traveling with her family, playing the silliest games her kids can come up with, and starting craft projects she never seems to finish. She is an LSU alum and can be found sporting purple and gold on any given Saturday. While she enjoys football, LSU baseball is her true love; but don’t fret Cajuns fans – she and her family will always show UL some love, as long as they aren’t playing the Tigers.

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