Will we ever travel again?

Travel Planning

Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it but in these ever-changing times this is a question that every traveller, housesitter, backpacker and tourist is asking themselves. With the world locked-down the lack of knowledge about the direction our future will take is increasingly hard to handle. This obviously affects every single person with prospective holiday or travel plans but is a question that perhaps looms even larger in the minds of full-time travellers than most.

What’s the situation?

Currently the UK continues to be heavily locked down with a whole raft of restrictions being applied to our daily lives. These do appear to be slowly easing but with regard to travel the landscape is still completely unknown. The government have said that the hospitality industry, which includes hotels and holiday accommodation, may be open at some stage after July 4th. Websites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Expedia allow bookings from that date but they are conditional on an actual official decision. The same applies to camping and holiday sites.

Travel Planning


How does this affect our lives?

Our JWalking existence consists of a combination of backpacking, housesitting, volunteering, and visits to friends and family. None of these are possible at the moment under the current Covid-19 restrictions. We have been unbelievably lucky to have been able to stay down here in glorious Devon in a self-contained apartment for as long as it takes due to the immense kindness of Rose and Jim.

Flattening the Curve in Devon

On March 23rd we were completely booked up with a complicated calendar full of trips and housesits all the way through to the beginning of September. With flights and train tickets booked, accommodation arranged in Europe and Asia, and housesits organised we had so much to be excited about. Fast forward two weeks and everything had been cancelled.

Refunds and Cancellations

We are not the only people affected by this situation of course and are thoroughly enjoying our Devon adventure but the shadow of an unknown future hangs heavily in the air.

Are we planning anything at the moment?

No. We can’t plan or organise a thing as we have no idea when we will be able to leave Devon let alone book any trips or housesits. We are both itching to restart our travelling lives but are having to be patient and just wait until a decision is made. We talk about the future all of the time and about places we would like to visit and things that we would like to do, but it’s all just talk. We have lots of ideas for mini-adventures both at home and overseas but once again they are currently just ideas.


Are we planning to housesit again?

Yes of course, and we do actually have a few friends and previous housesitting hosts that we have been in regular contact with that want us to return. They are all in exactly the same position as us of course with holidays and trips being cancelled but as soon as they are able to go on holiday I am convinced that we will be receiving a few emails asking for our services. More waiting though unfortunately.

A huge consideration for us is that even though we may be able to get to a housesitting location we would need to be able to book accommodation in Premier Inns or Travelodges for those odd days as we travelled. Without that option it just wouldn’t work out.

Housesitting


Will our travelling lives be the same?

I guess that we both hope that once the restraints are off we will be able to return to exactly the same sort of nomadic existence that we previously enjoyed but it may not be that simple. We have always hopped from one place to another meeting friends and staying with family on a regular basis but may have to accept that our lifestyle could make people nervous in our company in the future. However careful we are we completely understand that our heavy use of public transport and continual movement from one house or hotel to another makes us potentially risky guests in some peoples eyes. This is something we have to carefully consider and will become an important factor in our future plans.

Travel Planning

I don’t think we’ll be going overseas in the next six months but that’s absolutely no problem for either of us because we love our country and there is so much of it that we haven’t yet seen. We have lots of mini trips in mind throughout England and Wales and hope that the housesitting world open up again to compliment those travels.


What are we waiting for?

Initially we are waiting for an announcement from Boris and the government on when UK travel will be possible. Rules regarding overnight stays public transport use, and visiting peoples houses will have to have eased before we can even think about moving on. We are in the process of drawing up a list of prerequisites that have to be met before we can move on. Requirements such as train travel being available, hotels being bookable, new housesits being advertised, and family being comfortable with us staying all have to be met.

Plus, according to Jo, the most important requirement for future travel ……….. coffee shops need to be open! And she wants her coffee in a proper cup too!

Coffee


So will our lives be different?

Undoubtedly they will but there is just no knowing how different. Face masks whilst travelling and continued social distancing will become the norm with hand hygiene and avoiding face-touching part of our regular lives. Our nomadic lifestyle involves meeting and interacting with a lot of different people in differing locations and we desperately do not want that to change. If it has to though we are very adaptable and will change our travelling ways to suit the changing travel environment.

Hopefully this crisis is just a Pause in our travels and not a Stop.

JWalking Backpacking


51 comments

    • It won’t be over for quite a while will it and hopefully that second wave will never come as the majority of people here are still obeying the advice and doing exactly as instructed. Very small minority breaking rules currently. Be interesting to see how it goes with shops opening tomorrow.

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    • We’re keeping optimistic as always and enjoying our stay in Devon but it would be good to have an idea of what the future holds. It’s the not-knowing and hope that makes it so much tougher.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Here in NZ our travel and social restrictions are completely lifted, which is great for our motorhome lifestyle. We do like a bit of housesitting too, but even with the virus effectively gone in NZ there are very few listings as people are still nervous, or financially strained. Those that do list are swamped with applications. Even with our great profile of reviews we get rejected. Good luck with your future applications. Maybe make plans on volunteer work…

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    • Great that you are able to return to travelling around NZ but understand the housesitting situation totally. I think that is bound to happen here initially too as people get more confident and start to venture further afield.

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  2. I think this pause is short term pain for long term gain. We’ll look back on 2020 in the future knowing that everything was stopped but it was worth it to get this virus under control. We’re allowed to travel within our state and soon that will be eased to travel within Australia, but we’re in no hurry to venture far just yet. Stay put and stay safe.

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    • Hopefully it is a short term issue to sort the world out in the long run. We aren’t allowed to travel anywhere that takes longer than a day with no overnights but that will ease I hope. We’re okay here for the next couple of weeks but after that ……

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  3. You are lucky, as we are, we can both enjoy our own countries, and we both know we’ve by no means touched on what there is to see without leaving our own shores. Many Brits only holiday in Spain with no idea what’s on offer in their own country, and many Australians only leave their immediate area for their annual pilgrimage to Bali. In some ways we’re on a bit of adventure I guess, a part of ground breaking history. Surreal as it all is, both you and we are resilient enough to be able to go with the flow and enjoy the drift wherever that drift may take us. I suspect that even if we remained confined to a small radius you and we will still be able to find our own un-chartered destinations. A walk done in reverse, or a different season brings with it a whole new experience. Just keep those boots on and you’ll be right!

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    • You are so right about people not exploring their own country yet heading for sunny overseas locations. Seems crazy to us. We are so happy travelling around England as there is so much to see here.

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  4. I hope the pause button doesn’t stay on too long for you Jonno and Jo, but you are wise to be realistic and patient. It’s starting to ease up here in Australia but no international travel for for some time to come, except maybe to NZ. We’re quite happy to explore our own country for a while but I really want to visit my daughter and granddaughter in the UK. I know I have to be patient and I’m willing to do that as she is still so vulnerable. Glad you have some rough plans!

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    • Think we all just have to remain patient and bide our time until the world feels a little safer. Australia is starting to look as if it’s getting back to normal now but we have a long way to go still here.

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  5. It’s difficult to predict isn’t it? Let’s hope things soon improve and we can travel again. It would be lovely to explore further afield in England… this might be possible in July although I’m thinking this will mean huge traffic jams and queues and overcrowding…

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    • It could be a frantic summer season if it opens up couldn’t it? So much to see and do all around England though, never run out of things to do or places to go .

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  6. Good to be optimistic in this rare scenario. we all miss the normal and am sure all will change. Lets be cautious though the lack of enough information draws more confusion even for the leaders steering us into the future. God bless us all

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  7. Fingers crossed that the Covid-19 vaccine that they will start human trial testing this week will be effective and we can get back to a normal existence in the hopefully not to distant future. Great that you have no accommodation worries at the moment and I’m sure that you’ll discover more of our beautiful island when the lockdown situation eases a little more. All the best to both of you 🙂

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    • Let’s hope that vaccine gets through the trials and can be used to help us all move on. Not holding my breathe though. Hopefully it all ease a little in a month allowing us to start thinking of future travels and start planning a few things.

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    • Let’s hope it’s a pause and that this easing won’t make anything worse. We’re hoping to see the situation get better at the beginning of July but you never know. Not planning anything overseas for at least six months though.

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  8. It won’t be forever. New normal, new normality or whatever buzzword will be here soon enough. Regardless of public health big business runs the planet and they need to look after those wonderful shareholders! The ideal would be a wonder vaccine so we can all go about as if nothing has happened, much like they do in Ashford right now!

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  9. Eep! I didn’t realize you had a whole year of travel plans booked before covid-19 hit! Goodness, that must have been a bit of a nightmare in terms of refunds!

    I am so glad you had a good base, at least for now, and I will love following along with your UK-based adventures for now. 🙂

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    • Yeah we had quite a few bookings but they’ve all been sorted and cancelled now. Did a post ‘Refunds and Cancellations’ all about refunding issues. Still working on them after 12 weeks though. Happy to be settled here in lovely Devon now and just waiting until we can start planning our lives again.

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  10. The different rules for different countries things is problematic too! I know many of my family and friends in the US are already taking road trips to other states (which is not very bright in my opinion, but they don’t listen to me), and I keep getting asked when I’m coming for a visit, since they can’t seem to get it through their heads that this is not something legally possible at the minute, not that I’m particularly eager to hop on a plane anyway. I do miss travelling to Europe, and had some places that I was planning on going this summer, though fortunately hadn’t actually booked anything. I’m still being far more cautious than others in my age group about going out, but I do think it would be lovely to at least be able to travel somewhere in the UK before summer is out, if it’s safe to do so, of course! But I know your situation is more difficult than mine – I don’t have to travel to have somewhere to stay, I just like to!

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    • I don’t understand a lot of Americans who are flouting the rules and risking everyone’s health. Seems very selfish doesn’t it? Hopefully we will all be able to travel around the UK before long. We’re itching to start planning and organising our future now.

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  11. It’s a difficult situation right now, isn’t it? Whilst we do have a base, I am definitely ready to get away after 3 months at home… but equally, I would hate to see a second wave and us all have to go back into full on lockdown again, so it’s a balancing act I guess. I think it’ll be a while yet before things return to anywhere near normal unfortunately…

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    • Think you’re right Kate, could be a long time until the country is back to anything like normal again. Hopefully travel restrictions will ease though so at least we can move around the UK soon.

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  12. We feel like our wings are clipped a bit but totally accepting of it in the current circumstances. We are planning NZ trips now and may even see as much of our own country in the next 18 months as you and Jo have!!!!! We look forward to the day we can start international travel again, and it will come, to see all our friends and family around the world. The family wedding this June has been postponed to June 2021 – it would be lovely to think we can still be there but who knows what the future holds. Unlike you, we are reliant on accrued annual leave from our jobs to make the long trips so still need to keep banking the days so we can hopefully return to the UK mid next year. Devon looks a fab place to be holed up however, life could be a lot worse for us all right?

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    • You’ve done so well in NZ haven’t you? Really seem to have handled the situation almost perfectly unlike us over here. Still huge problems and heavily locked down but hoping for some easing in the coming weeks. You have so much to see in your country that it will be a big adventure getting around to see all of those places you’ve never visited.

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      • Hi Jonno, yep NZ did it pretty well, had the “luxury” of seeing it unfold in the northern hemisphere and Asia and being able to act quickly was gold for us as well as being a small island at the bottom of the world – slight glip this week with two people not being tested and heading to a funeral from Auckland to Wellington and low and behold – covid postive. Believe me the whole country is pretty peeved off! We see getting to see more of our country as a positive spin from all of this madness!!!!!!!

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        • Getting to explore more of your country is a massive bonus and without any tourists to get in your way too! Need to start planning a few trips right now Liz. We’d love to come back and see the few places that we didn’t make it too previously but that may have to wait a year or two now.

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  13. Things have really changed, and it seems that it could be a while before a new normal is reached, but I have a good feeling that JWalking adventures will eventually return stronger than ever 🙂

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