HOLIDAYS – Even if some borders reopen, there is still uncertainty about summer vacations. Should we try vacation abroad and keep your plane tickets already booked? Or is it better to change your plans and stay in France? Or cancel your leave?
According to a survey by Yougov for The HuffPost, 32% of French people have been forced to change their vacation plans due to the current situation (pandemic, economic crisis, resumption of activity). This figure is even higher among young people, who are one in two (49%) between 18-24 years and 44% between 25 and 34 years to modify their holidays. 20% of French people thought it better to postpone their holidays. And 8% of those questioned, meanwhile, simply canceled their projects. According to another survey by Yougov for The HuffPost, only 13.8% of French people plan to travel far by train or plane this summer. 17.8% will wait for summer 2021.
We were able to make the same observation when we launched a call for testimonials to find out if the pandemic had shaken up your vacation plans. Desperation, lack of motivation and confidence in the future, lack of financial resources are evident from the comments left. As it appears, for those planning a vacation this summer, the trip is often organized in France, and with family.
This is the case of Ludivine, who had planned a three-week trip to the United States to celebrate her 20 years of marriage and, she hopes, her son's high school diploma. But the coronavirus epidemic has passed there. “Vols canceled, borders still closed. We just canceled the hotels one by one. We are upset. It had taken two months to plan everything. We don't know when we can celebrate, ”she regrets.
No way to cancel the vacation, but it won't be under the California sun. This summer, it will be the grandparents' house, “in the south, with a swimming pool”.
This disappointment is often compounded by problems related to cancellations. Thus, Ludivine is still awaiting reimbursement by Air France. Like her, Hugo is waiting. Throughout most of August, with four friends, this legal consultant was to visit another friend living in South Korea in Seoul. “We had planned this trip for a long time and it was to be our first big trip with friends. So last year we had thought about the different places we wanted to visit in South Korea. Surely out of enthusiasm, we had booked our plane tickets as early as January, "said the 24-year-old.
Problem: in this Asian country, fourteen days confinement are imposed on passengers on a short stay (less than 90 days). Friends therefore prefer to cancel their trip. But are currently awaiting a decision from the airline: they can only request reimbursement of their tickets if the flight is canceled. “If however it is maintained, we will try to obtain a modification of the flights to leave a week at the end of the year, and this of course, if the pandemic does not start again. Due to all these uncertainties, we haven't rescheduled a vacation so far this summer, "he said.
It’s not all that bad for Aure, photographer 24 years old. Each year, she plans at least one long trip where she mixes leisure and work, taking advantage of her destinations to take photos. “This year, I had to go to Transylvania with my partner. This is an area that attracts me a lot for the wildlife, the reserves, but also the architecture, because there are a lot of castles, "she explains.
Seeing the turn that the epidemic and containment were taking, in April, she made the choice to cancel the trip, booked just earlier, in March. It remains to be seen what to do instead. She then came up with the idea of exploring certain French regions, which she had so far not preferred compared to stays abroad. "I looked at which places attracted me and I fell in love with three regions: the volcanoes of Auvergne, the Pyrenees of the Southwest and the Poitevin Marsh," she lists.
Forget the crisis at all costs
Today, she seems rather excited at the idea of this unforeseen trip, especially since she was disappointed to cancel the first one after months to apprehend it. "But it is only partly postponed, and regions which seemed less exotic to me in fact offer me a really nice perspective," she rejoices. Even if the memory of confinement will remain in a corner of his mind … “We have rented houses or lodgings rather than hotels, and we are leaving by car. That way, we are as independent as possible, ”she adds. Practical: in the event of a renewed crisis, she and her companion will be able to take advantage of their accommodation a bit, or return in disaster without depending on anything.
Then there is Gwen, who is a nurse and intends to make sure that this vacation makes her forget the crisis. Indeed, at the height of the epidemic, she was on the forehead. So these holidays in Corsica, they were impatiently awaiting them. “I had planned nautical activities, swimming in natural pools. But we will not leave given the health problem which is exceptional for them ”, she indicates. Instead, she will relax with the family in Vendée. In the meantime, she sees the glass half full: "This week, I plan to go to the north coast with my boy. Soak up the sun, get together with the family, have a good time, "she says. And to turn the page: "a story of changing our minds and forgetting this period of health war".
Survey conducted online from June 17 to 18 on a representative sample of 1,005 French people aged 18 and over.
See also on The HuffPost: These refuges in the French mountains will make you forget about confinement