I’m Probably Not Getting On Another Plane In 2020

How did it get to be September?  I’m sure many of you have gone through something similar.  Time seems to be crawling along, and yet it’s September.  The last time I got on a plane was in mid-March.  I haven’t checked my records, but it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve been home this long.  I’m guessing another month or so will be my longest streak since I was in college.

You probably think I’m desperate to get back on a plane.  While I do love to travel, I’ve been surprised by my lack of desire to hop on a plane.  I miss exploring new destinations, as well as revisiting old favorites.  We canceled some pretty awesome trips this summer, including a trip to Bermuda I was really looking forward to.  And, I’ve got family in Nova Scotia that I wish I could spend time with.  And yet, I’m still not ready to hop on an airplane.

The restrictions on travel make it a bit easier to stay at home.  I can’t easily visit my family in Canada right now.  Two weeks of quarantine to go many other places dull my enthusiasm to travel abroad.  And, I’m really enjoying the time I’ve gotten to spend with my family over the past 6 months.

I’ve traveled extensively for work over the past 15 years.  I oversee a team of folks around the country, some of whom are required to travel for their jobs.  We haven’t begun allowing employees to travel by plane for work yet.  When the self-quarantine first started in March, I determined at that time that I wouldn’t ask employees to get on an airplane until I was comfortable doing so myself.

Getting In An Overhead Bin Is Harder Than I Expected


When Will I Fly Again?

It’s taken me a while to come to the realization that I’m unlikely to get back on a plane this year.  I have capable managers taking care of the businesses that I’m responsible for across the country.  There’s no specific need to fly. And, regardless of how serious you think COVID-19 is, I think we can all agree there’s more risk traveling than staying inside your home.

Each of us has a specific risk tolerance. Right now, I’m not willing to take the extra risk associated with airplane travel.  I do think the risk is low.  But, I don’t like the lack of control over others for a long period of time.

do want to get back to traveling.  And, our family has already done a bit of that.  We rented a motorhome.  We also visited Hersheypark, albeit on a day with reduced capacity.  And, I have two other RV experiences I still need to share with you folks.

Heck, there’s even a great story about me buying a pickup truck and messing it up in epic fashion.

Where Does That Leave Us?

I see some of my friends venturing out on airplanes.  I absolutely love seeing them heading to favorite destinations like Disney World and further away to places like Germany and Greece.  There are plenty of stories about travel shaming popping up on a daily basis.  I’ll be honest, it’s not a mentality I really understand.  While I don’t feel comfortable on a plane, I’m excited for those who do.  Sure, I’m a bit nervous a friend might catch COVID-19.  But, travel has always had risks.  Some of those risks are more acute right now.  But, a sound, safe strategy can reduce those risks.  Instead of spending my time frowning at other people traveling, I’d prefer to celebrate their happiness (and hope that those travel dollars will help so many communities that rely heavily on tourism).

The next page in our family’s travel diary will involve a really big pickup truck and a trailer.  We can’t wait to share those memories with all of you as we create them.

In the interim, I encourage you to think of travel in a new light.  We’re looking to explore national parks and other fun places in the US, but I’d love to hear about your adventures.

Where are you traveling?  What does travel mean to you right now?

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  1. Since you asked… my last flight was HPN/ATL/HPN on Delta. When we canceled our JFK/LHR/JFK trip in March, I just assumed I’d re-book for the fall. Sometime in May, I started thinking this trip would be pushed to March 2021. Heck, it was a year away, and the date made sense. So here I am. It’s Labor Day. Now I’m thinking this trip will 100% happen in fall 2021. Let’s talk agin in December.

    My wife and I have traveled near and far over the years. We’ve seen the world, with more to come. The world will still be there when the CoronaVirus moves on (fingers crossed), and we’ll see it once again on the other side.

    The risk/reward isn’t worth it. Stay safe everyone.

    Final word > I’m awfully itchy to smell jet fuel.

    1. Dhammer, I wouldn’t mind smelling some jet fuel, preferably from the pointy end of the plane. Glad to hear you guys are playing it safe. I really thought I’d be traveling in May. There really weren’t any scenarios where I thought it could be a year before I got on a plane. But, I’m starting to think it’s possible.

    1. Unless Pizza lives in one of the authorized states, traveling to Maine requires a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to entry or a 14 day quarantine.

  2. I live in Canada now (I met you a few times when I lived in DC). I haven’t seen family in the US in months, so I’m going to bite the bullet next month and drive to Covidland (the US) to see family, even though I know it means quarantining for two weeks upon return to Canada.

  3. Will do around 105,000 air miles this year, and ~35 countries. It’s easily my favorite traveling I’ve ever done. It’s just… pure traveling.

    Been cruising around eastern Europe for the last 5 weeks before heading for the UK and Portugal for a couple months.

    It’s amazing, and these people could really use our money. Surprised there isn’t more shaming about how badly westerns are hurting tourism around the world by not getting on planes.

    These families are really really struggling without tourists.

  4. My last flight was CMB AUH CDG PHL, arriving 2Feb, EY Biz was great, AA, not too bad. Haven´t been to an airport since and miss it terribly. In fact, I took the job I´m in now because I expected regular international travel. Bloody virus. I´d go back out this week, but none of the countries I need to visit will let CONUS-residing Americans in.

    FWIW, I really miss the DC meet ups, too, looking forward to being able to restart those. At worst I presume you guys are planning something virtual to support TFTs this Christmas?

    1. Chuck, would definitely be great to get a DC meet-up going when it’s safe to do so. I’ve been donating to a local food bank, so I imagine we’ll have some sort of charitable effort going on for the holidays!

  5. Last trip was an early return from Switzerland. I arrived home the end of February. Because of all the places in Europe i had been on my two trips in January and February, including the hot spot in italy snd the UK. I thought i should quarantine. I did not want to be the person to bring it to the U. S. By the end of my 14 days the rest of the Country and most of the world was shut down. Making the most of my home time, taking on some projects i kept putting off. I am most thankful for the time i get to spend with our aging Dogs (Girls). I always wanted to have a summer with no travel to spend with the dogs, and now i have it. I am saving up my points from business credit card spend for a return to the air when the time is right, although i think there will be some separation anxiety on both the dogs and myself when I travel again. The wife will be happy to have me traveling again. Stay save everyone.

    1. Leonard, very well said. Though I bet the wife misses you more than she lets on. The dogs, for sure. I haven’t seen Switzerland in a number of years, but I sure would enjoy being there now. Where’s the first place you’re off to when this is over?

      1. Ed,

        My first trip will be here in the U.S. to the Nashville area to one of our customers where I have several friends I will have not seen in person for a year. Next stop will most likley be Bad Sackingen Germany, through Zurich. From there there are at least a dozen places I want to and need to get to. I will also try to keep my trips short in the begining to not be away from the dogs for too long.

  6. Great logic Ed.

    I’m getting on a plane later this month to head to Yellowstone & Wyoming, a trip we had planned since pre-covid. For months, we’ve debated the pros and cons and at this point, we’ve opted to move forward. If it was to a different destination, we may have opted differently. Like you, we’ve cancelled several other trips we had been looking forward to.

    Is it the right decision? Only time will tell.

    1. Becky, I’m so happy for you! And jealous, since I haven’t been to Yellowstone since I was a kid. And Wyoming is so beautiful. Will you podcast with me when you’re done and give me your thoughts on the whole trip?

  7. I used to travel 100+ times per year. My last trip was in February. 2020 will be my first year without an international trip since 1983! I miss flying but am not looking forward to it right now. It’s just no fun. All the precautions, reduced service, wearing a mask for 25 hours to fly to Asia. It’s not even the virus on planes that tips the scales for me. Just the sheer uncomfortableness and hassle of the whole flying process takes away the joy.

    1. Chris, first year without international travel in almost 40 years, wow! Honestly, I don’t look forward to wearing a mask on a long flight. That just doesn’t sound like fun. I did get an international trip in this year, so I guess my streak remains intact, though shorter than yours!

  8. Ed,

    I am a big fan. Your classes were a life changer for me.
    I hang on your every word. I haven’t been on a plane since February. Every week I grapple with the idea of booking a flight.

    When I saw the title of your recent post, “I’m Probably Not Getting On Another Plane In 2020” I couldn’t wait to read it.
    Finally, a real travel guru is going to tell me why he decided not to travel.

    Sadly, it was all sizzle and no steak.
    Why Ed? You let us down. A person in your position should let us know how you came to this conclusion. I’m not interested in your friends who are globetrotting. I want to know why YOU a travel influenecer came to the decision not to travel.

    Tell me, O enlightned one.

    1. thecouponangel, sorry for not making it clearer. It’s really two main things. There’s the risk of contracting COVID-19 while traveling and it’s all the accompanying hassle. Masks, chances the rules change, quarantine. Awesome sights closed down or restricted. All of it.

  9. I typically fly 225K miles a year. By early March I hit 77K, haven’t flown since, and won’t get on a plane until a vaccine becomes available. I really miss it. I could use a good TSA pat down.

  10. Travelling is in my blood and i love to travel but when i think of Covid-19 situations at my favorite destinations it just give me bad feelings instead i have opted to stay home and work on my blogs, i dont see myself boarding a plane anytime soon till the Covid-19 curve flattens.

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