The Coronavirus situation is on all of our minds these days. There is no denying that it has taken its toll on the travel industry as a whole. We applaud the Costa Rican government for taking the unprecedented steps of closing their borders to international travel from March 16 - June 30 to protect their citizens and reduce the spread of Coronavirus. The closure caused many complications in the travel industry but was necessary, as are the ongoing efforts the country is taking to stop the spread of the disease. These efforts are working, and the UN applauded Costa Rica for its

Coronavirus Updates in Vacation Planning

Unfortunately, recently the joy of travel in many cases has become stressful. But like everything else in life, we have choices. We can choose positivity over negativity. We can choose to improve or to remain the same. We have many choices and plenty of time to think about them at home. We at Pacific Trade Winds choose to maintain positive energy and make lemonade out of the lemons that life has handed so many of us. We choose to work hard (safe from our homes these days) for the best possible solutions and outcomes for our clients during the evolving Coronavirus situation. Hundreds of clients have had to reschedule. We have devoted all of our resources to help them do so, at no additional cost for our services. Some clients have decided to cancel their vacations. We are working hard to expedite documentation to their respective trip insurance companies, doing our part to avoid delays.

We choose to work through better agreements with our best, like-minded, travel service providers to ensure that our clients can book with the security of Lifelong Deposits and No Charge Rescheduling for PTW services*. We have identified how hundreds of travel service providers reacted to the Coronavirus situation, both positive and negative. We are forging stronger relations with the most responsible hotels and service providers so you can book with confidence, postpone payments until necessary, and working to obtain the best hotel rescheduling and cancellation policies for our clients. We are working with the Costa Rica Tourist Board and other government agencies to help to resolve current issues and also advocating for appropriate protections and regulations in the future. Essentially, we are looking at the Coronavirus situation as an opportunity to improve our company, our travel service providers and their policies, and, ultimately, our offerings and services to you. 

I've Already Booked My Trip. Should I Cancel or Reschedule?

The question of whether to cancel or reschedule is a popular subject and one that many people are currently asking themselves and their travel advisors. Ultimately, you have to decide what is right for you based on your travel dates, various cancellation policies, trip insurance, etc. but we also would like for you to consider the following. It is a stressful time for many of us. Personally, I am looking forward to my next vacation (which I rescheduled from April to September and have planned to reevaluate in August). Daydreaming about my upcoming trip helps me get through the day as I sit at my desk, working from home. There is also another important thing to consider, cancellation at a time like this is a double blow to the hotels and operators in Costa Rica. Many of these independently owned businesses need your reservations on the books to help them through this situation. If you are in the position to do so, we would recommend and ask you to #reschedule. For our part, if you are a PTW client, we will help you to reschedule for free*, as we are waiving modification fees through the Coronavirus situation. We are also postponing payments until they are necessary and with new terms that we've worked out with many hotels. We have been working closely with many clients who are trying to decide based on individual hotel payment and cancellation policies. If you are not already engaged in such discussions with us, and you have a payment coming up or any question about these topics, please reach out to us, and we will be happy to assist.

We Will Travel Again - But When?

Clients frequently ask when we recommend planning travel to Costa Rica. We don't have a crystal ball but recommend to plan travel dates for September 2020 and later. Of course, this could change, and we have no way of knowing but do have faith that with all of the brilliant minds and advanced technology around the world working unison, that things will improve soon. One thing is sure, #WeWillTravelAgain. If you book now and have to reschedule later, we will offer free Rescheduling services* and Lifelong Deposits. We can help you to decide on what hotels to choose by highlighting the hotels with the best rescheduling and cancellation policies and even provide their cleaning and sanitation policies on request. We can also offer insights into how they handled the Coronavirus situation in March and April so that you can make informed decisions.

What do we think about booking travel now? Obviously, we are biased, but the reality is we are now seeing the best prices in a decade and the best policies ever. We are finding some crazy deals out there that require you to pay in full and travel sometime in the next two years. You will not find anything like that from PTW. What you will find are real, amazing experiences, loaded with value, at outstanding prices, and with very little down to book your trip. With our efforts from the best hotels, we can push the balance payments back to reasonable times, and we will review the current situation with you before any payment dates in case you want to postpone. So when should you book? If you have $100 to spare in the form of a Lifelong Deposit*, there has never been a better time to book, and especially if you are considering the Holiday Season. You can lock in hotels that are typically booked 12-18 months in advance for those peak season dates, get the best rooms, at the best rates, and with the best policies, we have ever seen. The only catch is that you work closely with your travel advisor to ensure you are selecting the hotels with the best policies and procedures.

Protect Your Travel Investment with Trip Insurance

We can sum this paragraph up for you in one sentence - Protect your travel investment, BUY TRIP INSURANCE with a CANCEL FOR ANY REASON policy that covers your needs.

Even before the Coronavirus situation, buying trip insurance went without saying for many seasoned globetrotters. But if this is your first international vacation or big trip, you may not understand the significance of trip insurance. An easy start would be to think about driving your car. While chances are pretty slim that you'd have an accident on any given day, you wouldn't think about driving your vehicle without auto insurance. International travel can be expensive, and there can be a lot of variables, so why wouldn't you protect your travel investment from the unexpected with trip insurance?

Let's clear the air; We are a vacation planning service and travel agency, not a trip insurance company. We will help you plan the trip of a lifetime and organize it to perfection, but hotels and other travel service providers do have cancellation policies and have the right to enforce them. We will work with you to help you book with the hotels with the most flexible booking and cancellation policies and can assist with rescheduling, but there are limits as to what we can do and especially the closer you get to your travel dates. When you initiate our services by agreeing to our policies when you make a payment, we are obligated to pay the providers according to their payment policies. If not, the hotels will cancel your reservation. Once the hotel or provider is paid, according to their policies, their cancellation policies go into effect. And this is where trip insurance comes in. A good Cancel for Any Reason policy protects your travel investment from the unexpected.

Just like any other kind of insurance, you will have many options from which to choose. We strongly recommend choosing a well-established company and "Cancel For Any Reason" policy. Be sure to read the fine print before selecting the plan. Some Cancel for Any Reason plans do not cover pandemics such as Coronavirus, but there are some plans available. Here is a link to great practical information on this topic, specific to Coronavirus insurance.. Here is another link that details various options for trip insurances

#WeWillTravelAgain

In summary, the Coronavirus situation has changed our lives. We are all adapting and making important life decisions that many of us took for granted in the past. Here at Pacific Trade Winds, we are committed to innovating, evolving, and improving our company because, in the end, #WeWillTravelAgain.


*Lifelong Deposits

If you delay or cancel your trip for any reason, your $200 deposit will be valid until you are ready to go. It is also transferable to a friend.

No Charge Rescheduling & Modifications

For travelers with existing bookings and new bookings, we will waive modification fees for those that wish to change their travel dates to future travel dates for all booking plans.

Restrictions may apply. Please review our policies for details.  

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