Local travel agent shares tips, advice for spring break travelers in midst of coronavirus concerns

Airport travelers
Posted at 6:04 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 18:30:17-05

CLEVELAND — It's almost time for spring break, and like clockwork, travelers will be flooding the airports to get to destinations across the globe. But the COVID-19 coronavirus is still spreading.

"We are still booking destinations, it's just we have to make sure that we're booking safe destinations," said Dr. Jasmien Lewis, the owner of Travel Life Services.

Lewis says travel insurance is key.

"Even though there's destinations that are safe, it may not be safe by the time you travel, we don't know," she said.

If you have travel insurance already, Lewis says lots of them only cover "unforeseen events." The coronavirus is now considered a "foreseen event" unless you purchased tickets far in advance. Lewis says you have to read the fine print or call the insurance company directly to figure out exactly what's covered.

"I am definitely telling all of my clients, even the ones who don't normally get travel insurance, to get the travel insurance and to make sure that it has the clause of being able to cancel for any reason," she said.

Lewis says if you didn't get the best insurance, all hope isn't lost. Many airline carriers like Delta and United are waiving change fees because of the outbreak. If you're traveling domestically and you still want to go on your trip but don't want to fly, there are other options, Lewis said.

"We haven't had a lot of people cancel or stop plane tickets or flights anywhere with our particular agency, however I can see the need for maybe domestically if someone's able to drive, that they may say, 'Hey I just want to cancel the flight and just drive,'" said Lewis.

If you didn't use a travel agent to book your trip, Lewis says it's okay to contact a local one; she's been fielding calls from lots of worried travelers.