Should you travel amid the coronavirus outbreak? The Points Guy suggests you 'cancel all trips right now'

The travel industry has taken a hit as the coronavirus pandemic persists. There are still many questions among travelers about to how to proceed now, as well as in the foreseeable future, not to mention what will happen to the industries — airlines, hotels — that make travel possible.

The Points Guy senior news editor Clint Henderson spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle about how the coronavirus has been affecting travel and what customers can do about their already-purchased tickets and hotel rooms. While the Points Guy helps people maximize travel experiences, the website suggests “you cancel all trips right now, domestic and international” to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The Points Guy does not recommend any international travel,” he says. “We’re also trying to dissuade people from domestic travel right now. We're just at the peak of coronavirus and we really don't think you should be traveling right now.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 3 travel health notice on specific countries, recommending U.S. citizens avoid all nonessential travel to these destinations.

“The biggest concerns when it comes to traveling right now is obviously spreading the coronavirus virus and There’s a big movement for people to just stay home right now,” Henderson says. “We don’t know how bad it could get and it’s probably not the time to be taking chances.”

Henderson predicts there will need to be a $50 million bailout for airlines and expects the hotel industry to be impacted as well. People who have already booked travel can contact the places where they initially did the booking but should be prepared to speak with representatives.

“Wait times have been extraordinarily long, but they seem to have gotten a better handle on it now [and] more people have been processed,” he says. “So the airlines and hotels are saying that you can cancel online and then get a refund later, you don't even necessarily need to talk to someone.”

Those who booked with hotels and airlines using points also now have an opportunity to get their points refunded, which Henderson notes is typically reserved for elite members. And with the many great deals that are a consequence of coronavirus, customers may be tempted to book a later trip, but he says that may not be such a good idea.

“The Points Guy does not believe the time is right for booking any travel,” he warns. “Instead, come up with that dream list, your top 10 list, your must-see list, figure out where you wanna go, your dream vacations and we'll tell you when the right time to book is.”

For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides. 

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