Aussie Mum: ‘Virus won’t stop my family holiday’
Your holiday is all paid for - tickets and accommodation booked and you're ready to go.
Then there are the friends and family who are questioning your plans, drilling you on whether it's the right time to be heading off on a holiday right now.
I've lost count of the number of posts I've seen on social media over the past few days from Aussies asking whether they should still be continuing with their travel plans, or if it's time to ditch the dream amid mounting coronavirus global fear.
The social media debate rages, insults are flung, people are called "certifiably insane" to even think about travelling at the moment, while others have been labelled "bad and irresponsible parents" for admitting they still plan to take their children on holiday over Easter.
To date, coronavirus has infected around 120,000 people worldwide, resulting in 4000 deaths. In Australia three people have died from the virus so far, and they were aged 78, 82 and 95.
While I understand the Federal Government's reasoning behind travel bans to the likes of Italy, China, Iran and South Korea, the horse has already bolted from its metaphorical stable.
Yes, we should be prioritising the safety of ourselves, our families and others, but in the traditional form of mateship, we should also be looking after our Motherland right now too.
Our economy is still reeling from the bushfires, which caused an estimated $4.5 billion loss to the tourism industry, and research from UBS Australia's share analysts and economists says we could be slugged with at least another $1 billion in services exports, maybe much more, if coronavirus-led travel disruptions are extended.
And honestly, if you're from Sydney or Melbourne, chances are you might be even less at risk than at home - no one is forcing you to stay in the big cities.
So why not ditch the crowds for some great outdoors?
Low interstate airfares provide a great opportunity to travel within Australia - and if you really don't want to be on a plane, dig out the tent or hire a campervan.
While it's widely believed you're at more risk of contracting a virus on an aeroplane (because you're breathing "stale" air), research shows cabin air can actually be better quality than in the average office because it's being changed at a faster rate.
Many traditional airconditioning systems (including in offices) recirculate the same air to save energy, whereas an aeroplane filter sucks in fresh air from outside and mixes it with the air already in the cabin. This means that half of the air is fresh at any one time.
Airline fares, both domestic and international, have plummeted and hotels, car hire, excursions and everywhere you look there are huge deals - of which are unprecedented, with discounts of less than 50 per cent of the usual fees - in a bid to draw in more business.
Worldwide, tourist hot spots are emptying out, so you can visit unhampered by the usual crowds, and flights to destinations like Las Vegas and Miami are as much as 35 per cent cheaper. You can even fly to Europe or the UK now for just $500 or thereabouts.
There are plenty of beautiful places, both here and overseas, which are normally bursting with
visitors, but right now will welcome you with open arms. That means amazing accommodation, exciting experiences and really getting to know the people in your destination - without the hordes.
So, should we really become recluses due to the hysteria over coronavirus?
I don't think so.
Tamara Wrigley is a mum-of-two and travel editor of Profile Magazine. Follow her @tamwrigley_official
Are you still going ahead with your holiday this year? Comment below.