Coronavirus canceled their group travel plans. They still plan to meet up — virtually

Mar 22, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The four friends met up for a lighthearted chat over drinks and laughs during a challenging few weeks worldwide. But they didn’t meet up in person — they weren’t even on the same continent.

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more. 

The cancellation of a well-planned trip might prompt a rain check on scheduling future plans for some. But for these friends, it meant rethinking what real-world connection looks like: chatting over wine in two countries and taking silly photos.

As the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 spreads globally, travelers are finding ways to stay connected with their travel buddies — even if their trips have been postponed.

TPG Lounge member Christian, who is based in Denver (DEN), and his crew aren’t letting canceled plans get in the way of fun. He and his travel partner Brenda initially planned to surprise a buddy who lives in Spain in mid-May, but the trip was canceled because of coronavirus concerns. Christian said Brenda was high-risk for coronavirus and his friends across the pond, Thomas and Sandra, are under mandatory quarantine in Spain.

Courtesy of Christian M Frank Fas
Courtesy of Christian M Frank Fas

“We FaceTime once a day, when the 7-hour time zone difference is comfortable for all,” Christian told me through Facebook Messenger. The four friends met on a scuba driving trip in Cozumel in 2018.

Other TPG Loungers are also getting creative. Here’s what they told me.

Katy in Wisconsin was scheduled to visit her mother, her mother’s best friend and partner.

“The trip was supposed to be a long weekend (this upcoming weekend) to visit them at Leann’s in Washington state, spend some time in Vancouver, WA, and go to Astoria WA,” Katy said. “We’ve been texting and chatting on the phone so far. We are planning to video chat this weekend probably via [Facebook] Messenger. Maybe drinks or dinner together kind of thing.”

Now that travel plans are out of the window, what’s next?

“I have a [Delta] credit waiting for me when I rebook, we’re hoping to make the trip happen this summer depending on how everything goes,” Katy said.

Blake, a fellow TPG Lounger, was scheduled to visit Chicago with a few pals over the weekend. Chicago reported over 300 cases of coronavirus as of March 21 and the city’s mayor has put a “stay at home” order in place.

With that in mind, Blake replanned a whirlwind weekend with her friends, all from her home and without seeing them.

“With the recent shelter in place order, we [can] now no longer see each other or eat [at] a restaurant or go to an escape room, so we decided to do a virtual spa party,” Blake said. “We are going to put on face masks and use other beauty products and then do a Facebook video chat.”

How are you keeping the spirit of travel alive during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured image courtesy of Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.