COVID-19 Travel Cancellation Guidelines  By COVID-19 Travel Cancellation Guidelines

Recommendations on Cancelling Travel Arrangements

Los Angeles, CA (3/26/20) – This is a follow-up from our previous communication on the Coronavirus: Press Release: Coronavirus & Travel Links 3/12/20

Coronavirus:  Travel Restrictions

As we are all figuring out the new normal with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, many members are in the position of needing to cancel or postpone their travel plans. Our community has suggested some of their best ways to handle this situation, so we have compiled these ideas and our own recommendations in a Q&A format.

If you have another suggestion, please share it in the comments at the bottom of the blog post. Our community as always been respectful and supportive of each other, and this is just the latest – albeit most dramatic – example of how we pull together.

Please proceed with your work and life as safely as you can in this unprecedented time of uncertainty. If you want the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please refer to the World Health Organization website and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Dashboard

Cancelling Travel Arrangements

Question: If I have made a deposit or an entire payment to another member for a home I can no longer travel to due to COVID-19, what are my options?

Answer: First and foremost, if you had bought travel insurance for your arrangements, contact the travel insurance company. We know of at least one member who was able to resolve the situation in this way.

For those without travel insurance, since all payments are arranged outside of our website, you will need to reach out to the other party to explain your current circumstances. We recommend assuming the best of fellow members and trying to remain flexible as you discuss.

Remember, it is possible that the other person may be overwhelmed by transitioning to working at home and/or supervising their children’s online education at home. There is also the possibility that the other member is ill or taking care of sick family members.

If a member is experiencing financial hardship because their work has slowed down, it might be best to suggest repaying the amount in several payments. Perhaps send an email similar to this and follow up with a phone call or video chat.

Dear Host,

I hope you are well. Due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus, I will not be able to stay in your home this Spring as we had arranged back in December. You may be in the same situation of not being able to travel away from your area.

I’d like to discuss the best way for us to arrange re-payment of my deposit to you. Would you prefer to communicate via email or set up a video chat to work out our arrangements?

Thank you,


Postponing Travel Arrangements

Question: I won’t be able to travel right now, but I am working on postponing my travel for later this year. How should I handle this for the home I was going to rent/exchange? How should I handle if I am a tenant and had arranged to rent someone else’s home?  

Answer: It may be that the other party is in the same situation as you, since many people’s professional and personal travel has been halted in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

If your potential guest or host’s plans are dependent on an approved sabbatical through their institution or company, they may not have the flexibility to postpone.

But you never know, and it’s best to contact the other party directly to inquire about their flexibility (understanding that travel restrictions are out of our control at this point for most people). Try sending an email like this:

Dear Host,

With the coronavirus travel restrictions, I will not be able to travel this next quarter. I may be able to reschedule my research/travel for the Fall quarter. Would it be possible for me to rent your home from October to December, assuming travel bans are lifted? Since I have already made my deposit to you for this Spring’s trip, I’m hopeful we can apply that to the Fall quarter.

Please let me know so we can discuss possible arrangements and revise our contract reflecting the new dates.

Thank you,


Currently on Sabbatical

Question: I am already on my sabbatical that was scheduled to end soon. I won’t be able to travel home yet due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but I may not have a place to stay if my host needs to come home to their house. I’m also concerned about cleaning the home before their arrival here. What should I do?

Answer: If you are already on sabbatical and staying in another SabbaticalHomes member’s place, you might need to stay longer with the current travel restrictions. The member may not be able to come home due to the same travel restrictions.

The best thing to do is to reach out to the other member and find out what their situation is, and how both of you can revise your plans. If you are not able to leave, but your sabbatical is over, maybe you can arrange to stay in part of the home until you are able to leave. You and the other party may negotiate for a smaller payment for that period of time.

If that is the case, please be very careful to allow for additional cleaning time and possibly staying separate for 5-7 days to simulate quarantining. Protect yourself and each other as much as possible with frequent hand washing and disinfecting tactics of hard surfaces. This is probably a very uncommon scenario, but please be as safe as you can, using extreme caution. Please click on the article below from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine if you need specifics.

Related: How Families and Roommates Can Effectively Self-Isolate during COVID-19 Member Comments

We welcome any input or comments on our blog, especially if you have information that you feel will help our global community. This is an especially important time to come together virtually and rely on the intelligence and strength of our members as we all navigate this public health issue.

If you need more information or direction on negotiating contracts with other members on, please refer to Home Rental, Home Exchange & Vehicle Use Agreement Guidelines on our blog. is a trusted, privately-owned website dedicated to the temporary housing needs of academics, scholars, writers, artists, and friends worldwide. With listings in over 57 countries, it has been proudly run by founder Nadege Conger since 2000. Let us know what you think! Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.