Post Covid Holiday & Lifestyle plans

Just love this place !!

I have been thinking a little about what we may do differently as we emerge from Covid-19 lockdown. In truth, the country is already starting to unlock, but with slightly different motivations:

Private Companies are desperate to start as they are not far (and in some cases already past) the point of non-survival. Meanwhile, the public sector is wanting to stay home longer for ‘safety’. The difference being mainly they are fully paid, and businesses are out of cash with staff on 80% furlough.

The possible 14-day self isolation for travellers is not only unenforceable at a practical level, but pretty idiotic – if there is that risk, don’t travel, but will only hasten the demise of many travel companies and airlines.

So Where are we Right Now …

Earlier this year in January I looked at our budget plan, and then in March had a think about how things may change post Covid-19.

2019 Budget Review and look at 2020

Post Covid Budget thoughts

The Holiday side re-based down to £5K and in all honesty I don’t see why this is either too small or not big enough. We originally had planned on going abroad at least 4 times this year: a week in the Canaries in March/April, a week or two in Porto Santo (off Madeira), another week in the Canaries and some time in the South of France. In addition, I was going to Rome for the 6-nations game with some mates. On top of this a few weekends away.

Basically, a nice chilled time as befits retiree’s.

Although I don’t discount going perhaps to the Canaries or even a re-fixed 6-nations game later in the year, the cold realities are that without a vaccine, this will carry risk and with her ladyships parents been old and a bit frail, perhaps a covert risk too far.

How travel pans out in travel insurance is anyone’s guess as should you need ICU level intervention abroad, the costs are off the scale and I distrust insurance companies to play fair in this. The number of people already booking cruises astonishes me – a floating infection house as far as I can see.

No, in reality, we are planning to holiday in the UK and even her ladyship is keen to stay in the UK. We have plenty of options. A friend has just bought a holiday place in North Wales on a Holiday caravan site – big place, all decked out and right on a 20 mile beach. Anglesey & the Snowdonia National Park not far away and some relatives not an hours drive away – we can’t wait to go visit. We have a few places we have not been to in the UK for ages and will go book some B&B’s or hotels when open. There is the amazing beach at Westward Ho we discovered last year that we just have to go back to and planning to take my brother and his wife, and places on the south coast we want to explore.

What has stopped us before has been a mix of just needing a real pool/beach chill and her Ladyship’s ‘need’ for a sunny hot beach ! But as the CV-19 has hit, so it has re-set priorities and expectations.

If anyone thinks the holiday industry abroad will recover quickly, then just consider the plight of Rolls Royce. They have announced a 30% UK workforce reduction on the basis of airline recovery taking 3-5 years. Not a decision lightly as many are not just highly skilled, but niche-skilled and hard to replace. If they see a significant airline need reduction then capacity must be reduced. With supply & demand very much governing price, expect fuller planes and fewer of them leading to a very probable increase in fare costs.

Paradoxically, as recovery starts airline stocks may well be a good punt as they are sure to be leaner and more profitable going forward a year or more.

So whilst we will still holiday, we will largely spend less money and spend it in the UK for the most part. Even next year I suspect we will mix our travel and not automatically feel the need to head to any one of hundreds of sunny hot places we have never been.

We live in a lovely village…

As far as lockdown goes, we have not really had it bad. We can do a 2-3 mile walk every day, chat to people over a fence, sit in the sun and watch the ducks in the brook. The occasional trip to a farm shop or supermarket. The daily volunteering to deliver medications to the vulnerable and isolating in the area. Our village has really pulled together and is just a nicer and for the most parts calmer and more friendly place.

We are, and have been, very fortunate. In fact, today’s 40min walk took 1 hour 35 mins !

So, as a few on the blog and twitter space are starting to voice, a genuine reappraisal of how different life should be going forward is happening. I suspect rather more virtual working will occur. We have several virtual coffee-mornings or socials a week with friends all over. Strangely we now see more of some this way. Our expectations have been reduced and long may that continue. Almost 100 years ago Einstein said  “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the constant pursuit of success combined with constant relentlessness”.

What of Next Year

Ultimately, this will have a knock on to next years budget plan. So whilst we will travel, see and do things, perhaps these will be tempered a little with a slightly ‘calmer and more modest outlook than before:

    • We may well need less as travel expectations will change as I indicated.
      • We are sure to need less as a large part of our mortgage we expect to pay off later this year.
        • We will continue to walk several times a week round the village and area and reward ourselves with a coffee & cake on our return
          • We will waste less as now we have re-learned not to be so wasteful planning meals more healthily and with a little thought
            • We will drive less and we just have got used to not driving so much.

As mantra’s and strategies go, these seem eminently simple, do-able and perhaps a lot more relaxed

Churchill is reputed to have said ‘Never waste a crisis’ …. well, I rather agree. We are already re-setting our priorities and will certainly strive to maintain a ‘calmer and more modest life’.

We are not there yet – who is ?… but we will strive to be, and continue the journey…