'I’ll probably be staying at home most of the time': Maritimers pessimistic about travel plans
HALIFAX -- For many Maritimers, travel plans have been ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic. With cancelled flights and accommodations aplenty, many people are reluctant to even think about travel for the weeks and months to come.
On Saturday, Peggy’s Cove, which is typically packed with visitors in May, only saw a few people – but they didn't travel far to visit the Nova Scotian landmark.
“This summer, I’ll probably be staying at home most of the time,” said HRM resident Daria Wisniowska.
And others agree.
“The whole 2020, for me, is cancelled,” said HRM resident, Sara Condenuevo. “But it definitely gave me an insight that there is more to discover in this province.”
“For me, I'm just going to continue on self-development and hiking a lot and a lot of indoor activities as well,” says HRM resident Kevin Wareham.
Many are avoiding travel this summer.
“If it loosens up a bit, I'd like to go visit my dad,” said one resident. “But other than that, just stay mostly around Halifax.”
Meanwhile, other people are looking for more information before making a decision.
“We still are waiting to hear about travel restrictions and whether or not we will be able to leave the province,” said another resident. “In the province, I plan to do some camping.”
In New Brunswick, Premier Blaine Higgs is sticking to his plan of keeping provincial borders restricted during the long weekend.
“Let's see where the coming weeks bring us,” said Higgs on Friday.
Higgs added he believed the Nova Scotia border would remain closed to non-essential travel until later in the summer.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King is asking non-residents to stay away until at least mid-June.
Despite uncertain times, CAA Atlantic vice president of marketing and communications, Gary Howard, says people are still making summer plans to travel.
“I think we'll see a lot more cottage and house rentals this summer – so search for availability,” says Howard. “I know a friend of mine just booked a beach house in Nova Scotia, and I think there was only two weeks left she could choose from.”
For now, travel hopefuls are waiting and watching for the opportunity to take a trip.
“It's kind of a wait and see right now,” says HRM resident Brendan Forbes. “With everything going on, we've had a couple cancelled trips, but right now, after the second lift of restrictions, we're kind of waiting to see what's next before we plan anything.”
Meanwhile, Howard says not all hope is lost and that he predicts September and October will be a lucrative time for travel as people adapt to the new reality.