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We Won’t Stop Writing About Travel (Even in a Pandemic)

In these times of coronavirus, our aim is to make your day a little less scary.

There’s an old film called Gold Diggers of 1933 starring Ginger Rogers as one of four women hunting for rich husbands (obviously, the movie doesn’t hold up well). But, it kicks off with a big Busby Berkeley musical number: “We’re in the Money.  Showgirls dance around a gold coin-covered stage, clutching gold coin props, bursting out of doors made of dollar signs, all while warbling, “We’re in the money! The skies are sunny! Ol’ Man Depression, you are through, you done us wrong!”

Now what does that have to do with travel? I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let me just acknowledge that I don’t know about you, but I’m a little freaked out right now. Not a lot freaked out, but freaked out enough that I’m having trouble concentrating on anything but the coronavirus outbreak. It certainly doesn’t help that I oversee a digital publication that’s pretty much wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage right now. But, your jobs and your lives are affected right now. We’re all affected. Perhaps you’re self-quarantining, working from home, or just nervous anytime someone steps within six feet of you. You know what you could probably use to calm down? A vacation.

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Well, it seems that’s not happening right now. Even though we so, so, so desperately need it. And, for all we proclaim at Fodor’s (and truly believe) that travel is about broadening our minds, bringing this world closer together, showing us what it means to be human, it’s also about something much more basic and, right now, so necessary: escapism.

That’s why Gold Diggers of 1933 and myriad other Depression-era light entertainments were so necessary. You can’t just sit around reading headlines and waiting in breadlines all day long! Distraction works. Distraction is crucial to hold onto a modicum of sanity. Even now, in the midst of our current panic, you can still get a pretty nice feel-good high from watching whatever the hell is going on here:

So, in that Busby Berkeley spirit of get my brain out of here, we at Fodor’s Travel are going to keep publishing what we’ve always published. Stories from around the world that will inspire you, make you dream big, or at the very least, distract you for a few minutes. Stories that can remind you what a weird and wonderful world this really is and continues to be. And, based on a reader survey we did earlier this week, I get the sense that many of you kind of want that, too.

In our survey, more than 70% of you are somewhat or very concerned about travel in the time of coronavirus. Same. A full quarter of you have already canceled a trip. Same. But 80% of you still have a trip planned. Same. Though 42% of you are contemplating canceling it. Same. But, we asked two more questions–and the answers gave me some hope.

The first was, how soon would you be willing to go to Italy when this is all over? And 70% of our readers said they would go within a year—10% even said they’d go right now (though, full disclosure, the survey was completed yesterday, before the European travel ban). The second question was, what destinations do you want to read about right now? And we got thousands and thousands of answers—and the responses were a veritable United Nations of places. Many are even still interested in China, South Korea, Italy—places hard hit.

And so we’re still going to talk about them. We’re going to run our site somewhat normally—or as normally as we can under the circumstances. Yes, we’ll still be talking about coronavirus (our site may sometimes look more like CNN than usual), but that’s not all we’ll be talking about.

We know this is going to end. We know we’re going to get out there and see the world again. But in the meantime, we’re simply going to help you escape with beautiful distractions. Even if it’s only in your dreams.