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Still Stranded: What Life Is Like for Those Still on Vacation Abroad

Still Stranded: What Life Is Like for Those Still on Vacation Abroad
Jeff Edwards

At the best of times, researching an overseas itinerary and heeding travel advisories from sources such as the U.S. Department of State or the U.K. Foreign and Common Wealth Office is essential. With a growing pandemic bringing travel changes by the day and, in some cases, by the hour, having as much information as possible about your destination may not be enough.

And while many travelers have made it home, some vacationers are still stranded in their vacations

On House Arrest in Tenerife

BBC Scotland reporter Sandy Murray says that his holiday at a resort in Tenerife, Spain is more like house arrest. Guests who wander off the property during the declared state of alarm (even to go to the nearby pharmacy) have been admonished and ordered back to the property by police.

“The hotel bar and restaurant are open as normal for guests,” Murray wrote in a March 16th report. “But as of today, the pool and terrace are closed. Our hotel staff believe that is one of the things they have to do under the lockdown rules.

“But such is the confusion about the new regulations, the hotel next to us has all its public spaces open. So as we sit on our balcony, the only outdoor space available to us, we can at least watch other people enjoying the sun by the pool.”

Murray says that Jet2 still plans to operate his flight home later this week. Other travelers, however, haven’t been quite as fortunate.

A Cruise Through Cambodia, Then Hotel Detention

A husband and wife from the U.S. had been eagerly anticipating their once-in-a-lifetime Viking River Cruise through the Mekong Delta for months, but when three passengers on the ship tested positive for COVID-19, things quickly turned ugly. The Illinois couple says they and the other passengers on the cruise were sequestered in an isolated“filthy, dilapidated” hotel far from their scheduled disembark location.

“We’re just feeling helpless,” Ryan Knapp told USA Today on March 16th, describing the accommodations as an abandoned hotel in southeast Cambodia. “It’s hard to see exactly how this plays out.”

Knapp says he has no idea how he and his wife will be able to make their way back to the U.S. To make matters worse, the 57-year-old reports that while they are not being medically quarantined, officials have told them they are being detained.

A Church Group on Lock Down in Bethlehem

NBC News reports that a family church group on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land has been quarantined in a Bethlehem hotel since Thursday, March 12th, after officials ordered a lockdown of the region. Although no members of the 13-member delegation from the Alabama church have so far taken ill, the church pastor says that the group has been restricted to the property of the Angel Hotel and are told they will not be permitted to leave “until further notice.”

“We want to go back to the U.S. as soon as possible, of course and we’re frantically working on that,” Pastor Chris Bell told NBC News. “We’re hoping that U.S. officials will help us get back. If they need to quarantine us back in the U.S., that’s fine, but we would love to go back to the United States.”

A Pilot Makes the Best of the Maldives 

An Instagram influencer and commercial pilot pilotmadeleine has been stuck in the Maldives since March 2nd with her family.

“Imagine being stuck on the most beautiful island while all this is happening in the world… Well, apparently that‘s exactly what happened to us which we absolutely don’t mind,” the jet-setting Instagram celeb wrote in a March 15th post. “The government locked down the island traffic here in the Maldives, so it looks like we are stranded here @jwmmaldives [JW Marriott Maldives] for 14 days.” #couldbeworse

Luckily for pilotmadeleine, her stay in the Maldives was gratis and she’s now headed on to Malta while she waits for the all-clear to head home.

A Soccer Team Fled Wuhan for Spain Only to Get Stuck Abroad

A professional soccer team from Wuhan made a fateful decision to hold spring training in Spain prior to initial reports of an outbreak in the city in China where the current pandemic is believed to have originated. The teammates found themselves unable to return and described weeks without clear information about the dire situation back home. Now, just as the situation in Wuhan appears to be stabilizing, Spain is enduring an unprecedented public lockdown in response to the spread of COVID-19.

“Maybe I will cry a little bit,” veteran Wuhan Zall player Yao Hanlin told the New York Times this week. “We really miss our families, our children. Maybe they forget what we look like.”


View Comments (3)


  1. unmorceau

    March 21, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    could you tell me where the location is that’s shown in the photo? It’s exactly what I’m looking for ? thanks

  2. bostontraveler

    March 22, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    The repatriation efforts of the US have been pretty disgraceful, as always, when compared to those of other countries (Europe, Japan. Canada, even Brazil).
    When they do offer options they are charging people (which in and of itself is appalling) multiples of what a commercial ticket would cost. As an American who lives abroad I can assure you that if you need help, you are up the creek with no paddle.
    Basically, pay your taxes even if you don’t live in the US but expect NOTHING in return.

  3. dbusiness

    March 23, 2020 at 6:58 am

    Yes, US Embassy has been sending emails about evacuation flights since borders are closed where I’m at.
    They say to call the 3 phone numbers provided. Evacuation flight cost $1000 one way or $840 from United.
    Normal high cost of one way return flight $250. I trust the competency of this Foreign Government where I currently
    reside more than the US government. There were preventive measures in place, and information publicly displayed on how to reduce the
    spread of virus when I was overseas in February and March. US there was little public information displayed, I personally didn’t see hand sanitizer dispensers around JFK, almost no one wearing protective mask or respirators and little screening of incoming international travelers when I returned March 6. Probably why New York is the epicenter now.

    Hopefully with the US finally waking up, they can minimize the physical and financial impact on its citizens and we can return to our normal lives soon. Stay safe everyone.

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