First of all, we hope more than anything that this message finds you healthy and safe in the midst of these crazy, scary, turbulent times. We wanted to take a moment to address the current state of world affairs as Spain Savvy navigates the COVID-19 crisis.
February had us traveling in Porto, Portugal on a site visit, meeting partners and sussing out new spots for our clients – we were excited and gearing up for what looked to be one of our best seasons yet. A short month later, the virus hit Europe hard and everything began to change. We had to quickly repatriate some of our clients back to the U.S., and now spend most of our time cancelling plans we so painstakingly put together for clients who reluctantly had to cancel or postpone trips in March, April and May. Each cancellation email that came in over the past few weeks has been a crushing, disappointing blow for us.
We are taking things day by day, admittedly hesitant to make any new plans for summer until we see how this whole crisis unfolds, but holding out hope that by September, things will be somewhat back to normal. We are keeping an eye on the news, conversing with and supporting our partners and collaborators in the industry as best as we can, and preparing for what’s to come. This was all very unexpected but we are trying to see it as a challenge to overcome that will make us that much stronger on the other side.
A silver lining to all the disappointments has been the kindness, understanding, and flexibility of all our clients. Despite the unpleasant nature of cancelling trips and everything that goes along with that, we have never felt more supported by those who believe in us and want to see us through these trying times. However difficult these moments have been, they have been moments that have allowed us to really showcase our ability to problem solve and advocate for our clients. We believe there is no better time than now to team up with a travel advisor for your next trip. Read more about the many benefits in this article.
We were grateful to read these words from clients who had to cut their trip short when things started to get hairy here in Spain:
«Sarah and Spain Savvy saved us on our recent trip! We’ve just returned home thanks to Sarah’s efficient rescheduling of our return trip. Can’t say enough good things about this business and Sarah! And it was a great trip. We will definitely be working with Sarah again!»
We have been so touched by so many clients past and present who have reached out to check on us as Spain became one of the focal points of the virus’ spread over the past few weeks. Our little family is currently hunkered down at home, homeschooling our three children (ages 9, 7 and 4) and organizing ourselves to get work done as best we can – much like many of you around the world. In this weird time of being confined to our homes, we have our health and we have each other, as well as a good-sized yard for fresh air, and the magical internet for connecting with the outside world. For these things, we are truly grateful.
We have faith that the world will become a safe place to discover again once we get this virus under control and when that happens, we will be here to help you make your dream trip a reality. If you are taking advantage of this life pause to focus on your own travel dreams, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us use this down time to put something together for you. We don’t even have to put a firm date on it – remember, all our trips are custom-designed and we can tweak as needed once you have the green light to travel and can set actual dates. Spain Savvy is proud to partner with Global Rescue, one of the few international travel insurance firms that offers CFAR («Cancel For Any Reason») insurance, which we highly recommend all our clients secure for post-COVID travel.
In the meantime, we want to share some online resources with you that might help you do a bit of «armchair travel» while we wait for the travel bans to be lifted.
Our partner in Granada, Molly at Piccavey.com offers a list of 50 Spain books to devour. If you like to read in Spanish, we’re spending our down time reading «La Tesis de Nancy», a tongue-in-cheek read about Spanish folklore through the eyes of an American student in Seville in the late 1950s.
Our food tour partner, Devour Tours, offers 32 European recipes to try out in your home kitchen. We could all use a little comfort food right now!
Check out 5 classic Portuguese recipes from our partners at Taste Porto.
Take a virtual tour of Barcelona’s Picasso Museum right here.
Use Google Street View to take in the Alhambra or La Rambla. Here is an article that gives some of Spain’s highlights!
Check out «La Casa de Papel», «Élite», or «Tiempos de guerra», all Spain-based Netflix series ripe for a marathon.
Take an on-line beginners’ flamenco class via Zoom with our savvy partner Eva!
If you’d like to know what life on COVID lockdown is like in Spain, check out this article from our very own content editor Fiona Flores Watson, recently published in The Guardian.
Above all, stay healthy & safe, stay home whenever possible, and never give up on your travel dreams!
Sarah & the Spain Savvy team