With a few weeks back home in mandatory quarantine to reflect, I wanted to take a moment to record a few of the details (and challenges) behind my latest travel shoot in France in the midst of a global pandemic. I can't say I would've predicted saying that at the beginning of this year.
For starters, it's important to note that traveling during Covid was never the original plan. The dates, flights, and hotels in France were all confirmed and paid for in February 2020 before anyone fully realized just how crazy this year was about to become.
As a travel photographer I have several memberships which provide generous discounts for top-tier flights and hotels. The catch is that these bookings are often non-refundable and have pretty strict rules for cancellation. Over the last 5 years this had never been an issue before, but after everyone began cancelling trips in late March the rules for everything just became more chaotic.
With the trip still half a year away, and with no idea of how long any of this would last, it was clear that the best thing to do at that point was nothing - at least until it got closer.
Here's what was on the table back in March:
- Two roundtrip / direct flights from Calgary to Paris.
- Two weeks worth of hotels at four different properties.
- And a rough timeline of attractions which dictated where we'd be staying.