Just a few months ago, during the “Year of Return,” scores of African Americans joyfully descended onto Ghana after 400 years. This month, if you try to book a flight from Washington, D.C. to Accra, this notice will appear: Your government has issued a travel advisory for this destination related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The notice is followed by zero results populating for departing flights.

In a couple of weeks. life, as we know it, has changed. Our fabulous travel plans and usual visits to restaurants and venues are now on hold as the city. country and world respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Just last month. we couldn’t fully anticipate any of this. In very short order, we have had to make countless adjustments: from working at home to hosting virtual concerts, parties, celebrations, and events in the name of social distancing.

As we find ourselves at an unprecedented moment in history, many of us are left asking. “How can I live my best life during this uncertain time?”

Ticket prices are cheap! Where can I travel?

Everyone should be cautious about nonessential travel right now. Should you have to travel, check with the airport of origin and destination to ensure you are aware of local safety and security protocols.

Multiple countries around the globe have restricted international travelers from entering their borders. These sweeping travel bans and advisories were imposed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

The United States has limited nonessential travel across its borders with Mexico and Canada and raised its global travel warning for Americans to the highest level, advising citizens to avoid all international travel. However, you can still catch a flight from DCA to Cancun for less than $170.

If you decide to travel internationally, prepare for the potential of an extended vacation. Last week. a U.S. State Department advisory warned Americans abroad, “US citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.”

Nonessential travel to the European Union, the United Kingdom, parts of Africa, and the Caribbean have been banned for at least 30 days. Flights out of DCA, BWI, and IAD have also drastically reduced.

I received an alert from the airline saying my trip to Ghana in April was canceled! What are my options?

Due to increased flight cancelations, many airlines are being slammed right now as they work with customers to make travel changes. Airlines like Delta have made it easy to rebook or make changes online. They also have created simple waivers, including that which extends the conditions of domestic travel through May 31.

They are assuring their customers that the value of their ticket won’t be lost even if they make a change. If Delta customers purchase a ticket in March, they can adjust travel as many times as they would like without a change fee for an entire year from the date they purchased it.

Delta is also waiving all change fees for U.S. domestic and international travel departing in March, April or May. as well as tickets purchased in March.

Travel is canceled, culture is not.

Due to the high-risk nature of travel at this moment and the uncertainty around return trips to the United States, this probably is not the best time for an international getaway. However, D.C.’s culture scene response during COVID-19 has not disappointed. Many beloved DJs and bands across the city have amplified their digital presence to show love to their fans.

For instance, Backyard Band performed a historic IG concert for everyone impacted by the quarantine and social separation. Thousands of fans tuned in to the virtual event to experience live gogo. Follow Backyard Band on IG (@backyardband) for more.

DJ Underground and DJ Native Sun also had a 12-hour set in the booth at Eaton DC in tribute to the late house music legend DJ Sam The Man” Burns. Tune in to the live set here.

TCB hosted a live virtual “Cabin Fever” Crank Session last Wednesday in place of their regularly scheduled show. They are also offering a free TCB CD this week. Follow TCB on IG @bouncebeatkingz.

If you can’t catch a flight, catch a beat and support local bands and DJs crankin’ to unify the city.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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