No, you do not have my permission to travel

Daily COVID-19 cases just broke a record. You need to stay home.

Here's a number to consider before you book another trip: 142,906.

That's the number of new COVID-19 infections in the United States yesterday.

And I mention this number because some of you, dear readers, think this number is meaningless -- either a hoax or a hypothetical that doesn't apply to you.

But the deadly coronavirus is no hoax, and it does apply to you. 

Don't go anywhere

For the record:

What does this chart tell you?

Stay home. 

Seriously, don't travel anywhere now. Cancel your travel plans for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's if you can. 

Wait for the vaccine.

No exceptions

I've been getting a lot of emails from readers who are asking me how to travel safely during the second wave. Well, bad news: There's no safe way to travel. Every method of travel -- trains, planes, automobiles -- has its own risks

The only way to avoid those risks is to stay home.

I realize that this is an unpopular thing to say. And frankly, I'm dreading what happens tomorrow, because I have a story in USA Today that suggests recommending travel may even be unethical.

The travel agents are going to come for me. How do I know? Because I asked the American Society of Travel Advisors for a comment on the article and it refused -- the first time it's ever done that. 

Maybe I should turn off my phone tomorrow.

What's the rush?

Did you hear about the SeaDream Yacht Club in Barbados? Passengers are stranded there today after someone on board tested positive for coronavirus. Why were they cruising? Have they lost their minds?

As reader and travel advisor Dan Presser notes, "What's the rush?"

(Dan is still talking to me -- for now.)

I know it's been a long pandemic and we're tired of sitting at home and doing nothing. But with daily infection rates through the roof and a vaccine just around the corner hopefully, it makes sense to wait just a little bit longer.

That's especially true if you have plans to visit a relative in a high-risk category during the holidays. Your actions could hurt or even kill them.

Of course, not everyone is listening to that sensible advice. Here's a new survey from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, released just this afternoon. Almost a third of Americans are traveling for Thanksgiving anyway. (Insert turkey pun here.)

Permission denied

So to all of you who think that recent coverage on my consumer advocacy site that offers travel advice somehow gives you permission for anything but nonessential travel -- let me clear that up. 

You do not have my permission to travel.

Some people have to travel, and I'm writing my stories for them now. The rest of us have to protect ourselves. This is more important than website traffic, ad revenues, or referrals. 

Please, please, please stay home if you can. Do a Zoom Thanksgiving. I love all of my readers and want them to live to see 2021.

What are your thoughts? The comments are open. You can always send me your confidential memos, data and news tips. I’m at [email protected].