STAWELL couple Mavis and John Graham's eight-week European holiday is on hold indefinitely due to border closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A trip which would have seen the couple head overseas on May 4 was cancelled in early March.
Aged in their mid and late 70's, seeing the world has been a priority before it becomes too much for the couple to travel.
Mrs Graham said she had received some "good fortune" when cancelling bookings compared to other stories she had heard of travellers cancelling their holidays.
"We had booked four weeks accommodation online but I opted for the extra booking option which allowed me to cancel and receive a refund," Mrs Graham said.
"We only paid a deposit for that amount and I was able to cancel the booking online and get my money back which was great.
"We had booked four-day tours in France which I paid in full and the money was refunded in 24 hours."
Mrs Graham also had no trouble receiving a refund with her airline, Emirates.
"We received everything back but a $100 booking fee," she said.
"It took four months but we managed to get all our money back.
"We were very lucky. It's understandable not getting back the $100."
HOLIDAYS AT HOME SERIES:
Mrs Graham was offered a credit rather than a refund, but the "unknown" situation COVID-19 has left the travel industry in made her take the refund.
"We just don't know what's going to happen," she said.
"We're at the age if we need to travel we need to do it now.
"We thought we would just take the refund and book again when everything is all clear and we want to go."
2020 would have been the fourth time the couple would have travelled to Europe - a trip to pack in new sights and others which had been missed.
"We had done conducted tours before and a cruise along the river," she said.
"This time we were going to be travelling a lot by train and doing our own thing."
Mrs Graham said she would be comfortable to travel again if a vaccine was developed.
"If there's no vaccine I'm not sure if we would holiday again," she said.
Mrs Graham is on leave from her role at Stawell Regional Health and has been filling in her time with walking and cooking.
"I've been cooking mainly sweets, soups and have got on board with making your own bread at home," she said.
"I've had my grandchildren visit for the holidays.
"It's been a nice trade-off to be able to stay home and stop."
Have you got a story to share? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Northern Grampians shire, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.