Are you grappling with FOGS (fear of getting stuck)?

Are you now grappling with FOGS (that's fear of getting stuck)?

Do you have a case of FOGS? It's lined-up to replace FOMO (fear of missing out) as the de rigueur acronym of the season.

What is FOGS, you ask? That's Fear of Getting Stuck.

That's what happens when you're interstate, your home border closes and you have less than a day to get home.

It was the fate of thousands of holidaymakers over Christmas when a COVID-19 cluster led to borders with New South Wales being slammed shut.

In beating a hasty retreat, beach and mountain holidays were packed up and people fled.

Overnight bustling resorts became ghost towns, with shell shocked businesses going WHAAAT JUST HAPPENED???

And the fallout continues.

Now people who are planning their holidays are grappling with FOGS.

A colleague had planned a trip interstate to Melbourne, which she cancelled because of the fear that getting stuck would lead to thousands of dollars in extra expenses.

People are looking at locations which would allow them to skitter across borders home inside 12 hours if a COVID cluster leads to more snap shutdowns.

And we have to assume that is likely to happen.

There are new, more virulent variants lurking on the fringes and a long time frame for the rollout of vaccine once jabs start.

It led to Brisbane being locked down for three days.

It led to people travelling interstate spending weeks in locations they only thought they'd pop too for a cheeky weekend or week.

It led to some people back in home quarantine.

So, the holiday of 2021 is being planned with escape routes in mind.

Who would have thought that would have been needed a year ago?

A New South Wales trip to catch up with friends I am planning has factored in the backstop of an offer to bunker down with a friend (potentially for weeks) if the borders shut. Otherwise I, too, would be facing a FOGS situation.

The laptop will be packed so that I can go back to work if I get stranded. I'm making sure I have enough clothes to last the distance.

My bookings are being left until the last minute with the expectation that a moving situation, like the car I'll be travelling in, will speed up and slow down. If I get stuck at a Stop sign I want to be prepared - or left with reservations I am unable to use.

That can't be good for businesses who rely on holiday trade.

Certainty is part of the package, but that has been eroded.

For people holidaying without a bolthole option, the logistics will be black and white. Take the risk of travelling further afield and getting stuck, or stay closer to home.

It's a 2021 COVID-19 travel dilemma, which means FOGS is here to stay for a while.