We are living in the weirdest and craziest year this side of 2000 (and possibly even longer). There have been some really amazing things to come out of 2020 and one of those for me is the closeness to my family. We decided to take that to the next level by visiting some family in Dallas and because of that, we needed to go on an airplane. I decided it might be helpful for me to put together my experience of what it’s like to travel right now during a pandemic!
MASKS ON, ALWAYS
Masks are 100% enforced in the airports. Depending on which state you’re visiting, it’s likely that everywhere you go will require you to wear a mask at all times (unless eating and drinking). If you aren’t used to wearing masks for long periods, you might want to get some practice. I was pretty uncomfortable on the way there, but by the end of the week, I hardly even noticed I had a mask on except for when I needed a drink or something to eat.
LESS IS OPEN THAN YOU MAY REALIZE
As the country’s cases continue to climb, even places you would think wouldn’t be closed down may be closed by their own accord. Continue to check the local news of the place you are visiting and the locations you are hoping to go to so you don’t show up disappointed.
DON’T EXPECT TO DINE IN
If you live in the NKY/Cincy area, we have come accustomed to being able to eat inside at certain places once again. This is not the case in many places around the country. For some, you can’t even eat on a patio. Keep this in mind when you are picking a place to stay as you will likely have to eat carry out the entire time (aka maybe pick an Airbnb with a dining table instead of a cramped hotel room).
BE PREPARED TO RENT A CAR
If you are planning on visiting a larger city, I would highly encourage you to not use public transportation if you can avoid it. Rent a car, a bike, or anything to get around. You honestly have no idea where your Uber or Lyft driver has been either, so if you are paranoid about getting sick, I would just advise getting your own vehicle for the week/weekend.
FLYING IS SAFER THAN YOU THINK
My experience with flying was far better than I could have imagined. The only time I maybe didn’t feel 100% safe was when the person sitting diagonally from me was wearing their mask off of their nose (the flight attendant continually correct them but they thought they were super cool) and when I had to eat in the Dallas airport. Other than that, I truthfully felt safer than I do in Kroger where people do not know personal space and touch anything and everything. Flying is also likely to expose you to fewer germs than driving unless you are one of those crazy people who can make it to a destination without peeing at a rest stop.
DON’T EXPECT A NORMAL VACATION
Nothing about this year is normal and you still won’t get a normal vacation no matter where you go. I’m telling you this not to be negative but to be realistic. If you go somewhere this year, it will not feel the same as it did last year. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and have a relaxing time with people you love (or by yourself, I’m not judging). Life is just simply different now and your travel plans are no exception.
I hope this was helpful to everyone who is currently debating whether or not they should keep their travel plans! I would definitely recommend following the local news of wherever you plan to go and keeping an eye on the COVID case numbers. Please keep in mind the government mandates and how that may affect your travels if you are planning to go later this year. Stay safe and no matter what you believe about this virus, we are all in this together and we need to have each other’s backs as well as our own! Avoid crowds, keep your mask on, take a deep breath, and stay safe!