COVID-19, Travel

Traveling During COVID-19

2020 has been such a rough year for travelers and the travel industry. The spread of COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we travel in just one short year. For the first half of the year, traveling was postponed or restricted altogether. This meant that we had to change our travel plans and wait until the pandemic situation was better so we could travel again.

Half way through the year, some of us did manage to travel again. With restrictions being softened, or completely taken away in some places, travelers could once again resume their adventures and exploration! Although some people may have negative thoughts and opinions on traveling during the pandemic, there were still many people who had more positive perspectives on the situation. While some people thought it was reckless, irresponsible, and downright stupid to traveling during a global pandemic, there were others who thought that as long as you were following all CDC guidelines and being safe you could still travel.

As for myself, I was one of those people who decided to travel during this pandemic. There were several reasons why I decided to travel.

1. This Is The New Norm

Our way of life drastically changed in a short amount of time. As we all processed what was going on, and new guidelines and restrictions were put in place, we came to realize that this was the new norm. All the face masks, hand sanitizer stations, and social distancing was our new way of life. This is the way we would have to live for the remainder of the whole year.

Suffice it to say that things are going to remain this way for a while. At some point, I realized that I wasn’t going to stop living my life and remain in my house 24/7. Eventually, I had to go outside for necessities and take care of business. Albeit with a few extra components such as remembering to take a mask and sanitizer with me, I had to move on with life.

This meant traveling too. Although I tried to limit my contact with others, and follow all guidelines and restrictions, I wasn’t going to stop traveling altogether. When things opened back up here in the USA, I took a chance and traveled. COVID wasn’t going away anytime soon, and since we had live with these new procedures in place, I figured I wasn’t going to hold off on traveling. This is the new norm whether we like it or not, and we have to find ways of adjusting and continuing to live our lives.

2. I Still Followed CDC Guidelines

Just because I traveled didn’t mean I wasn’t being safe. I always wore a mask when I was outside or at any location that required me to wear one. Second, I tried my best to social distance, meaning staying 6 feet apart from someone. Hand sanitizer was a must with me when I traveled prior to COVID so this aspect wasn’t new to me. Needless to say, I continued to carry hand sanitizer we me but I had to use it more frequently than before.

When I got back to my accommodation I always changed out of my clothes and took a shower as soon as I could. This isn’t part of the CDC guidelines but this was just good practice to prevent further contamination of things in the room. Essentially, I traveled while still being safe.

3. I Still Wanted To Travel

I’m a traveler at heart. I absolutely LOVE traveling and this pandemic wasn’t going to stop me. However, when we couldn’t travel at all I suffered and waited patiently until we could do so safely again. I also did some research for future travels I’d like to do. If there’s another lockdown where we cannot travel, I will stay at home and wait until that’s been lifted so I can travel again. Despite this pandemic, I can’t stay away from traveling for too long! So, if I was able to travel safely I did so.

4. Travel Was Easier And Cheaper

While traveling during this pandemic I realized that everything was cheaper than before! Everything from flight tickets to accommodations were super cheap and affordable. There were once in a lifetime deals and I had to take that opportunity up while it lasts. When else in my lifetime will I see roundtrip tickets to Orlando, FL for $30 when they’re normally at least $130!?! If you include places being less crowded, shorter lines for attractions and dining, having a whole row on the plane to yourself, I couldn’t let this go by.

I’ve never, in my 20 years of visiting the Disney theme parks, seen it so empty before. I’ve never seen a 5 minute for a ride in my life! Even with the fast passes you’d still have to wait like an hour at least prior to COVID. If you’ve ever visited Disney before, especially during the summer months when it’s extremely packed, you’ll understand the struggle and how this pandemic has affected the parks. But because of COVID there weren’t as many people there so I took advantage of it while I could.

My Experience Traveling During the Pandemic

I was grateful for the trips I managed to take this year and I’m looking forward to many more to come (hopefully there won’t be anymore restrictions). Even though I did travel during this pandemic, traveling didn’t look that same. Yes, shorter lines, empty plane rows, less crowded areas are wonderful! However, it had its drawbacks. Some restaurants or rides were closed during this pandemic. I wasn’t able to do certain activities, or if I booked them in advance they were canceled. The overall atmosphere or vibe felt off when traveling; things just didn’t feel the same. Therefore, I’ve missed out on some rides, restaurants, and activities which I would have liked to experience. But that’s ok; there’s always next time when things are better and I can get the full experience from my travels!

Ultimately, there were some positives and negatives to traveling during a pandemic. I took a chance to do something I love. Do I have any regrets? No, I do not. This has all been a learning experience and I’ve walked away with some lessons for my travel bank. I’m optimistic that next year will be a better year for travel and cannot wait for my future travel trips!

This is just my experience as a traveler during COVID-19. I cannot speak for all travelers so I will not group them all into one category. This is just based off my own thoughts on the pandemic and experiences of traveling during COVID-19. If you would like a blog post on some tips/tricks for traveling during the pandemic let me know!