This week is the last of my series on traveling to Vieques. I hope you enjoyed!! I have always loved sharing with you about my travels, but this year makes it a bit different and a bit complicated, kind of like everything in 2020. I promise that mantras will resume next week! But, if you want to keep dreaming about travel and want me to write more, let me know. Maybe, I could do a monthly piece on a favorite travel location. I have lots of them! This week, I am focusing on my COVID travel tips. I know many of us want to get back out there, but we also want to be safe!
1. Obviously, wear a mask! But, get a good one! Unlike what we typically wear when we are walking around, we wore heavy duty masks that wrapped behind our heads, rather than our ears. The mask went all the way up and in between our eyes and below our chin. They were also a hard material. Nothing was getting through that mask. No, they were not comfortable whatsoever, but they did the job. Bonus: The flight attendants repeated messages over the speakers to keep your mask covering your nose. They were not messing around!
2. Book an early morning flight. When we departed, we flew out at 7:30am and no one was at the airport. And, keep checking your seats. When we arrived, I asked to be moved to a row by ourselves and they accommodated us without a problem. We flew United and they are also offering free changes. So, if you are not comfortable with the number of people on the plane, you can change for free. Pro Tip: When we were returning home, I sent a message via Twitter to United regarding our seats and they upgraded us and moved us to our own row again. I wanted to be a little more proactive on the flight home since there were more people on the plane. Remember, if you don’t ask… You can also move seats around when you check in, but you never know how they change after the fact. So, make sure to ask when you arrive or, again, send a message via Twitter.
3. Goto an airport lounge. We went to the United Lounge prior to our departure. It was empty. We sat all by ourselves. The bathrooms were clean. And, we stocked up on water! This is also the place to have a snack. They only gave us a small bottle of water and some pretzels on the plane. This is fine with me, but you want to make sure you are prepared. And, if you eat in the lounge, you are not worried about taking off your mask to sneak a snack while on the plane. Yes, you are permitted to take your mask down to quickly drink water or eat.
4. And, probably obvious, but pack some hand sanitizer. This way, in between access to the plethora of hand sanitizer stations throughout the airport, you can keep those hands clean. The flight attendants also gave us sanitizing wipes to clean our area when we sat down.
5. My favorite tip…book a private flight! When we arrived to San Juan, we could have chosen to take a small hopper flight with others, but we decided to book our own flight. This meant less time at the airport since we left the commercial side of the airport upon arrival and went right to the private side for our flight. This is not a usual thing for us and it was a splurge, but it was worth every penny! It was such an amazing experience and I felt extremely safe. On the return, we hung out at the private airport lounge for as long as we could because it was empty and sparkly clean.
6. Lastly, as I discussed last week, pick a location that makes you feel safe and is taking COVID seriously. If we all do our part, wash our hands, wear masks and keep our distance, I do believe we can travel safely. Pro tip: Choose a place requiring the COVID test within 2 to 3 days. I know. It is a pain, but it will help you feel safer and sane, when traveling.
Well, I hope these tips are helpful, if you are getting back out there soon. And, as mentioned last week, if you want to go back with me to Vieques, I am organizing private retreats there…Yup, just you and your friends!! (Or, if you prefer to go solo, let me know and I can make some recommendations.) If you want to learn more, simply click here. I am currently booking January, so get on it!!
Keep dreaming of palm trees and sunshine!
XO – L
XO – Laurel