Photo Credit: Jade Robinson
Traveler Story: 'I Took My First Vacation Since The Start Of The Pandemic'
I thought the day would never come, I finally was able to take a vacation. After the year we had, I felt as though I needed and deserved one, although, I was extremely nervous. While doing everything I could to remain safe— limiting my outside interactions, quarantining for 14 days before my flight, taking a Covid-19 test three days before my flight, and even double masking— the thought of getting on a plane really took away my excitement to be on vacation.
However, I think this is a common feeling since many people are still adjusting to the new “normal” of traveling while remaining safe.
As I geared up to fly out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, I realized how much Covid-19 has changed the way we do our normal airport routine. With the assistance of Clear and TSA Pre-Check, I made the decision to arrive at the airport an hour before my flight started to board since I didn’t have any checked baggage.
I used one of my 7 guest/family passes to sign my sister up with Clear, which took a total of three minutes, and she now has access to Clear for three months. We went through Clear + TSA in about 10 minutes. Unlike most airports in the US, Hartsfield-Jackson has not closed any of its restaurants or shops.
Recommendation: Check your local airport restaurant and shop closures before you head to the airport. Make plans to eat or grab reading materials before your flight if there are closures.
While Delta still boards anyone with small children, anyone needing extra assistance, and military personnel first, they boarded from the back of the plane first versus starting from the front of the aircraft. When I borded, I was given two sanitizer wipes and reminded of the mask-mandate policy in effect, and that middle seats were also blocked for use.
When we reach 30,000 feet, the flight attendants came around with snacks and water pre-packaged in a Ziploc bag for each passenger. When we landed in Cancun, the immigration line resembled those of pre-covid-19 in the airport. Apparently, everyone had the same idea. Although the customs line was long, the process was quick. We headed to our taxi to start the vacation we were dying for.
After a 2-hour drive from Cancun to Tulum, we were exhausted! We checked into Hotel Blanco Tulum, a brand-new boutique hotel located in the city center. Upon arrival, our temperatures were checked at the front desk, and we were asked to sign a waiver stating we weren’t having any COVID-19 symptoms and that we weren’t exposed to anyone with Covid-19 in the last 14 days.
During the five days and four nights we were there, we took the chance to really relax after an absolutely crazy year. We spent our mornings at the hotel’s rooftop pool, our afternoons at Ziggy’s or Taboo Beach Club, and our nights exploring Tulum’s restaurant scene and nightlife.
On our last night, we celebrated my birthday at Rosa Negra, as all the locals and hotel staff said that was the place to be. Rosa Negra, the sister restaurant of Taboo, was absolutely beautiful and had a house DJ spinning a mix of Spanish, Hip-Hop and Pop. Not to mention, the extensive wine and food menu were truly a sight to see.
Recommendation: If it happens to be your birthday or if you want some excitement, head to Taboo for dinner. Every night around 9 pm there is a light show you will never forget.
All in All, my first trip back into the world was a little different, as things have definitely changed. If you are traveling, remember to stay safe, abide by all the COVID-19 policies and procedures, and enjoy yourself.
Note: Please check with your hotel, airline and Mexico’s tourism website as policies are subject to change.