Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of @travelanista
Jasmine White Of Travelanista Shares What It's Like Traveling To Jamaica During COVID-19
Whether you’re ready for it or not, American travelers have been taking advantage of the last weeks of summer and embarking on vacations. While the list of places we’re allowed to travel to is limited, experiencing a new destination is still possible during the pandemic.
We had the opportunity to speak to Jasmine White of Travelanista about her recent experience traveling to Jamaica. This was Jasmine’s first time traveling outside of the U.S. since the pandemic and she shared her experience and tips with us about traveling during a pandemic.
Travel Noire: How often did you typically travel prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jasmine: Prior to COVID, I traveled at least once a month internationally. I also squeezed in domestic travel in between those monthly trips.
Travel Noire: Was your trip to Jamaica planned before the pandemic hit?
Jasmine: That trip in particular was for a birthday celebration. It was solidified 1 month out and the location was up in the air until corona made the decision for us by limiting travel destinations.
Travel Noire: What were your expectations prior to your vacation?
Jasmine: Honestly I didn’t have any. I prepared for the worst, (i.e. extensive testing, crowded and hazardous airports, frequent temperature checks..etc.) and I hoped for the best. I did, however, expect the airport security and customs process to be more aggressive than in the past.
Travel Noire: What were the major differences you noticed at the airport, on the flight, and when arriving in Jamaica?
Jasmine: Ironically enough, I was actually in Jamaica when COVID started in March and they began taking strict precautions early on. I was quite pleased to find out they hadn’t let up on their precautionary measures since then.
I was even further pleased that they had upped the ante in a sense — travelers are required to wear masks for the duration of the flight. Some airlines are also keeping the middle seats open.
Travel Noire: How did you choose your accommodation and did you notice increased sanitizing, cleaning, social distancing..etc?
Jasmine: Accommodations were chosen in the best interest of the group. It was obvious that resorts or hotel stays where a large number of people frequent would put us at a higher risk of contracting the virus. In lieu of that, we chose to stay in an Airbnb.
The staff at our Airbnb wore masks the entire time. They also had been tested for COVID-19 prior to our arrival. The entire house was thoroughly cleaned multiple times a day. Airbnb also limited the number of occupants to comply with social distancing requirements.
Travel Noire: Did you feel nervous while there? Were you able to experience the island without certain activities being closed?
Jasmine: Not at all. The house staff was exceptionally precautious and attentive. Safety measures were practiced around the clock.
Due to the quarantine restrictions in place, we opted out of extracurricular activities and limited ourselves to the home and private beach.
Travel Noire: What was the highlight of your trip?
Jasmine: Simply the location itself. Though I’ve been there several times, it’s always nice to break the monotony of life in the U.S. The natural elements were more appreciated this time around. The air even felt better — cleaner.
Travel Noire: Would you recommend traveling abroad to other open countries at this time?
Jasmine: If you can wait, do so. If you do travel, you have to be sure to properly research restrictions of that location so you don’t run into any surprises.
Travel Noire: What should we be prepared for when going on vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jasmine: Any and everything. More than ever, cleanliness is next to Godliness. Sanitize everything! Wear double masks, travel with Clorox wipes/Lysol/hand sanitizer, and be sure to social distance.