Traveling During COVID: 2020 In Review
2020 was an interesting year for travel. For the first half of the year every single one of my trips was cancelled. Repeatedly navigating restrictions, cancellations, and refunds was very disappointing and at times, overwhelming. By the latter half of the year, I had had enough. Travel advisories and restrictions were changing, and my inner wanderlust had reached her wits end.
For this post I couldn't just do a simple trip recap and omit a COVID discussion.
COVID had an effect on the way I (and everyone else) traveled, and only time will tell if these changes are temporary or here to stay.
Surprisingly (and not to be 'boastful' because that’s the LAST thing I'm here to do, just sharing my lived experience) I have yet to contract COVID. I also want to add that if anyone contracted COVID while traveling, you should not be ashamed. I absolutely understand the reservations that people have about travel during this time, and everyone’s situation is different. But for MY situation, my health and MY life, I am willing and able to travel.
I credit my & my loved ones' health *despite my decision to travel* to the following:
a healthy immune system
common sense. Most of the habits I practiced while traveling this year are things I've been doing for years. I say it time and time again; it's unfortunate that it has taken a pandemic for people to realize the importance of handwashing and disinfecting high traffic surface areas. But alas, here we are.
Preparation Before Travel
_being sure I was in good health (if I didn't feel well, I would've stayed home and canceled/rescheduled a trip)
-having several alcohol pads to wipe my phone, headphones, keys, ID, pens, and other small items I frequently use
-having multiple masks on hand, both disposable and cloth/reusable. I also keep masks that go behind my ears and go behind the head (for those longer flights, the mask behind the ear can be AGONIZING).
-having the hand sanitizer ON DECK.
-keeping disposable gloves on hand (I'll be honest, I didn't always do this but for some people having the gloves serves as another level of protection).
-doubling up on my vitamins, sea moss, and other healthy eating habits before travel
Precautions While Traveling
-PROPERLY wearing a mask at all times in public places. Keeping several masks on hand, routinely throwing out or washing my masks.
-wearing gloves, when I had them
-Keeping safe distance as much as possible from others. If I was in an “open“ or “safer" space but didn’t feel comfortable, I kept my mask on or went somewhere else.
-I requested plastic ware and to-go cups whenever possible while eating out. For some of my trips I limited the number of times I ate out (hence my lack of foodie posts this year).
-while at the airport and on the plane, I limited the necessity to touch objects that weren’t mine. After going through TSA I used hand sanitizer. I made sure to not drink much because I didn’t want to use the bathroom on the plane. For my shorter flights I ate and used the bathroom before I got to the airport. While on the plane I kept my mask on and didn't get anything to eat or drink. I had a small blanket to cover myself with and wore a bonnet or scarf. If I absolutely had to use the bathroom on the plane I washed my hands twice, then used hand sanitizer when I returned to my seat. -once I arrive at my destination, took my clothes off & showered.
-I did my due diligence avoiding overcrowded spaces and events. If at any time a place became crowded or there weren't enough people wearing masks I either distanced myself or left altogether.
Precautions Upon Return
-After every trip I stayed to myself; simple. No small gatherings, no meet ups, no hanging with my mom, grandma or other elders, no going in to the office for work. At most I went to the market & the gym. (all safety & hygiene protocols were followed while working out: social distance, wipe equipment down before after, PROPERLY wear mask the entire time, use hand sanitizer before & after workout, go straight home & promptly shower, wipe down phone & headphones with alcohol pad).
My bottom line is that travel is my self care and it helps keeps me sane. I found ways to travel safely that worked for me. As long as I am able to, I will travel. I haven't shown any symptoms, and I've been tested twice (with negative results).
In June I started to venture back out there. I decided for myself that international travel wasn’t on the table for 2020 but I could at least take advantage of some domestic travel.
KailahIsKreative officially has a space on Instagram!
Stay connected with me throughout my day-to-day!
At the end of June I visited Fort Lauderdale, FL then skipped over to San Juan, PR.
I actually composed a post about my PR trip; you can read that here!
Fort Lauderdale was my spot this year; I also traveled there in July and September.
August: Dallas, TX
While my visit was short & sweet, this was one of my favorite trips of the year! Next time I travel to the city I know I need to stay longer, and rent a car!
September: Las Vegas to celebrate my dad's 50th trip around the Sun.
Vegas is lowkey one of my favorite cities; I love the weather out there (yes I LOVE LOVE LOVE that HEAT heat. I feel like a cookie baking in the oven!)
November: Los Angeles.
West Coast vibes are IT, point blank.
WHERE TO NEXT? I have some things planned from NYE through the end of March 2021.
Fingers crossed corona doesn’t rain *any more than she already has* on my parade.
Composed with humility and truth,