My last flight was on March 5. Almost 3 and a half months later, I’m stepping back on a plane again. This is my longest gap between flights in well over a decade. Both my last trip and this next one are for work. While part of me is excited to fly again, I also have some reservations. My work travel is typically far from glamorous, and in the current environment, I’m sure it will be even more basic. After months of mostly living in quarantine, it will be quite a change to get back in a metal tube in close proximity to a bunch of strangers.
When this all started, I was counting the days to travel again. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined it would be this long. While I’m excited to fly, I definitely have mixed feelings. Both looking forward to the change of scenery, and my usual excitement for traveling. But breaking out of the bubble I’ve been in for months now will be a change. Simple tasks like meals on the road will be more difficult than in the past. Not a problem when at home.
Even on my last trip in March, I was sanitizing surfaces on the plane. For this trip I have a kit including masks, gloves, safety glasses. Not sure if I’ll use any of it besides the mask, but my company provided the rest. We don’t have a specific policy, but I’m the first of my colleagues to step back on a plane for business travel, so I guess that makes me a guinea pig.
When will you be ready to travel?
I have work trips 2 weeks in a row in June. Relatively short flights, one trip with connections. I’ve cancelled several leisure trips this spring, and my fun trip to check out Q-Suites has moved from April, to July, and now to December. Who knows when Americans will again be welcomed across international borders. This site from IATA is an excellent source of information regarding current travel regulations.
A family Alaska cruise in August is not going to happen, but our household is hoping to at least make a trip of it to the Pacific Northwest. With nonstop flight to Seattle, we’ll try to make something of a vacation. My domestic travel this month will be a test for how comfortable I’ll be taking my family on a plane this summer. I certainly hope we can get out and about beyond our area, and that it would be safe and responsible to do so.
I can’t imagine we’ll do any international travel this year as a family. Maybe I jinxed myself when I wrote up my travel goals for 2020. Clearly those plans were not to be, and it seems like it may be another year without visiting Europe. Our plans for Spain a few weeks ago obviously didn’t happen. I’d love to reschedule something similar this year, but I just cant’ see it happening. Seattle in August should be nice, and beyond that, maybe some other domestic trips is all we can realistically hope for. We’re not usually much of a road trip family, at least not long distance, but some exploring within our state or region seem most likely and responsible for a getaway this summer.
After my work trips this month, I don’t have any plans for a while and in the absence of testing, I likely will self-isolate to some extent for a few weeks, just due to the increased risk of additional contacts with carriers during my travels.
What about you, when will you resume your leisure travel? What will it take to make you comfortable to do so? Any predictions on when international travel will be open to Americans?