How to keep your distance on a plane? That’s what Robyn Wilkov wanted to know after she boarded a recent flight from New York to Dallas.
Wilkov, a brand marketing consultant who lives in New York, was surprised to find a masked passenger in the middle seat next to hers.
“The plane was packed, with nearly every row seated,” she says. “There was no way to maintain distance.
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If you’re wondering how to take a vacation after the pandemic, brace for a surprise. It won’t be like your last one, according to experts. Not even close.`
“The situation is evolving,” says JC Lightcap, a travel safety expert for Sitata and author of The Travel Safety Handbook.
About 9 in 10 Americans are considering a trip, according to research by the advertising firm BVK. Of those who have planned their next trip, 4 in 10 have set travel plans in summer, and just over one-third are aiming for fall.
So how do you take a vacation after the pandemic? The ground rules are pretty simple: Pay extra attention to health and safety, work with a professional — and pack the right attitude.
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Have you ever met a travel angel? Sanne Wesselman did in a Spanish grocery store.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, she was locked down in Alicante, Spain. Wesselman, who runs a marketing agency in the Netherlands, was scheduled to fly home the next day, but couldn’t find a face mask.
“I was a little nervous about taking a flight right in an outbreak,” she says. “So not being able to buy a face mask definitely increased my stress levels.”
Another shopper overheard her talking to a friend about her problem. The kind stranger offered to make her a face mask.
Read more “These travel angels are committing random acts of kindness”
It’s almost impossible to find a hotel that hasn’t introduced a new sanitation program, promising its rooms are squeaky clean and coronavirus-free. But is your hotel room is really clean?
“It’s difficult to distinguish between legitimate cleaning efforts and public relations,” says Sheryl Kline, a professor at the University of Delaware who has researched hotel hygiene. “Anyone can do a visual inspection and it can look clean. Just because it looks clean does not necessarily mean that it is clean.”
Hotels have standard room-cleaning practices, which have been upgraded since the pandemic. But there is no universally accepted way to clean a hotel guest room, says Kline. (In fact, there’s no such thing as a safe vacation.)
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As we dragged our luggage across Los Angeles International Airport’s cavernous customs processing hall, my 15-year-old son asked, “Are we in the right place?” We’d just discovered what it’s like to fly now. Customs at LAX is typically overfilled with arrivals. This time, there were banners welcoming us to the United States, but no people. Only a maze of retractable belt barriers greeted us.
My kids and I had been asking the same question all day.
It had been a long day. We’d already crossed nine time zones and spent 12 hours flying from Nice, France, to California. And we still had a long way to go.
Read more “After the lockdown: This is what it’s like to fly now”