Traveling in the era of COVID
Recently, I decided to fly to visit my family in Virginia.
The night before I was definitely anxious about how traveling would be. I was worried about how well I’d do with a mask on especially since I’m high risk and struggle to breathe when walking a fast pace. Which also leads to me being out of breath when I walk while wearing a mask.
I’m not an “anti-masker” but I definitely avoid going out as much as possible to not wear one. Online shopping and staying inside the house was always a comfort of mine, even prior to covid times. I always wear a mask and comply with the law where required, (and personally it makes me feel safe), but it’s an annoyance we have to deal with until the world returns back to normal (at least that’s what I’m wishing for!)
I’ve missed traveling like I used to, so while I was nervous, I was excited to jump on a Southwest plane to BWI Airport to celebrate my birthday with my husband’s side of the family.
Departing from Midway Airport was nice and quiet. The self check-in kiosks were available for immediate use to check in luggage and bags. Prior to the covid times, I would have to wait for a bit, and be stuck in a line with others who are waiting to check in their bags.
TSA Security for me was extremely quick, since I am a TSA PreCheck Member. There was no one in the line in front of me for TSA PreCheck, and I went in and out of security in ONE minute! I put my backpack and purse through the luggage scanners, went through the body scanner and within a few seconds — out came my bags for me so I could get to my gate quickly.
My husband’s regular TSA checkout took about 15 minutes, so security took around the usual but with less people waiting in line.
Note to those who like traveling: TSA PreCheck is DEFINITELY worth investing in! It makes the flying process within the United States just seamless and effortless. I’m not paid to advertise this, but I really love the perks of being a TSA PreCheck Member!
The airports and planes had a mandatory mask rule (of course, and I wouldn’t want it any other way for everyone’s safety and health). It was exhausting to move around the airport in the mask but sitting on the plane with the mask on wasn’t too bad. I’ve sat for longer getting tattooed in the covid times with a mask on than flying on the plane. Sitting with a mask isn’t bad, but moving around for a bit made me sweaty and out of breath until I was able to sit down again. It wasn’t bad though.
I flew Southwest (personally, the best choice for flying in these times). Before this trip, I read that other airlines are starting to book solid full flights.
And no, I don’t get paid to advertise them either, but I love their service so the world needs to know!
I read their COVID safety information on their website to see how they were doing their part in this pandemic. I was pleased to read about how they are keeping the middle seat open until October 31st. It was a smart move on their end. They have always been an airline that cares about customer satisfaction and I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad time flying with them.
So, we bought our sodas in the airport terminals beforehand since they had limited drink service for everyone’s safety. 10/10 would recommend and will continue flying them until the covid era ends, and after.
It was just like any other plane ride but with a mask, and less people. There were about 45 people on the plane ride to BWI airport. I got the window seat, and I watched John Wick 3 as we arrived to our final destination.
That wasn’t as bad as I thought.
It was nice to be able to travel to celebrate my birthday out in Virginia without a full quarantine lockdown like Illinois had been under since June.
Compared to pre-covid times, I still missed going to eat inside a restaurant. They had some places there where you can sit in and eat but I didn’t want to. I had a nice birthday meal at the CookOut Parking Lot eating a sandwich and delicious hush-puppies.
We went to the mall with our masks on, and it was nice to go out and actually do an “extrovert” thing besides stay in my house all day like I’ve been since March. Though, pre-covid times, I still stayed in the house most of the time. I’m as introverted as they get these days.
I got to enjoy how beautiful nature was from inside an air conditioned car, because 90% humidity with feeling like 100+ degrees was extremely unpleasant. I used to love summer, but this was extreme heat and humidity but thank God for air conditioning! (So, I won’t ever complain about the winter again, or will I?)
The flight back was just as great. We were at the airport with an hour to spare to get our bags checked, go through security, and get a warm dinner for the evening plane ride home.
So, if you’re considering traveling in covid times, go for it. The world isn’t ending, we just have to be more cautious. For our sake, and the sake of others.
If 2020 taught me anything, it’s just how important collective humanity is, and how much we all depend on each other for safety and security. 2020 has shown me that health is important, and it’s made me want to take better care of myself and those around me.
So if you’re traveling by plane, take your necessary safety precautions. Bring your hand sanitizers, wipes, and masks. Take your vitamins, focus on being healthy (mentally and physically), and everything should be alright. Set your intentions to be good, and don’t let fear stop you from living your best life.