A year ago, traveling felt effortless and we were in full swing. I had my packing down to a science. I knew just where to park at the airports and I monitored my frequent flier accounts daily, figuring out the best way to earn and redeem miles. I constantly checked our hotel reservations seeing if any had dropped in price to have them adjusted. I was planning 6 months to a year in advance until just like on Seinfeld, I hit the Van Wyck. Or, in the case of 2020 COVID hit us.
A few weeks ago, we took our first flying vacation in over a year. We could have chosen someplace close but instead, we flew 5000 miles to Hawaii. If we were going to make the effort it might as well be a doozy!
There were many hoops to jump through before we embarked on this adventure. Biggest hoop of all was whether we felt comfortable enough to go. My husband was vaccinated…I was not. It was a lot to think about and ponder. The airlines and hotels having liberal cancellation policies really helped in the case we changed our mind at the last minute.
The state of Hawaii had very strict guidelines as to what a traveler had to do to enter Hawaii without a mandatory 10-day quarantine. 72 hours before our flight left the mainland, we had to take a COVID test at an approved state of Hawaii location. Then we were required to upload the negative results to an account each of us had created on the state of Hawaii website.
The morning of our departure day dawned and we were on that once very familiar drive to JFK. The airport was fairly empty as it was very early. We flew Delta (as always) and they truly did bend over backward to observe safe COVID protocols. We felt more relaxed than I thought we would. I also was afraid that keeping a mask on for all those hours (2 to Atlanta and 9.5 from Atlanta to Honolulu) would be an issue, but it wasn’t at all.
Tired but exhilarated, we arrived and it was mostly like old times…except with a mask. It was so wonderful to be in a different location. It made us feel as though life as we knew it—before COVID, would return sometime soon. Traveling was different. There were many more things to consider and prepare for, although the excitement and thrill still remained.
We flew home 6 days later which also required some hoop jumping to re-enter NYS. We tested and tested again and then settled back into being home. I am purposely savoring every last bit of jet lag as I don’t know when our next far flung away vacation will be.
Wishing all my readers a healthy, safe and satisfying travel adventure whenever it’s the right time for you. Planes, trains or automobiles…it’s good to be back.