Opinion: Should you travel during a global pandemic?

Every morning I check my inbox and find I have received another promotion from an airline. Being stuck in the same routine for the past six months, everything has started to blend together. Getting away for a little vacation is super tempting — especially with the low prices. 

However, I find myself wondering if I should be traveling during a global pandemic.

Like most of us, I have spent a lot of my time at home this year. When school moved to remote learning during spring semester, so did my job. I am still working from home and most of my classes are completely online, even some that were originally on campus. 

With this new remote lifestyle, it is extremely easy for me to pack my things for a few days and work from wherever I want. MGM Resorts have even taken this idea into their advertising with Work From Vegas vacation packages. 

In early August, I decided that I was going to take advantage of this opportunity. I had not been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had symptoms for the past 14 days, so a friend and I booked a four-day trip to Washington D.C. 

[Photo of a man viewing flight times in an airport]
Photo by Erik Odiin | Unsplash

There is a way to travel safely, and I think it’s a personal judgement call on whether you should or not. Following guidelines and restrictions is a great way to travel safely and show respect. 

We knew that the majority of what we would be doing was going to be outside, doing a lot of walking and sightseeing. The only time we were inside was when we were shopping or eating, both of which were things we were already doing at home.

This experience was eye opening because the city was extremely empty and a little eerie. We were very aware that we were witnessing history. Life in Idaho had started to pick up again, and I realized that I wasn’t fully aware of how big of an impact COVID-19 was having on larger cities. 

Airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks for the entirety of the flight, as well as being symptom free 14-days before. I had to catch a connecting flight on my way to and from Washington D.C. from Boise and stopped in Dallas, TX and Charlotte, NC.

Dallas and Charlotte were some of the busiest airports I’ve ever been in, even Boise was crowded. While talking with those next to me, I found that I wasn’t the only one traveling for fun. 

There was a woman on my flight who explained how she and her daughter were flying for the first time. They wanted to go visit family across the country and couldn’t say no to the low prices.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching, and I am curious how many people are going to go home for the holidays. 

Being six months into the pandemic, I think we are all missing our families and I couldn’t imagine not seeing them. Time will tell on whether airports will still be crowded this holiday season.

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