Holiday Travel and Covid: Here’s What to Expect

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It won’t last long, Mr. Orlando said. “I think once the rest of the world opens up, those planes will go back to the old ways that were in high demand, but right now, it’s a great opportunity.”

Ariel Vinson, 31, the director of digital content for a consumer packaged goods company in San Diego, went to Alaska at the beginning of October. This was her second trip there this year, and she is considering moving there.

But her journey was extended when she contracted Covid-19 for a week. She ended up staying an extra week, before returning home on October 24.

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“That was a wake-up call for me,” she said. “I don’t think it will stop me from traveling, but I do think it will make me think about my travel behaviours,” such as covering up outdoors or being more careful when dealing with strangers, something I’ve become more comfortable with since the vaccination this spring.

The times I’ve traveled by air this year, Sandra Torres, 32, who manages vendors at a Chicago-area biotech startup, said, “the same flights have changed multiple times.” An upcoming flight to Hawaii in November, booked for the spring, was changed a month later, with one of her legs eventually cancelled. She had to rebook with another airline. The airline recently canceled a planned birthday flight to Tokyo, in February 2022.

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“It makes planning things more difficult,” Torres said. “I have learned to be more flexible, to be more open. Even if you book things early, you may still have to change them.”

She added that she had learned to “have more protection, financially and just around the logistics and departure times.”

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