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Traveling in times of pandemic [Testimony]

Traveling in times of pandemic or the urgency to escape according to Sarah. Here is the testimony of this young professional in the travel industry who tells us why she decided to go on a trip and what her experience was at her destination.

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Seven months, four days. Seven months and four days of waiting and anticipation before boarding an aircraft. Like many, I’ve been telecommuting at home since last March. The walls of my apartment, I know them more than by heart. So much so, I can barely bear them. Is it me who makes me ideas or the pieces shrink in plain sight with each passing day?

For a prolific traveller like me, who fuels new experiences, to discover the world, this obligatory stop weighed heavily. More than once during this interminable period, I began to dream about my future journey.

For me, travel is not only a reward after months of hard work, it is a way of life, an essential element for my happiness, my joy of life. In the stunning of the first months of the pandemic, I managed to keep my mind busy: go for it, push, let go. But what do you do when the dust settles?

It’s time for decisions

When’s the good time to reconsider? For me, the click was when I knew that my week of vacation was confirmed and that the idea of spending it at home made me dizzy. It didn’t take much to convince a traveller like me to leave.Stay at home again without the distraction of work to keep my days busy?Impossible!I had to leave if I wanted to keep some of my sanity.

It’s true.I had become irritable, I had lost my usual good humour. The positive and resilient girl had become a shadow of herself. The journey came to fetch me, like a savior: I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anticipation of the holidays

Transat’s mission is to “brighten up everyday life with the joy of holidays.” These words made perfect sense the moment my booking was confirmed. I felt like I was reliving!I had something to hold on to.A dream, a hope. Suddenly, life was back in its colours. Nothing made me smile and the slightest thing was packing me.

As a child eagerly awaiting Santa Claus, I had this incredible energy renewed in me. My efforts and sacrifices of the last few months were finally going to be rewarded.

What about security?

Traveling in times of pandemic is a personal decision. I have the chance to work in the most beautiful industry in the world: travel. I am therefore well on the lookout for all the measures put in place by Transat which ensures the safety of its passengers with its Traveller Protection program.I know that nothing is left to chance. However, the human beings being what they are, the unknown gave me a certain fear. The pandemic has made us lose our usual benchmarks and even for the most experienced, the uncertainty of what awaits us destabilizes us.

Already, knowing that I had Covid-19 insurance included in my package and increased flexibility if I decided to change my plans, I was forced to find that I had everything to achieve my dream and take action by booking my safe trip. 

How do you prepare to travel in times of pandemic?

Appropriate measures, there are at all stages of the journey.But each individual has the responsibility and choice to take additional personal steps to satisfy his level of protection in order to be comfortable.Here are items added to my luggage that I was not used to bringing with me:

  • A disposable mask with a stiffer shape than surgical masks: Helps support for longer periods and provides more space between the face and the mask.
  • A box of single-use surgical masks to have with me at all times: In my hand luggage, in my beach bag.At your destination, it’s easier to change your mask than to try to wash and dry your face covers into fabrics.
  • Cleansing wipes: I thought I needed them to clean the chairs at the beach and pool, but I quickly found that the resort did it daily.
  • One or two small bottles of hydroalcoholic gel: Although there are not almost anywhere, I like to have my own bottle after handling change for the tip or after taking off my mask while taking a seat in the restaurant.
  • Eating well before you leave: Airports still have food services but some are limited.During the Air Transat flight, no problem!A reduced version of the Bistro menu is still available!

How’s it actually going?

I had booked a package with flights, transfers and stay at barcelo Maya Riviera.Here are some measures put in place at various stages of my trip:

  • Flights: there are many reasons why air travel is safe (high-performance air filters, disinfection of aircraft with hospital-grade products and an electrostatic disinfectant, advantageous seating, crew protection equipment, clear and frequent instructions during flight, etc.).   
  • Transfers: Transferists provide hand cleaner and disinfect your luggage before putting it in the vehicle, capacity is reduced in vans and buses.
  • On arrival: As you head to the reception for your check-in, baggage handlers thoroughly disinfect each piece of luggage.
  • Recording: Cleaning hands and taking temperature. Subsequently, a kit containing a mask and other items is handed over. The counter is cleaned between each customer.
  • Rooms: Maximum capacity of 60% currently in Mexico. Although a thorough cleaning is done, a period of 24 to 48 hours is required before reassigning a room.
  • Activities/animation: All activities are held outdoors and social distance is respected. You can practice yoga, Pilates, aquagym or Spanish or salsa classes! In the evenings, large-scale shows do not take place, however a little music and karaoke or Trivia evenings are offered at the Lobby.
  • Restaurants and buffets: Cleaning hands, taking temperature on arrival and wearing the obligatory mask on the move. Menu with QR code to download to your phone.For buffet stations, a staff member does the service. Individual portions are available without service.

So, traveling in times of pandemic?

That was awesome. After experiencing it, I can absolutely confirm that I felt safe, from the moment I set foot at the Montreal airport until I returned home. In fact, it was very similar to my previous trips, just be well prepared. Think about it, when you get out of the house now, you have to prepare and plan for things you didn’t do in the past.It’s the same for the trip.Don’t go out without your mask or your “purel”!