Student found ways to safely travel and enjoy their holiday break despite ongoing pandemic

Norah Mclaughlin and Naya Gasper

In a normal year, students and their friends and family would usually enjoy the holiday break laying on a beach in Florida or in a lavish resort in Mexico. However, travel looks different this year with new restrictions and mandatory quarantines that provoked many families to modify their plans or cancel long-standing travel traditions due to health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, some families still managed to safely make the most of their two-week holiday break.

“We drove to Florida and my dad was the only one allowed out of the car so we didn’t touch anything while traveling, we wiped down all food wrapping before touching it, and we wore gloves and masks into every public place,” Aria Bernard ‘22 said. 

For those who traveled by plane, “we obviously had to wear masks on the plane the whole time but along with that the plane was more spaced out and there were overall fewer people in the airport,” Stephanie Wiener ‘21 said. 

A lot of precautions were taken in order to make traveling covid friendly, especially at the destination. Wiener traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 12 days and had to be very safe. “We had to wear masks all throughout the hotel and at dinner until you got to your table but overall I felt extremely comfortable there,” Wiener said.

Other families planned trips to escape the cold Michigan weather last minute, “My plans didn’t really change because of COVID-19 because it was a really last-minute decision to go to Florida,” said Josie Mehney ‘21 who also had to take many precautions to remain safe. “I wore a mask in every public place and I stayed six feet away from others.”

For families who were visiting high-risk family members, such as the elderly, had to be extra cautious. While in Mexico, Wiener was visiting her grandparents, “Prior to us traveling my family was extremely careful about seeing people and when we traveled we all wore N-95 masks because we were joining our grandparents and wanted to be extremely careful” Wiener said. 

Because online schooling options are available, some families have decided to extend their vacation including Lucy Byam ‘21. With online school comes extra challenges like wifi issues, something else, and difficulty concentrating.

 “I don’t think it was a good idea. Honestly, it was really hard to concentrate,” Byam said.  

Overall, traveling has looked different for everyone this year and COVID-19 has brought many challenges to students. Thankfully, technology has made these difficulties easier to learn remotely.