Travel During the Pandemic: Pros and Cons

The way airports currently look, socially distanced and all travelers masked.

Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

The way airports currently look, socially distanced and all travelers masked.

Gabriella Larsen

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, airports, travel, and vacations have resumed for those who wish to get away from their daily lives. Airports and destinations follow COVID-19 guidelines, some of which are enforced more strictly than others. 

At airports, guests are encouraged to social distance and wear masks properly, but this is not strictly enforced. Planes have enhanced air filtration systems and cleaning procedures, masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking while sitting down, and airlines provide individually wrapped snack bags for guests. Each flyer is also given a sanitizing wipe for his or her seat upon entering the plane. The only unfortunate aspect of airline traveling is that there is no way to divide passengers unless skipping seats. Each party gets its own row but still have other parties directly in front of and behind them.  

Theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando strictly enforce properly wearing masks and even have staff members patrolling the park to remind guests to wear them properly, or they will be asked to leave. The only time masks may not be worn is when eating or drinking while stationary. Additionally, these theme parks have not opened to full capacity, making social distancing from other families much easier. Lines for rides and other attractions have markings on the ground, six feet apart from each other for each party to wait on, as well as hand sanitizing stations and handwashing stations in multiple locations. They also had scheduled pauses at every attraction for sanitizing. 

Upon entering the theme parks, typical security measures have been altered for the safety of the guests and staff. Before entering security itself, every guest is temperature checked. Bags are no longer checked due to germs. Instead, all guests move through a new and more advanced metal detector than the ones used pre-pandemic. Then, guests scan their tickets as usual, but the fingerprint confirmation has been taken away. 

The only unfortunate aspect of a theme park vacation during this time is the closing of certain attractions, especially character visits. This makes more guests move to a certain area due to the closed attractions they can no longer access. Also, facemasks hinder families from capturing the excitement they are experiencing in photos. 

Hotels now have enhanced cleaning procedures, making sure everything is properly sanitized for the next guests. Compared to previous years, hotels are much less crowded. Pools are the same since it is dangerous to wear a mask underwater, however, social distancing at the pool is not difficult. 

Travel has been modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is still possible. Since the public has widely gotten used to wearing masks and social distancing, vacationing seems as normal as it can be as people make the most of this troubling time.