If you have been following along then you know I just got back from spending two weeks in one of my favorite places: St. John, USVI. And that Logan and I were supposed to have all of our friends and family here in June 2020 for our wedding, but due to COVID-19 this was pushed to June 2021. Because we had flights/ Airbnb’s booked for this year, my family and I made the decision to take a much needed trip to paradise.
Believe me, we went back and forth many times on whether or not it was safe for airport travel with the ongoing pandemic. We watched the case numbers closely and of course we took every precaution known to man including masks (duh wear a mask), sanitizer, Chlorox wipes, frequent hand washing, no eating on the plane, limited drinking, etc. I want to start by saying I am no epidemiologist or pandemic expert, I just want to use this post to share my experience and how I felt during my travels in case any of you are considering air travel in the near future!
On the way there, we flew American Airlines CVG (cincy) to STT (St. Thomas) The first flight was a tiny plane with 2 seats on one side and 1 on the other. I was on the 2 seat side directly next to Logan and the seat across from us was empty. This was the most ideal situation to minimize being in close proximity to any strangers. We had about a 5 minute layover in Miami. No exaggeration here- we got off the first plane and walked right onto the already boarding second flight. This was much appreciated because we spent as little time sitting around the airport as possible. The flight was not ideal TBH because it was full and I was not able to sit next to Logan- we were in diagonal isle seats (UGH team window all the way). But oh well, I had my face mask and my silk eye mask and I slept the whole way there.
The St. Thomas airport took its own precautions for keeping people safe from COVID-19. Our temperatures were taken immediately when we deplaned. Also, if you arrived from a state considered a “hotspot” (more than 10% of state population testing + for COVID-19) you had to prove a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival. Lucky for us, Ohio was not one of these states, so we did not require a test. We left the airport and headed to the ferry. My mom scheduled a private bus to take us to the ferry so it was just our family. Normally they stack you like sardines into these vehicles, so this was a really nice change. Next, we took an open air ferry over to St. John.
In between all of the transportation we had an amazing vacation! We would briefly forget about the pandemic until we went to a restaurant or market where we had to dawn our masks and were reminded. Check out my insta @speakofchic for some amazing pics!
Fast forward to the end of our vacation… we flew home with American Airlines, STT to CVG with another layover in Miami. Prior to even checking in for our flight I was anxiety ridden because AA was offering a deal to change anyones flight from Saturday to Tuesday for no charge- this meant the flight was full. Thankfully some passengers must have taken advantage of this deal because Logan and I were able to snag a row all to ourselves-Ideal for any travel day if you ask me! Next, we had a three hour layover in Miami, but the Miami airport was MUCH less crowded than normal. Finally, Logan and I boarded our last plane for Cincy and were able to sit together again.
From my experience, air travel felt safe because extreme precautions are being taken by airlines, airports and travelers to minimize the spread of germs. I personally appreciate that everyone seems aware of their hygiene and personal space (also less people engage in conversation which a HUGE plus for an introvert like me). I am also really happy that COVID-19 has made travelers realize that traveling when you have symptoms of illness is no longer okay. These are my first pandemic plane experiences. I am really just so happy I was able to getaway with my family on a much needed trip to paradise!