My husband and I live out of our suitcases. We have fully embraced the digital nomad life. Charleston has been our home during Covid, but we do not have a permanent place to stay while we are there. So there had to be an end date for our time in Charleston, and we had to stop asking family members to stay at their houses. They were amazing to keep us safe during the lockdown for 5 months. But, we needed to find a location that is taking Covid seriously, and also that will take Americans. We picked Tulum, Mexico. The city has everything that we need to work and be safe in one place.
Travelling right now is a personal choice for us. The Covid numbers are still rising in America, as of August, 2020, and I can not tell you that it’s the best decision to travel right now. But, what I can tell you is how we did it and what steps it took to maintain our safety. Travel has changed, and I think a lot of it is here to stay.
I really did some digging on every airline. I wanted to know what they were doing to ensure everyone’s safety. Knowing the safety protocol with airlines is priority number one; especially those who enforced wearing masks, kept the middle seat open, and sanitized the plane in between flights. If you know me, you know that I am someone who always looks for a deal, but these are times where I have other priorities above discounts. After doing some extensive research, Delta checked off what was on our safety list, had transparency that safety was of high importance, and made it very clear that masks were not optional. Here are the steps they did from boarding to wheels down.
First an announcement was made stating that every seat, armrest, tray table, screens, and surface were sanitized prior to boarding the plane. In between flights staff used their fog machine to detect if there were any viruses present on the plane. Once all these boxes were checked, we were let on the plane. Delta enforced rules where everyone boarded the plane with just two rows at a time, starting from the back of the plane. This allowed there to be a 6-ft distance when filing into the plane. This rule created no lines, and people were not passing anyone who was seated on the plane.
Sanitizer wipes were distributed to every passenger as you first walked on the plane. Delta made clear announcements that you could not take off your mask unless you were eating or drinking. To avoid any cross contamination pre-made bags were handed out with cookies, almonds, sanitizer, and a bottle of water during the flight.
After landing, they asked everyone to stay seated until it was time for your row to depart to keep a distance. Normally people stand on top of each other while grabbing their belongings in the overhead compartment. One could feel the sense of order from the staff and passengers while departing. There was a kind of unity for once while boarding and deboarding a plane. People also respected the rules and followed everything.
We did our research and asked a lot of questions to the owners of accommodations. I felt better renting a house for a longer period of time. This way we can cook for ourselves, have a space to quarantine and work in comfort. We rented through Airbnb and reached out to the owner well in advance about our concerns. Research can only take you so far from online, so it is best to know how seriously Tulum was taking Covid and if there was a mask mandate from people that are living there. I also wanted to know what steps they were taking in sanitizing the home. There comes a lot of relief knowing that no one had rented the home in 4 months, and there is a 400 USD fine if you do not wear a mask in the city of Tulum (that is WAY more than in SC where we were). Mexico was shut down to tourists until they opened to international flights recently. As of right now, there is still a restriction on driving from the United States to Mexico. Also, certain provinces have opened up, but are taking restrictions with masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and occupancy.