After a year like 2020, taking a leap and being spontaneous might be a bit scary for some. We have all experienced the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and after a year, it has become a source of exhaustion for many and people are looking forward to the day they can take a much-needed vacation. If you have yet to travel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be pleasantly surprised by the way the travel industry has adapted in the wake of the pandemic. From air to hotels and everything in between, there have been safety improvements and updates made across the board in travel to welcome you back with peace of mind. The realities of COVID-19 travel may still be daunting to some and as your trusted travel advisors, Team Ourisman is here to support you as you go back out into the world. We recently sent our Sales Coordinator Meg down to Cabo to explore One & Only Palmilla and to experience how COVID-19 has impacted travel to Mexico. Below, we recap Meg’s experience in taking a spontaneous trip south of the border.
We were very lucky to be given a spot on a trip to visit the beautiful One&Only Palmilla in San José del Cabo, Mexico. The trip was a bit last minute, but nothing we can’t handle! With three days before departure, Meg purchased a roundtrip ticket from Baltimore to San José with Delta. The following morning, she was able to get a rapid PCR test, without an appointment, at the local Urgent Care. We would suggest arriving 30 minutes prior to opening to avoid lines for a clinic such as this if you do not have an appointment. The negative results were received via email within one hour and printed out at home, to have both a digital and printed copy handy for the airlines. Delta emailed one form to sign and print to bring to the flight with a few basic questions regarding COVID-19. All that Meg had left to do was pack her bags!
The departure flight from BWI was a morning flight and Meg was lucky enough to find short lines at security with the airport feeling close to empty. All of the airports stopped in, both to and from Mexico, (BWI, ATL, DTW, and SJC) were spotless and hand sanitizing stations everywhere. Everyone encountered at the airports, both travelers and employees, were very respectful and cooperative with regard to social distancing and wearing their masks appropriately. Horror stories surely happen, but Meg’s experience was smooth and conflict free.
Meg had a connecting flight each way and luckily each flight on her itinerary were at about one-third capacity with only passengers in the same party sharing a row. The planes were sanitized and cleaned prior to boarding and you could tell — they were spotless! The flight attendants handed passengers a sanitizing wipe as they boarded and once in flight, the attendants handed out plastic baggies stocked with a water bottle, 2 snacks, an extra mask, and more sanitizing wipes. They also handed out 3 short forms to complete for immigration upon arrival in Mexico.
Upon arrival in San José, Meg found the airport to be very clean, well organized, and easy to understand. Papers and passports were checked efficiently and the process only took about 20 minutes. Walking through the small airport and outside to the pickup area, it was very easy to find the One&Only greeter waiting with a sign. The driver took a quick temperature read while all bags were sanitized before being loaded into the vehicle. After a 25 minute drive to the resort, guests passed through a large yet discrete thermal thermometer in the open-air lobby to read temperatures once more while bags were sanitized again for extra precaution.
Check-in was as seamless as always and before long Meg was in her room enjoying a welcome cocktail and the stunning views at One & Only Palmilla. Feeling safe to relax and unwind, her vacation was ready to begin! Be sure to check out our review of One & Only Pamilla and the extra special Villa One on the property, which plays host to guests seeking an extra special, truly luxurious, and one-of-a-kind experience! One & Only Palmilla is one of many fantastic resorts in Cabo and Mexico that will make for a perfect post COVID getaway! With 61 properties to choose from in the Virtuoso network alone, selecting the right resort to fit your needs can be a daunting task; reach out to the team if you aren’t sure which one to choose from!
While Meg had a fantastic time enjoying the wonderful One&Only Palmilla, the realities of COVID-19 travel did not disappear. For now, everyone returning to the States will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test and one of the benefits was the ease with which she was able to schedule a COVID test prior to her departure. Like many luxury properties around the world, the COVID test was offered on the property for ease of the guest. They had a designated room where guests went for their appointment to get a rapid test. Two doctors were present to administer the tests and all the typical procedures were followed from the privacy and comfort of a hotel room. The test itself cost 30 USD and all major credit cards were accepted by the testing company for easy payment at the time of testing. Negative results were emailed as well as printed and in an envelope under Meg’s suite door, within one hour of her test.
All in all, the travel process was extremely smooth, felt very safe & clean, and ultimately reassured us that the world is ready for travelers to get back out there and enjoy. COVID-19 has impacted travel in a major way and as the world recovers, we are here for you with the most up-to-date information and our own experiences. We completely understand that not everyone is ready to venture out into the world yet and we respect that. As always, our approach is designed towards your needs and comfort level. When you are ready to pack your bags and get away, Ourisman Travel is here to support you. For more information on travel to Mexico, other international travel questions, and how we can help you plan your next trip, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a travel request form!
Cheers to health, happiness, and packing our bags again!