Are you dreaming of warm sand on your feet, palm trees swaying in the air overhead, and a cold drink in your hand, and curious what it's like to travel during covid times?
Read on to hear about my client, Vera Holroyd's experience. She took a weeklong trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with her family at the end of January 2021.
Deciding to Travel
With her son going off to college next year and the winter blues kicking in, her family was desperate to get some sun, bonding time, and scratch that travel itch that has been building up all year.
Travel is a deeply ingrained part of life for their family. Not traveling over the last year was like a piece of their identity was missing.
Vera and her family are extremely well-traveled. She has always booked trips on her own.
However, she recognized that times have changed. Vera wanted an extra set of eyes looking over all the details, so she reached out to me for help.
Finding the Right Resort
Straying from their typical adventurous travel style - partly to relax and partly due to covid - they decided they wanted to go to an all-inclusive in Punta Cana, but they weren’t sure where to stay.
The most important factor in my search was finding a resort with strict COVID requirements for cleanliness, masks, and social distancing to keep my clients as safe as possible.
Vera is a big foodie, so that was a top consideration because excellent food can be tough to find at an all-inclusive. Her family is very active, so fitness classes and activities on-site would tip the scales.
Checking those boxes and more, I recommended the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana.
Opening just months before the pandemic started, this beautiful new resort has top notch food, a fun waterpark, spa, incredible fitness center and loads of classes.
The neighboring adults only Hyatt Zilaria gave Vera and her husband some additional dining options sans kids.
Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment made me feel confident the resort was operating under strict protocols.
Covid Considerations when Booking Travel
Before booking to set expectations, I outlined what may be modified due to covid (and low occupancy rates) like some restaurants having a rolling opening schedule throughout the week.
I also provided insurance options and we discussed their specific needs. Insurance is more important than ever before and it’s critical to understand exactly what is and is not covered.
Just days before their departure, the new covid testing requirements for international flights arriving into the US was announced. I was able to alert Vera before she heard the news.
Hyatt quickly responded by offering complimentary COVID tests for guests on property at their resorts in Latin America.
The testing on-site was extremely convenient and they had their official results on the spot. Hyatt checks with the embassy daily to stay on top of requirements by country, so you don’t have to worry about a thing during your vacation.
Their Travel Experience & Covid Testing
They felt safe in the Dominican Republic - masks were widely worn, temperature checks and random covid tests were performed upon arrival. Vera and her family were one of the lucky ones to get selected, but they were all negative.
The arrivals and testing process at the airport was quick, and with an early morning direct flight (with only about 20 other people!), they were on the beach by early afternoon!
As responsible travelers, they also took covid tests after being home for a few days. It’s important to not only check the covid requirements not only for where you are going but also for your local area! I’m happy to report those results were also negative.
Vera's FeedbackVera and her family absolutely loved the resort. In fact, when they saw a snowstorm was meeting them back in Chicago, they really wanted to stay another night. However, that would put their covid test results outside the 72 hour window, so some things are not as easy as they were before!
She said they wouldn’t hesitate to go back, which is highly unusual for her family to repeat a destination, let alone a specific hotel.
Having me looking out for her family was “like an extra insurance policy,” Vera said.
Want to Travel?
It is possible to travel during covid times, but there are a lot more considerations and fine print to read to make sure you are making informed decisions along the way.
A travel advisor like myself can assist you with all these details, so you feel confident in what you book for your trip, regardless of how far into the future it may be!
Interested in staying at the Hyatt Ziva or Zilaria Cap Cana?
If you stay a minimum of 3 nights and book one of their larger rooms, I can get you the below amenities for free!
Private Round Trip Airport Transportation
$50 USD Property Credit
Concierge / Butler Service
Early Check-In & Late Check-Out
Welcome Letter & Amenity
Top Shelf Spirits (Club Level outlets only)
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in staying here or would like help planning a trip elsewhere!