What It’s Like Flying During Covid (Hawaii 2021 Trip)

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We just got back from Hawaii and had an incredible time. 

It was my first ‘big’ trip since covid and I was really excited to have something to look forward to again. But flying in these times isn’t quite what it used to be!

So I thought I’d share our experience starting to travel again during the pandemic.

 

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Flying in 2021

We flew from New York City to Honolulu, Hawaii, which is about a 10.5 hour flight.

I don’t think the flight duration really sunk in to me until I was actually on the plane. 

And… I’m not going to lie, it felt loooong! I realized on the plane, looking at the world map, that we could have almost flown to Asia for that flight length ha. 

The actual aircraft was changed last minute, so even though we had paid extra for a carry-on bag and seat selection, we ended up all split up, sitting among strangers. 

It wasn’t ideal, but what can you do.

Going back, we were able to all sit together so it felt like the flying time breezed by.

 

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The number one change with covid is that masks were required throughout the entire travel journey. From the ride share cab to the airport, to going through security, and of course on the entire flight itself. 

I was worried it would be really uncomfortable but it wasn’t too bad! 

Just make sure to bring a comfortable face mask that fits your face and won’t cause irritation. These Atoms everyday masks are a really comfortable option, especially on long haul flights, as they’re made from a lightweight and breathable polyester.

They sit high up enough on the nose to tuck under glasses so you can breathe easier without fogging up your vision and they’re also great to double mask with, if you prefer to wear a N95 mask underneath.

 

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They did serve food on our flight, which was a pleasant surprise! 

I thought all meals were suspended but it looks like they brought that back. To be honest, the food was really bad haha but United also had lots of water and snacks on hand as well.

It’s been so long since I’ve traveled that I forgot to bring along my trusty airplane pillow, travel blanket and travel headphones. I had only packed my bluetooth airpods, and they obviously don’t work on flight screens!

I should have done a better job packing.

 

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On board, it was a bit mixed.

For example, on the departing flight, the flight attendants didn’t hand out headphones but blankets and pillows were available. But on the return, they did provide headphones but no blankets or pillows. It might just be due to supply!

If you can, I definitely recommend bringing headphones with a jack for the plane, especially on long flights. They had a couple new movies out like A Quiet Place 2 that I binged.

And anything you can bring to make your flight more comfortable, be sure to pack!

 

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Oh! One other thing I forgot to mention.

We noticed that airfare dropped significantly leading up to our trip. I’m not sure why, usually flight prices increase the closer you get to the departure dates, but our flight had a couple seats left at the new lower fares.

So, since airlines are currently allowing you to cancel, we were able to rebook and take advantage of the airfare drops! 

So I definitely recommend setting flight alerts even after you’ve purchased your tickets if you plan to fly anywhere.

 

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Overall, flying went surprisingly smoothly and I had an amazing time in Hawaii!

Unfortunately since we’ve returned Hawaii’s covid situation has worsened and the Governor has asked tourists to stop visiting for the time being.

I think stops and spurts will probably be the new normal for the next 6 months to a year, so it is what it is. Hopefully things improve as vaccination and booster rates increase!

Have you flown recently? Where to and what was your experience like?

 

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 Read More   in my travel packing checklist series:

 

Best Travel Luggage

The Best Carry on Luggage for 2021

The Best Packing Cubes for a Perfectly Organized Bag

The Best Lightweight Luggage for Overpackers

The Best Hard Luggage Sets for Stylish Travelers

The Best Underseat Luggage for Minimalists

The Best Carry On Bags for Men - Rugged + Durable!

 

Business Travel

The Essential Business Packing List

The Best Business Travel Luggage

The Best Laptop Cases for Working Women

The Best Laptop Bags for Men

 

Packing Hacks

The Best Travel Wallets for All Your Vacation Essentials

The Best Jewelry Cases Never Untangle a Necklace Again!

The Best Toiletry Bags to Clean Up Quick

 

Travel Packing Lists

The Best Travel Jackets for All Types of Weather

The Best Duffel Bags for Your Next Weekend Trip

The Best Travel Backpacks to Hold Everything You Need

 

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