Dear Explorers! 8/24
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
It's been said that the best way to lead is by example. With that in mind, I packed my bag, grabbed my husband and set off to see for myself how to travel in today's reality!
By: Anne Heintz
August 24, 2020
I have been very busy and have a lot to share.
First and foremost, I hope you and your family are safe and well. I’m happy to report that all is good in my life. My family and I are great, and we are focused on the future (more on that in a bit)!
A number of you are already planning your next adventure. I have booked client trips to Wyoming, Utah and Cape Cod to mention a few.
I have done a bit of traveling myself as well and hope you find my experience helpful.
On the Road Again!
Our first adventure outside of Northern Virginia was in a car. It was roughly a two-hour drive to the Northern Neck of Virginia. We rented a beautiful 4-bedroom home on a small tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
My husband Les and I were joined by our youngest daughter, her fiancé, and three of our closest friends. We took mask and gloves, but rarely felt the need to use them. We washed our hands often and were mindful of personal space. With the exception of a few grocery store runs, we kept to ourselves at the river house.
The view from the house to the river was so peaceful and the sunset spectacular! Heathsville, VA. Photograph by Les Heintz
The house was immaculate and cleaning supplies were prevalent. There were seven of us in total. We all felt such a sense of freedom. It was wonderful to re-connect in person. We brought most of our groceries with us, although did stop at a local fruit and vegetable stand and oyster emporium to stock up. At $1 an oyster who could resist?
In mid-June, we took our first commercial flight since the beginning of March. Such NIRVANA for me!
Our trip was to Daytona Beach on a nonstop flight via Orlando. No hotel experience to share as we visited family. Here’s the rundown on the flight.
The Airport Experience
We got to DCA Reagan-National Airport around 7AM for an 830AM flight having heard various stories about TSA lines. There was no curbside check-in, but plenty of kiosks and space inside the terminal to check my husband’s golf clubs. Everyone was masked. It is the law here in Virginia if you are inside, unless you are eating. Hand sanitizer was available wherever there were touch points.
Washington Reagan National Airport
Photograph by Les Heintz
I have never seen DCA look so spotless! I was glad to see that the CLEAR line was open.
For the most part, people social distanced unless they were traveling with others. To avoid using the bins TSA suggests that you stow change, cell phones, belts, etc in your carry on. They will also allow you twelve ounces of hand sanitizer. Once through security you will find a few newsstands and restaurants open with a limited number of tables.
The airport experience on our return flight out of Orlando was also a positive yet slightly different experience.
There was more than one TSA line open but no CLEAR and TSA PRE lines. People with TSA PRE or Global Entry were in the line with everyone else. You just had to show your boarding pass and would still get the same privileges.
We travelled on Southwest. Their policy, like Delta’s, requires all middle seats to be open until the end of September. We boarded in groups of ten. It was easy, safe and pleasant. I tip my hat to Southwest. They are a customer friendly airline.
The plane smelled almost new. Air vents were all open and circulating during the entire flight. They told everyone that masks were mandatory unless you were eating or drinking. They did provide a snack of pretzels and a can of water.
Upon arrival but before getting off the aircraft, we were asked to pull the flight attendant call button so that the cleaning crew could pay special attention to those seats that were Southwest Flight. Photograph by Les Heintz
They were waiting on the jet bridge with their sanitizing products. The only time that I didn’t see social distancing was getting off the plane. People were polite and not pushing or rushing, but if you are nervous its best to wait until most have deplaned before you get off.
We also rented a car through National. Not to sound like a broken record but it also smelled squeaky clean. There was a card attached to the rearview mirror with their “complete clean pledge,” protocol.
National Car Rental
The last tidbit is no less important in my estimation. As soon as we got to our destination we immediately showered, put on a new set of clothes and laundered the items worn during our morning of travel.
Big Thank You!
As many of you know, my husband Les and I started this site to demonstrate that travel is still possible in these crazy times we live in. The response since our launch has more than we could have expected. Your support and friendship is truly touching.
Our vision is to create an outlet dedicated to people like all of us. It’s a site for explorers who happily suffer from wander-lust!
If this is your first visit, I hope you become a regular visitor and perhaps even submit your photos or articles for publication.
I will also be updating you on some personal future hotel stays!
Enjoy the journey
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Connect with your favorite travel advisor today: Escape@TravelAnne.com
**Anne Heintz is an independent travel advisor based in Washington, DC who loves her work and always has her bag packed. She believes travel creates lasting memories and connections and is grateful to be able to share that with her clients. She is affiliated with Worldwide Travel Associates and Tzell Travel. She is the co-founder & namesake of TravelAnne.com. Reach her directly at Anne@TravelAnne.com.