Sarah Greaves Gabaddon, journalist, Travel + Leisure, Islands, Condé Nast Traveler
Updated: Dec 12, 2021
Trips You Took in 2020: Grenada and Bahamas.
Outlook for 2021: Safety first.
Although I’ve traveled for work during the pandemic, I still conflicted about it. I’m certainly not advocating leisure travel for Americans until the pandemic is under control. And I do believe it’s irresponsible for travelers from the U.S to vacation in the Caribbean, where, because of early lockdown and efficient contact tracing, Covid-19 cases and deaths are relatively low—but medical resources are limited. However, since the islands began reopening in June, Americans have been heading there. Instead of just scolding them from my pulpit, it seemed to me that I could be of greater service by showing people how, if they must travel, they can do so as safely as possible. Crucially, I’m interested in demonstrating not just how visitors can protect their own health but also those of the people in the places they’re going to.
We will need to get used to taking precautions. Elements like a required PCR test pre-travel and mandatory hotel quarantines before getting out into the community aren’t foolproof, but I think they will become more typical as tourism comes back—and rightfully so. With the privilege of travel comes responsibility to the communities we visit.