Epperly Advisor, Megan, recently returned from a belated spring break trip with her girlfriends. We know that many travelers are hesitant to travel internationally at this point, but after Megan’s review of her experience in Mexico, we can all agree it’s time to #getawayfromhere!
Of my personal experiences with airport travel, this trip was honestly the smoothest experience. From parking to arriving at our gate took about 20 minutes and the widespread usage (read: everyone, all the time) of masks, distancing, and sanitizer made us feel super safe. You are asked to wear a mask from the time you set foot inside the airport through the duration of your flight, baggage claim, customs, and airlines are requiring it, so make sure you have a comfortable mask! Personally, I realized how heavily I rely on lipreading. I found myself saying “I’m sorry, could you say again?” more times than I care to admit.
My travel buddies and I were *basically* alone through security and while in the terminal. Did we get to the airport three hours early? Yes, but the hustle and bustle (that some really love about airports) is not a thing right now. Most restaurants in Concourse F were closed, save for a Starbucks and a grab-and-go store. When we saw people with Chick-fil-A, we got excited, all to learn they took the plane train ALL the way to Concourse B. I’d do a lot of things for CFA, but that’s not one of them.
Our ATL – CUN flight was on Delta, and in addition to restricting guests from sitting in the middle seat, the airline sanitized the plan between flights, issued all guests prepackaged snacks, water, Purell wipes, and boarded the plane from back to front. It makes SO much sense to me to board from back to front in terms of efficiency and decreasing time spent hanging in the aisles among other travelers. For our trip, the plane operated at about 60% capacity for our outbound flight, and our return flight was probably half full (where I enjoyed having a row to myself). Delta Comfort + offered a limited alcohol service (red / white wine, light or craft beer). No coffee, no liquor, no soft drinks.
Arrival in Cancun
The arrival experience was one of gratitude. Every individual with whom we interacted were genuinely happy to see us, and the CUN airport was just as clean and strict with mask wearing and social distancing. Each bathroom had attendants that cleaned your stall after use. From landing to customs, baggage claim, and meeting our transfers arranged through Best Day Travel took about a half hour. We could have saved a few minutes but I was VERY into the guy with the rolling margarita cart.
Resort Experience- Social Distancing
In areas that our resort, Unico 2087, could control, they were quite serious about social distancing. Beach setup, pool chairs, and dining rooms were organized in such a way to encourage distancing. The cafe and bars were accessible to order, but not congregate. Pool and beach food and beverage service was incredibly efficient to compensate for the fact that you were discouraged from approaching bars. At night, the lobby bar area played host to a DJ with fun music and great service. The couches, chairs, and tables were set up to accommodate couples and small groups that could also practice social distancing simultaneously. This resort required reservations to use the gym (hour blocks of time, 3 guests max) and for dinners (all reservations were staggered so you weren’t hanging in the waiting area with all the other 9PM reservations). The Unico App made it super easy!
Resort Experience- Cleanliness
Upon arrival, our transfer van was sanitized (handles, tires) and when we arrived, the lobby attendants greeted us outside and took our temperature, pumped sanitizer into our hands, sanitized our luggage, and asked us to step on a welcome mat that had sanitizer for our shoes. The resort was impeccably clean but didn’t smell like chemicals. At restaurants, menus were available by QR code (or on the app!) and each table, appropriately spaced, was cleaned after guests left the table. We got hand sanitizer upon arrival to each restaurant and like most resorts, buffet dining is not currently available, but rather an a la carte menu with sit-down service.
100% of the resort staff wore personal protective equipment 100% of the time. Same goes for airport and transfer staff.
While cleanliness and safety was definitely a priority, you still to experience your trip like a “normal” vacation. Normally, I go to the gym when I want and dine when I’m hungry, but if making reservations helps the staff keep appropriate cleanliness measures and safety protocols in place, it’s an adjustment I’m definitely willing to make.
The hospitality industry is ready and eager to make an impression on travelers in the “new normal” – outside of my girlfriends and the handful of people we met and hung out with, I interact with way more people (masked and unmasked) on any given day in my hometown. Covid-19 has slowed so much of our industry, but the resilience of these resorts and the people who work in the industry is apparent. I would hop on a plane tomorrow and do this trip over again in a heartbeat (friends, husband, family, y’all down???).
We encourage travelers to do what makes you comfortable, but the measures taken to ensure safety and cleanliness align with the expectations you have when you book a trip to a resort with Epperly Travel. I have high expectations of my travel experiences (for my personal travels as well as those of my clients), and this trip delivered.
If you are interested in traveling to Mexico or any other international or domestic destinations feel free to contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org