I'm sure you have some questions about what travel is like in the post-COVID world. Since mid-June, I've been in Mexico twice, touring all inclusive resorts. I've also stayed at several stateside hotels.
My third COVID trip to Mexico is actually tomorrow, August 4! On this trip, I'll be staying at two different all incusive resorts, the 8th and 9th Mexican resorts I've visited since June. I'll be (respectfully) crashing a destination wedding on Wednesday - ha! If you want to follow along, I share all of my trip information on Instagram, usually via Stories (@alpacabagstravel). My June and July trips are archived in the "highlights" section at the top.
In addition to seeing a boatload of all inclusive resorts, tomorrow will be my 10th and 11th flights since COVID began (I've flown American and Delta).
As a travel agency owner, I feel a responsibility to investigate this new world and report back. While you may not be ready for travel right now, I want to show everyone what this new world is like. When you're ready, I'll be here to help!
COVID Travel to Mexico: Myths & mythbusting
- Air travel to Mexico is not prohibited. When people say "the borders are closed to non-essential travel" they are referring to the land border of Mexico and Canada. Air travel has never been restricted. You can read more about this here: https://mx.usembassy.gov/travel-restrictions-fact-sheet/
- The country of Mexico does not currently have any COVID testing requirements for entry. Entry into Mexico is pretty much business as usual, minus a thermal temperature scan upon arrival and a health form.
- Re-Entry to the US has also been easy. The US does not currently have any federal requirements for re-entry from Mexico. Your state, city or employer may have requirements, but the federal government does not. My customs process has been easy ... the customs agent asked the same general questions about my travel but there was no temperature check, no health screening. NOTE: If you are traveling from European and Asian countries, there are special requirements, but not for Mexico.
- One heads up: The internet and social media can be wonderful, but I have seen a lot of blatantly incorrect information about travel. If you are seeing stories about travel requirements, please note the destination. For example, the Caribbean islands do have testing requirements, Mexico does not. Jamaica and St. Lucia are some of the strictest countries right now. This is where working with a professional travel advisor can be a huge benefit.
At The Airport
- Almost every airport requires face coverings to enter. Pay attention to posted signs about restrictions. Food and beverage options may be limited as many airport restaurants have not yet re-opened. As travel increases, more restaurants will re-open.
- Consider packing a snack for the plane as food & beverage options onboard may be limited
- Security lines have been longer due to social distancing requirements, but most move pretty quickly. You'll briefly remove your face mask to show your full face to TSA when going through security.
- Have patience with airport employees. The rules regarding travel (like everything else!) are changing quickly. They are doing an amazing job at keeping up with the new rules, usually with a smaller staff because of social distancing.
- When you check-in at the airport, you may be given a QR barcode to scan and fill out. This is a health form required by the Mexican government. I have found that the gate agents in the US are a little confused about this form. Some think you need to fill it out before you fly, some think you need to fill it out to return home. In my two experiences so far, no one has checked it upon entry to Mexico, but it WAS required to exit Mexico. More on that later.
On The Plane
- Pay attention to airline rules about face coverings. These can vary by airline and can change frequently. As of today, nearly every US airport and all US based airlines require face coverings. You can remove them for eating or drinking, but they must be worn for the duration of the flight. For specific airline information, please visit your airline website. Failure to comply may result in travelers being banned from future flights.
- Food and beverage service will be limited to reduce personal contact. Most airlines are giving a snack bag with a bottle of water, crackers or cookies and hand sanitizer. If you need anything, just ring your call button.
- Masks are required in-flight except for when eating or drinking. I found that it really wasn't that bad - I forgot about mine after awhile. I have flown with both cloth masks and disposables. I found that the disposables were more comfortable for travel. If you're worried about flying in a mask, try practicing at home before you depart. The beach on the other end will make it all worth it!
Transportation & Hotel Check In
- Your temperature will be scanned with a thermal scanner as you leave the airport. When you meet your transportation, the driver will be wearing a mask or a face shield. Your luggage will be sanitized before going into the vehicle. The vehicles are all sanitized and sprayed between guests. The Mexican government required special training and a paid certification for transportation companies, so the they are very prepared for your arrival!
- If you are in a private vehicle with only your party, you can remove your masks. If you are in a shared vehicle with strangers, face masks are required.
- When you check-in to the resort, your temperature will be scanned. You'll also walk through a sanitizing mat to sanitize your shoes before entry. Finally, you'll also be asked to complete another health form. This form will ask basic questions about your recent health and any exposure to COVID-19.
- To re-open, resorts were required to complete an extensive re-training and certification process. The resorts have taken this very seriously. Sanitation, cleaning and social distancing measures are all in place. Your room will have a small packet of masks and hand sanitizer for your use. Mask enforcement is up to the individual resort.
- Resort employees are very excited to be back at work. Each time I've visited, I've been greeted with excited smiles and lots of conversation. It's fun to get to know your bartenders and servers ... these are some of the hardest working men and women on the planet. While some restaurants may be on reduced hours and some swim up bars may be temporarily closed, there has been no shortage of food, drinks or great service.
- Some resorts are checking temperatures and sanitizing shoes at the entry to every restaurant or bar. As a former NYer, I know shoes are filthy dirty ... why weren't we doing this before?!? I love this!
Want to Know More?
We can help! As your travel advisor, we'll help you navigate the pros and cons of each destination and match you somewhere perfect based on your preferences and budget! In addition, we'll provide:
• Extensive, hands-on destination and resort knowledge
• Customized vacation packages
• Personal resort connections
• Access to exclusive offers you can't find online
• One-on-one attention
• Emergency support
• Real humans, no call centers