Holiday travel without restrictions


Photo courtesy of Neena Kirlew

Senior Neena Kirlew flies to her Thanksgiving travel destination. Breathtaking scenery is not all travel has to offer; new cultures and experiences are shared as well.

Spartans are looking forward to holiday travel this winter after the easing of many COVID-19 travel restrictions.

For the first time since 2019, people around the world are able to travel without COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. Currently, the only protocol in place is that travelers coming to the U.S. must have proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

“I did not travel much the past few years. My family likes to keep everything safe, so we just stayed at home until this year. I am excited about this holiday break because I am going to go to Columbus State University with my parents for four days,” said junior William Caldwell.

While the Caldwells are driving, English teacher Anne DeVaughn will be flying. This leads to not only longer-distance travel but also maximizes destination options as well.

“I am feeling much more at ease with our next trip, and now that restrictions have been loosened, we have more flexibility,” said DeVaughn, who will be vaccinated and masked on her flight.

As these restrictions are lessened, more exciting opportunities have become available for students. For instance, students like sophomore Allie Kugler can now travel abroad.

“I’m going to Dublin, Ireland with my family. We will be visiting Donegal and our family too. The thing I am most excited about is hopefully getting to trail ride along the beaches and exploring the mountains and plains on horseback,” said Kugler, whose family has chosen to travel after receiving various COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

It is not to say that DeVaughn is the only one with a compelling travel agenda. English teacher Meghan Konigsberg, whose family has decided not to take precautions due to the restrictions set at their destination, has travel plans of her own.

“Over winter break, I’m going to fly to St. Martin, and my husband, his family, and I are going to rent a sailboat. My husband’s father is a competitive sailor, and we want to sail around St. Barts along with other islands and go fishing and snorkeling there as well. I think we will be able to see some interesting things that you would not see if you were staying at a resort or on an island. I’m pretty excited!” said Konigsberg.

As opportunities for travel are increased, so will Spartans’ experiences and outlooks. 

“I believe that travel restrictions will lessen as the increasing control of COVID-19 continues. I also am looking forward to the future and seeing my family more,” said Caldwell.

Travel can be a key to a variety of eye-opening paths. It also has the possibility to inspire.

“I think travel influences younger generations by opening your mind to different perspectives and meeting new people with different ideas. I also think it makes you realize how much is out there and just how many beautiful places there are in the world,” said Konigsberg.