This is What International Travel Looks Like in August 2020

By ItsJulia

This is What International Travel Looks Like in August 2020

Apparently, I'm told quite often that no one's traveling these days. That's wrong. I used Scott's Flights, and found a lot of great deals for flying. In his e-mail newsletters, Scott recommends booking flights now because you can secure great prices, and even if you can't fly right now, changes to existing fares are free. So after a little while of browsing, I ended up purchasing a ticket to the EU (thanks dual citizenship). This was done a little while back and my flight kept getting pushed and/or changed. It's now August, and I finally flew.

What can I say? Things are a little different these days. Upon arriving at JFK Airport where my flight would depart from New York, I had to fill out paperwork during check-in that stated I was European. The form also showed some other options for people who were allowed to travel to Europe such as essential workers. For a typical afternoon, the airport itself was quite deserted.

JFK Airport was deserted JFK Airport was deserted

I was surprised by the lax state of things considering the current pandemic and situation in New York. Many kiosks were empty, and there weren't a lot of travelers. Almost everyone had their mask on, but some other people rocked the mask-almost-off-my-face-so-it-does-not-do-anything look. At the time of this writing, New York currently has around 420,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus (just saying...). Thankfully, on the flight I would say that everyone had their mask on except for when food was served.

Empty counters at Korean Air Empty counters at Korean Air

Everything still ran on time, and unlike traveling in the past when I was always trying to get through busy queues of people, there were a lot less people going through security. I even had enough time to take a photo of the nonexistent queue while getting told that I couldn't film at the airport (which is sad as I had wanted to start vlogging this summer).

A lot less traffic going through security A lot less traffic going through security

Once I had boarded my flight, I basically passed out having been exhausted packing all my stuff the night before as I planned to stay with the European side of my family for the upcoming months. I landed in Paris some hours later, and immediately felt like I was in a different world. Many shops were opening or were in the process of opening, and a lot of things just felt more "normal," at least to me.

To be fair, I was most excited about being reunited with my fresh and belovedly-missed pain au chocolat. Besides that, I feel like my entire experience of traveling was fine, and I really hope that eventually things will settle back down. Seriously, who wants to make decisions about which country to stay in when you can travel the world instead.