As Restrictions Loosen, Families Travel Far and Spend Big

May 19, 2021 · 56 comments
bob manfo (westchester)
Good luck finding restaurants and hotels/resorts that fully staffed and not woefully shorthanded of help in many tourist destinations. On a short trip to Hilton Head a few weeks ago, it was obvious that most of the service/tourist industries were having trouble providing decent services because of the lack of help. It is obvious the extra $300 unemployment benefit is keeping a lot of the workforce home. I will not travel again, until this mess is over and done.
E (CA)
My family-- my parents and myself and my two brothers, all 3 of whom are in our late 20s/early 30s-- realized we have not had a family vacation with the five of us since 2014. After this year, with all of us in farflung locations, we realized it's important that we do it. We will be gathering, all fully vaccinated, in a cabin at the end of summer. The virus made us realize that distances of thousands of miles, or country borders, can quickly become real barriers. It incentivized me to move back to California where my family is and my brother, in Canada, is hoping to do the same. The virus has shown us all what's important at the end of the day and my family has gotten me through a very difficult year.
Me (Miami)
Spot-on. If you’re vaccinated this is essentially over for you, go out and have a ball….. Pay no attention to the pearly clutchers still hiding at home peeking out the window.
Edward (Honolulu)
There’s something obscene about this article. Private jets and fancy resorts after so many have died? What is wrong with these people?
Me (Miami)
Life goes on……..
Be Bop (Washington DC)
@Edward They are fortunate to have plenty of money to spend..... why should they deny themselves pleasure?
nuneuro (Chicago)
This is a perfect reason not to travel. One upside of Covid was the decrease in the number of jerks you had to deal with while traveling. Guess the honeymoon is over.
Joe (Seattle)
I've been seeing so many of these we-were-so-deprived-during-the-pandemic-that-now-we're-going-to-blow-all-our-savings stories in the Times lately that I'm beginning to think that they're algorithmically generated. Watch out, freelancers!
Terry L (PNW)
I don’t know about these folks but I am going to take a wait-and-see approach for summer travel. The pandemic is not behind us yet.
Pietje (Mountain West)
Thanks to all the people who provided the vaccines, and to all who are able and choose to be vaccinated, with hope that the vaccines will be made available to everyone in the world, as the vaccination programs are advancing. We are very lucky here, very fortunate. I am happy for families who can reunite and be together. Some of mine are faraway and borders are not open yet. Maybe not too long now, and we can’t know what happens, so we celebrate with some, and hope for soon with the faraway ones. Some family members have been able to visit, medical family members with little children. It feels like the old song....”And I think to myself, what a wonderful world “
A (Richmond)
There is simply no way I am going through a major airport right now. Even if you are vaccinated this virus is still here. I know three people who have Covid after being vaccinated. This new variant - just ask India how it's going. We are not back to normal.
RAC (auburn me)
Spare a thought for the other worldwide catastrophe--climate change. Flying is one of the most carbon intensive choices people make.
Antigone (Texas)
Happy to see some people are enjoying luxury holidays. But while they do and while in my state, everything is done despite of the common sense, the borders are still close and my 18month is still not allowed to meet his grand parents.
Sam (The Village)
Amid growing economic inequity, Americans toss off the shackles of self pity and victim hood and spend on themselves. We are a broken culture.
Edward (Honolulu)
There is no escape from reality. You’re more needed at home and in your neighborhoods than by distant relatives you never see unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of money on a long trip. Better to give to a local COVID cause.
B. (Brooklyn)
"Newly vaccinated families are opting for private jets, luxury resorts and guided tours in elaborate new twists on the old-fashioned family reunion." Hahaha! Yesterday spouse and I took a walk in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Driving past (yeah, anti-car people, so sue me) our little commercial strip, we saw one of our local substance-addicted vagrants prone lengthwise on the sidewalk taking up the whole space. Now, that was interesting: Normally he's huddle against a store front. I always see the poor shopkeeper washing down the sidewalk with soapy water. I suppose that one could step over him, but women with baby carriages would have to cross the street to get down the block. Some people's forays into the world are more exciting than others'.
Jen S (South Florida)
NYT you are so out of touch.
Charly (Minneapolis)
@Jen S They forgot about everyone else.
Ben (CT)
@Jen S They sure are.. They do a whole lot of preaching and 'claim' to be for the people, but would love to be riding on a private jet whist writing about climate change... Frauds are everywhere, this is just one of the many publications they reside in...
mbl14 (NJ)
@Jen S they have a whole marketing department which analyzes the demographics of readers. These sorts of articles are a result of that. to put it simply: a lot of very wealthy people read the New York Times, and pay to do so.
Hazelmom (US)
Having completed 3 non-discretionary trips this month, you couldn't pay me to take another flight anywhere this summer. The airports are packed, the planes full, the delays inevitable. It is miserable traveling right now; choosing to do so is masochistic. Good luck to those flying the unfriendly skies.
Terry (Cali)
Best part of pandemic was realizing there is no one I have not seen that I care about ever seeing again. Granted I live in guesthouse next to daughter, SIL, & grown grandson, but live a separate life for the most part. I feel set free from a whole lotta dead weight & users. Can’t wait to travel solo soon & meet new folks.
Ignatius O’Reilly (Brooklyn)
“Dead weight and users?” You know my coworkers then. I don’t miss them.
Bill (Durham)
For anyone who actually has to work for a living, this is a bunch of baloney.
Me (Miami)
You can’t work and go on vacation too?
Kerm (Wheatfields)
Been shot twice now and still not looking forward to late summer early fall winter virus season to return. But please when you return from around the globe from your travels please consider a third booster shot before you enter American soil again for you and your family members, and friends whom you travel with. Most of the world except China, is still suffering from this pandemic. Remember also many blamed China for allowing infected people to leave and spread this virus in their home countries....are we doing the same again? Thinking we are. So please consider a third vaccine upon your return, so the rest of us may not need it come the fall. Am done with the 'Science' because this is not science but politics and business. The 'vaccine', particularly mRNA is science.
parapraxis (Earth)
This is going to sound judgemental, but I really feel like some Americans are so immature. "We deserve it." Wow. The silver lining of the pandemic was the decreased use of fossil fuel. You saw animals in places they hadn't been before. We tred more lightly on this gasping planet. But I guess that's all over now. Back to business while orangutans go extinct on their last slivers of remaining rainforest.
Steve (Boston, MA)
Basing a news story on a survey without any stated methodology and conducted by a travel company is a free ad and little more. This "article" should be in an advertising supplement.
J S (Chicago.)
The mandarin oriental canouan starts at $1300 a night. “Popular for family reunions”. I guess maybe for a family where everyone is rich.
Polyglot (London)
Totally $ 1300 is an average monthly rent in many cities
Karl Ittmann (Houston, Texas)
Once again the Times shows it’s common touch. It is heartening that everyone can afford private jets now.
Owyhee Canyon (Northwest USA)
@Karl Ittmann Oh! They love their wealthy... until they turn out to be a Bill Gates or a Epstein or a Cuomo or a Trump or a Clinton :P
jck (Colorado)
At ÀNI Private Resorts’s property in the Dominican Republic, 11 of the 16 bookings for this summer, which are all property buyouts, are for family reunions. Writer, what does this real estate babble, "property buyouts" mean?
Joey R. (Queens, NY)
@jck If I had to guess, I'd say it means that a group rented the entire property.
jane (alaska)
Must be nice to be rich. My stimulus check gave me the luxury of eating.
Dayana (Northern Californa)
Yup. NYT - That is what we all are doing. We are also looking for a bargain home for $900,000.
Tracy Holman (Ann Arbor)
And this the kind of family that deserves to be at the front of the line everywhere they go. Livonia, indeed. The most homogeneous place in Michigan.
Sarah (Tampa)
@Tracy Holman. I get it now, the comment section is a game: find something to criticize. No private jet, no airplane ride, careful during covid. Getting together with family. Hmmm, what’s left? Oh, they live in Livonia. Ding ding.
Sam (Germany)
Are all those people flying in private jets paying for carbon credits along with their fancy vacations? Or are we just going back to "back to the way things were" with no thought of consequence to the climate and environment? Do we "deserve" to drive and fly anywhere and anytime we want because it's (somewhat) safe for us again? The blip that was 2020 on the carbon budget has already been filled - we must be careful. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be able to get back to the States and see my family again soon, but part of my vacation budgeting is always for as much carbon credit as possible, and that's on my teacher's salary - we must all ensure that we're approaching our travel responsibly! NYT, I'd love to see you promoting this with each and every travel article you publish - it's got to be part of the norm.
Dheep' (Midgard)
"We deserve it" ?? Wow
Setz (Henderson)
The pandemic struck me hard and made me realize how life can be altered and you have no control over it. This being said, I splurged and used over 20 years of accumulated points and we are booked for a first class trip to Bora Bora next year for our family of 4. To those who keep saving endlessly for the perfect vacation, get going with it as you can't go on vacation once you are dead.
princetonliberal (Princeton, NJ)
@Setz Same here! We have three trips planned this year...can't take it with you...
Mike (Vancouver, Canada)
@princetonliberal No, you can't take it with you, but you could give it away to poor people who really deserve a break.
RAC (auburn me)
@Setz You could however leave a legacy to future generations and dispense with the planet harming vacations.
Heart of Lightness (Kinshasa)
Can't afford a luxury resort or private jet. But looking forward to camping in state parks this summer with my 22 year old car.
Mimi (Urbana)
Sounds and looks like a cheesecake/burger/vodka binge after a two-week diet. "We deserve it after all this suffering!"
Daisy (Fairy Circle)
Europeans don’t understand Americans.
Michael-in-Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
@Daisy I'm an American and I don't understand Americans.
Rose Nagy (Belle Mead, NJ)
Sadly, this American doesn't understand most Americans either....
DrewM3 (Maryland)
Next year they will be wondering how to pay off all the credit card debt.
Me (Miami)
All cash , stock market has been good to many……
nom de guerre (Kirkwood)
I'm happy people are able to get out and gather again. Meanwhile, I lost my gig job, couldn't collect unemployment, didn't receive the last two stimulus checks and have had zero income since October. I was able to claim the $600 stimulus on 2020 tax return but there are long delays due to IRS backup. They won't allow the $1400 stimulus to be claimed until 2021 taxes, so that's not going to help me this year. Losing my little house, looking for small place to live in highest rental pricing market ever. I have a bachelor's degree but have been struggling in the gig economy for over a decade because job application algorithms kick out resumes of people over 40-something. I see families/individuals of income up to $200,000 (up to $400,000, depending on the program) receiving thousands in relief monthly, which helps them continue their lifestyle. But the system is terribly skewed when some whose income didn't decrease during the pandemic benefit so much when others who lost their modest income don't receive the help needed. The disparity in this country is shameful.
HL (Falls Church, Virginia)
Was thinking exactly this. Don’t know why the NYT is so fixated on travel. (Their readers, advertisers perhaps?) I was wondering how folks were doing who were now trying to pick up the pieces.
Sgt Schulz (Oz)
@nom de guerre Sorry about the fix you are in. If it makes you feel any better, the skewed welfare is happening here in Australia too. It's just pushed up prices.
AlanB (Chicago)
@HL Given that a fair percentage of the population is fixated on travel and that travel-related expenditures are a significant part of many local and state economies, it seems proper for the NYT to cover it regularly.
tom (midwest)
Not yet. The foreign countries where we wish to travel are still at the highest level of covid activity, travel is not advised at all for any circumstances. Inside the US, yes, things are opening and attended an in person conference for the first time in 15 months and more tentatively scheduled the rest of the year. What is more curious is how travel to our area actually went up during covid. Fishing, hunting, hiking and outdoor activities were exempt from lockdown. We were seeing more people.
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