Thanksgiving 2021: Traveling After a Pandemic


Abigail Lowry, ENN Staff

Last year, travel restrictions caused many people to cancel Thanksgiving plans, ruining family dinners and lavish getaways. But, this year, the vaccine and eased travel restrictions are allowing Americans to travel, both domestically and internationally. Many people are choosing to stay, many choosing to go visit family and friends for the holidays for the first time since 2019, reuniting with loved ones for this cherished time. 

Individuals are going to visit family and friends after a while this holiday season. Ella Davies, sophomore, is traveling to the Mountain West this year to see her family and reunite with her brothers, who currently attend BYU, and are expecting a pleasant time. 

“We are going to Utah for Thanksgiving because I have family there and we wanted most of the family to be together and have a fun time. It will be a fun trip because I will see my cousins and siblings for the first time since last year,” Davies said.

Although many people are still concerned about the threat of COVID-19, many people are still choosing to travel. According to Forbes, over 2,000 American Airlines flights were cancelled during Halloween weekend, causing a hectic travel schedule for many Americans. McKenzie Morgan, senior, is not worried about traveling during Thanksgiving, due to her family’s relationship with flying and COVID protocols.

“We aren’t worried about it that much but we do follow all the procedures on the plane. As a family we travel a lot especially cause my dads a pilot so we have missed traveling and feel safe doing so especially with the cases going down. 

Along with the flight cancellations over several weeks among large airlines, including Southwest, AA, and United, many people are choosing to fly to their desired travel location this holiday season regardless of health risks. Carson Cottle, freshman, is traveling this holiday with his family, and has decided that he isn’t afraid of COVID-19 ruining his plans this year.

“My family and I are not afraid to travel, because of the fact that quarantine and COVID-19 took away a whole year of my travels and fun; I have just accepted that I can’t live life in fear,” Cottle stated.

While a lot of people are deciding, many are choosing to stay back because of COVID-19 worries, and are finding a way to connect to others who may be far away from loved ones. Owen O’Connor, senior, values family and is excited to spend the holiday with them during a time where he can reflect on the things he is grateful for. 

“Thanksgiving is important to me and my family because it is only a vacation away from everything and makes me thankful for everything I do,” O’Connor stated.

Some people feel comfortable traveling now, though the government is recommending otherwise. The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is advising against travel for those who are not fully vaccinated, but has guidelines for those who still want to travel that comply with state and federal policies.

“Before you travel, Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. While you are traveling, wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus). CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling. Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you,” The CDC website states.

People are anticipating to reunite with families again, so this upcoming break has been long awaited by those who are hoping to travel and spend time with loved ones, avoiding cabin fever for the second holiday season in a row. Destyni Ford, freshman is looking forward to another regular holiday season, spending it with the people closest to her.


“This thanksgiving isn’t different it’s just a time I spend with my family and my cousins nothing really special we just travel sometimes to see each other,” Ford stated.


While everything may not completely be back to normal, people can adjust to the new norm and celebrate the holidays with the people closest to them.