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Feels like 2019

We spent the month of May traveling: England, Wales, and Switzerland. After about 3 weeks, realized it felt as normal as pre-pandemic. Still crowds about, but no worse than before COVID. Very few people masking. Found myself more leary of anyone coughing. I will probably feel that way the rest of my life!

Posted by
5164 posts

My husband and I returned from Italy ten days ago. He came down with COVID three days after we returned, and I got it five days after that.
We are current with vaccinations.
Not my favorite souvenir.....

Posted by
11499 posts

Oh, Pat! Sorry to hear that! Hope your recovery is swift!

Posted by
11499 posts

Mango, that is awful for you! I never (Knock wood!) get sick traveling. So miserable for you!

Posted by
8071 posts

It wasn't too crowded the 2 weeks on I spent in May. I went to a convention full of people before that. Things are back to normal. I did not hear too much coughing but I will put the mask on if I do especially confine spaces unlike before COVID 19. The last time I caught a cold was December 2019 in Collioure, France.

Posted by
11499 posts

Good to hear you had a safe trip, Jazz! Hubby was dreadfully ill with a "cold" in Paris in 2017. Looking back, it was probably RSV and now we'd panic instead of just treating the symptoms.

Posted by
16938 posts

My husband and I traveled in Italy (mainly the Dolomites) last September and again this past March (mostly Puglia). We caught covid the first trip, from one of the other people on our hiking tour (12 people in all). My husband felt bad for a couple of days but I did not feel sick at all. Yet both of us experienced some post-covid symptoms—-unusual fatigue, insomnia, and worst of all, “brain fog” for the next 6 months.

We stayed healthy on our March trip. Both times we wore masks on the planes and in crowded situations.

I hope you recover quickly and do not have the lingering effects like we did.

Posted by
294 posts

I used to joke that my sister-in-law always gave me her cold for Xmas because without fail she would show up with some upper respiratory crud and I would have it when I got home. Could have been her. Could have been sick people on the planes.

I'm thinking that flying with a mask is not so bad. Flew with one this past Xmas for the first time post-pandemic and did not get sick. But didn't see SIL either.

I'm also more outspoken with obviously sick co-workers invading my space. "Get your germy carcass away from me!"

Posted by
256 posts

Burned my masks many months ago. Flew to and from Europe last month and 3 flights within Europe without masks and remained Covid free. Glad things are back to pre Covid “normal” for most of us.

Posted by
486 posts

Pat…sorry for your Covid post trip Italy. Not the souvenir you wanted but I would be thankful to be home and not travel while having it. I feel bad for all that had any long term symptoms! We honestly did 3 trips overseas during Covid, masked and careful and no infection….till quietly at home doing little this past Feb and finally a positive test. Go figure!?
So….a major family Med cruise and land travel nxt month. I think our group at this point are not going to be the careful masked versions of our last year’s vaca. Trying not to be too concerned?

Posted by
1696 posts

I'm the same, khansen. I mask on planes and trains or any public transportation or crowded indoor places. I have yet to get Covid, and I don't intend to get it. People I'm close to have cancer or immunodeficiency diseases, and I'm somewhat higher risk, myself. I don't think I'll ever travel on planes with out masking again.

Posted by
5164 posts

Thx, all, and this is our first bout with COVID. We traveled in 2021 and 2022 without incident, but then masking was required. For this trip, I masked on public transportation, but my husband did not- and he brought it home, it seems. No comment ( it's taking all my will power, tho.)
This is more than a cold, for me, so I am thankful that I could curl up with my pillow at home, and not in a far-away hotel.
Next year's trip- we are both masking !!!

Posted by
5687 posts

I plan to continue masking (N95) in crowded places like airports and planes indefinitely. I don't want to get sick, from any virus not just Covid. I have no idea why anyone else would care whether I mask or not.

Posted by
18862 posts

Have been in Budapest the last 3 weeks with a short side trip to Germany and Luxemburg. Tourism has generally been light except weekends when Europeans are doing their city breaks. I am having lunch on the riverfront today and its spooky quiet. Most excellent time to be here.

Based on some of the other threads and posts that massive travel crush is happening in places like London, Paris, Rome .... and I suspect some is real and some is people not remembering or knowing how over touristed those places were pre COVID. And the numbers we discuss are American travelers and that maybe 10% of the total anyway.

But prices have gotten goofy. AirBnb and a few home cooked meals is a real budget saver.

Masks? 1 person in 1000. Coughing? Some, typical, not much. Me? Sick as a dog (allergies) for 3 days. Over medicated and pushed through it. Doing good now.

Posted by
10370 posts

In Europe, nobody cares.

My only concern is that people who are not used to being out and about and drive everywhere (ie. in the US) may not have optimum immunity, even with boosters. If so, they are smart to be proactive. Nobody judges.
In Europe, we've been back to full activities, exposed to each other, for over 18 months, including group travel, maskless. I masked on a recent group trip to Catalonia due to allergies. Nobody cared.
If you don't come from a city, aren't regularly using public transportation, haven't returned to full activities exposed to others in the US, yes, you are smart to be proactive while visiting here although chances are you'll be fine.
Every choice is the right choice.

Posted by
7031 posts

For this trip, I masked on public transportation, but my husband did not- and he brought it home, it seems. No comment ( it's taking all my will power, tho.)

Pat, I commend your will power! It is frustrating when you take precautions and then get it, though. I was so careful the whole time, but my grandson brought it home from preschool this year in February, and I caught it from him. There's only so much you can do.

Posted by
5164 posts

Mardee, thx, I was frustrated as even being vaxed, I got so darn sick. It was a full three weeks of being curled up on the sofa, absolutely no energy. It would certainly have ruined a trip. Of course, my husband was over it in five days, but even he slept 20 hours a day, and would not have been able to enjoy a trip. Debate aside from the COVID politics, being sick on an expensive trip ruins the experience.
Good health to all!

Posted by
465 posts

Yes--I am so ready to travel, and get on planes, and go to other countries, and see new sights, but it it seems like everyone I know who goes on an international trip comes back sick with Covid, or comes down with it during their trip. Just reading all the RS trip reports and how many trips lose a few people to the virus almost every time! Have not gone on an international trip (out of N America) since 2019. Yes--I agree about the coughing. I hate how much a person coughing will now make me nervous, even with all my boosting--or at least makes me think about something beyond a cold.

Posted by
1696 posts

Pete, I've travelled and flown quite a bit since the fall of 2021: Amsterdam, Italy, London, Croatia, Ireland, Mexico, Colorado, Ontario (2 x). I have never caught Covid--to this date, I still remain Covid-free (knock wood). However, I have taken, and continue to take, precautions by wearing N95 masks in airports and on planes and trains, and by avoiding eating in indoor, crowded spaces. In one instance, we were notified that we had been exposed on our flight from Venice to London, by someone sitting near us. However, we had worn our masks the whole time, and we did not get sick. (My husband also stayed with his elderly mother to look after her when she had Covid. He masked, and he did not catch it.)

So, it IS very possible to travel internationally and not get sick.

Posted by
465 posts

Thanks for that reassuring report from the field!

Posted by
5687 posts

Pete, I traveled to Croatia and Slovenia in October 2022. I wore my N95 on the planes (except on one 737 to Split that was nearly empty with no one near me) and on crowded trains and buses. Otherwise, I rarely wore it, but I didn't eat inside much or dwell with crowds. And I managed to avoid Covid too. My friend took a RS tour in April and also managed to avoid getting it. So it is possible. Make sure you have the most recent booster you are eligible for. And wear an N95, not a "procedure" or surgical mask.

Posted by
604 posts

Pete, I have come to believe that whether you get Covid or any other virus at this stage, it mostly comes down to luck. We just finished our 3rd trip to Europe that we’ve taken in the last 13 months and Covid found me. A lot of people are symptomatic of all sorts of things these days and if you don’t do a Covid test you don’t know if you have it and are spreading it around. What was extraordinary for us was that I was Covid positive for 11 days starting in Paris and shared our small hotel room with my spouse for 8 of those days before we returned home. Not only did he not get it, he is particularly immunocompromised and everything we know suggests he should have! My version wasn’t fun and impacted our time in Paris; I felt rough for 5 days with nasty coughing and the worst sore throat I have ever had. But again, everyone’s experience is different and you just don’t know what version you will get. We are still being careful and will continue to do so but we are planning for more travel in the new year. My biggest takeaway is that I will continue to reduce my risk of getting any virus while travelling because it is heartbeaking to be sick while away in Europe having spent a lot of money. (Yes, we use N95 masks, are fully vaccinated and are careful in crowds).