We decided to take a St. Augustine, Florida vacation on this particular year. It was, also, the year of the Corona Virus pandemic. So, we were iffy about whether to take a trip or not, but eventually decided to go, anyway. And, I am so glad that we did.
FLYING DURING DURING A PANDEMIC
Our vacation was not a typical Florida vacation because of traveling in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actually, we traveled during what some people are coining the “second wave” of the virus. Many things were open, but we were back to wearing masks, social distancing and the closure of some government or state ran facilities and sites.
We decided to fly. My youngest son had never flown before. So, since it was an inexpensive option for us, I decided to make this part of the adventure.
I half expected the plane to be empty—especially traveling to Florida, which was reported to have record-breaking cases of the corona virus, statewide. However, our plane appeared to be to capacity with people heading to the Sunshine state. We were required to wear masks, however, we were still sitting side-by-side with the person next to us without any special precautions in place. I wasn’t concerned, really; I just found it interesting considering that some events were being banned based on social distancing guidelines.
The airport in our home state had a lot of restaurants closed down. I was unable to get a Starbucks—or anything else for breakfast when we arrived. However, the Charlotte, North Carolina airport had food options open and the Jacksonville, Florida airport had the same. Lucky for me, I do not typically eat until after 10 am anyway. So, I was able to manage until we got to our final destination.
4 TIPS FOR FLYING DURING A PANDEMIC
- If you are especially anxious about flying, just stay home or drive to your destination. No need to cause any drama.
- Bring several masks. You may need more than one, in case one is lost, dropped or soiled.
- Bring hand sanitizer
- Plan to bring snacks and water in case restaurants and shops are closed down.
ARRIVING IN ST. AUGUSTINE
We flew into Jacksonville and rented a car to drive to St. Augustine. It was about an hour drive from the airport to our condo.
Upon arriving, our number one goal was to eat and then get to the beach. We had our first meal at Hurricane Grill & Wings. It is a small-ish restaurant in the corner of a strip mall, but the food was very good.
Prior to arriving to Florida, I had heard all kinds of scary tales through social media about how Florida was managing the virus. I was pleased to find that everywhere that we went in St. Augustine required that you wear a mask to enter. I felt plenty safe….just as safe as I felt in my hometown. A Florida vacation during a pandemic was not the best decision, at first; but, it turned out to be quite the blessings.
VIDEO: PLAYING IN THE POOL
My youngest son and I visited Historic St. Augustine on our fourth day here. A lot of the shops were shut down because of the Corona Virus. The famed Fort was closed, as was Fort Katanza. I needed to use the restroom and we needed to get a map of the area. So, we decided to park at the Visitors Center parking garage. It cost $15 to park there. It was a nice, shaded option in a secure location. So, if you intended to stay the entire day, this was a great choice. However, since we were not there to eat and a lot of the things we would want to see were closed down, it probably was not the best choice, financially, for us.
The visitors center was nice. It is a very large building with displays of artifacts inside; and, they had very nice, clean public restrooms.
Once parked, we walked along St. Charles Street which is a brick road that is for pedestrians, only. This street is entirely lined with shops and small restaurants. There were a handful of restaurants and shops closed because of the Corona Virus; it was still nice and quaint, though. We live in a small tourist town. So, while it was a pleasant visit, it didn’t hold the same wonder that it will hold for someone who will see it with fresh eyes.
Of course, it was very hot and we were wearing masks. So, we were ready to get back to the pool after and hour or two.
BEACH TIME: FAMILY PICS
VIDEOS AT BEACH
SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS DURING A PANDEMIC
VIDEO: IN DISNEY
You can take a Florida vacation during a pandemic and make it just as quality of a vacation as any other time during your life. Be cautious, enjoy the outdoors and spend a lot of one-on-one time with your family.
ST. AUGUSTINE BUDGET BREAKDOWN
AIRPLANE FLIGHT: 3 PEOPLE
CONDO: 8 NIGHTS
DISNEY TICKETS: 6 TICKETS TOTAL/POP CENTURY RESORT FOR 2 NIGHTS—COMBO PKG
RENTAL VAN X 10 DAYS
SWIM WITH DOLPHINS X 2
KEEPSAKE PHOTOS OF DOLPHINS
Pizza ordered to condo while in St. Augustine X 5 people
Hurricane Grill & Wings Restaurant X 3 people
Rainforest Cafe in Disney X 3 people
Starbucks in Disney X 3 people
TARGET IN ST. AUGUSTINE
WALGREENS IN ST. AGUSTINE
ST. AUGUSTINE VISITORS CENTER GIFT
MISC. (LOST RECEIPTS)
If you would be interested in reading about other trips with expense budgets, please check out the following links: