We went to Antigua during COVID-19 – You can too!

We finally had enough! We could not take it anymore.  We missed traveling.  I missed showing my clients what the travel world has to offer.  Our amazing partners at Sandals offered an experience to registered Sandals travel agents who actively sell their brand.

The minute I saw the opportunity I knew that I and my plus one had to go!  They offered agents the opportunity to bring a plus one, on the house! It was amazing.  Those who know our personal story know that Brian is lucky to be here today.  I was so excited to be able to get away with him and make wonderful new memories.

We met amazing new friends and ate delicious meals prepared by Sandals 5-star gourmet chefs.  Scrumptious stuff I tell you! You need to try it!

So, let's get to the reason why you are reading this blog post. 

How did I get to Antigua?  What did it involve?  How safe was it?  How easy was it?

We flew to Antigua from NYC JFK airport.  We spent the night before are the new TWA airport hotel.  A blog post about that coming soon.

Before we headed to the airport, we knew that Antigua required a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 7 days of travel.

That was easy.  We scheduled our test with Rite-Aid pharmacy for FREE.  It takes less than a minute per person to complete the self-administered test.

Check to see if you have a Rite Aid near you and sign up for your test using this link.

https://www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/services/covid-19-testing

Once you take your test you wait about 72 hours for your results.  I suggest you schedule your test exactly 7 days before your departure date to Antigua.  This gives the lab time to get the results back to you and you do not need to be worried about getting results in time.

Once you have your negative results, print the results out.  Make sure it is the pdf they send you that includes lab name, test date, your name, and birthdate.

Make sure you look at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism website for the latest travel advisories and information.  https://visitantiguabarbuda.com/travel-advisory/

After you print your results put them inside the pages of your valid passport.

You will need to wear your mask the entire time you are at the airport and onboard the airplane.  You can remove your mask to eat and drink only.  

RECOMMENDATION:  Pay the extra money to sit in the front of the plane.  We were in row 2 on the way to Antigua.  We were the first ones off the plane and it literally took us 4 minutes to clear customs.  I am not exaggerating. 

When you get off the plane in Antigua it will feel like you arrived at a hospital.  They will be in full PPE directing you to the next stand.  First, they took our temperatures.  Then we proceeded to where they collected our Antigua Travel Form and negative COVID results.  If you arrive with the incorrect results or test, they will test you at the airport and you will be responsible for the cost.  Expect to pay about $100 USD per person for the test.

Once you clear that station you are off to get your passport stamp and customs.  If you carry on only as we did, you proceed to the exit and find your appropriate destination booth.   We were going to Sandals, so it was one of the last booths.  They put our luggage in our transportation, and we were on the way to Sandals Grande Antigua.   A mask is required in the transfer to the hotel.  A quick 20-minute ride and we arrived in paradise.

Did we feel safe?

Yes, I felt safer on the plane than I do at my local grocery store.  There were many stations for hand sanitizing throughout both JFK and Antigua Airport.  Click here to see what Jetblue is doing to keep you safe https://www.jetblue.com/safety 

Did we have to wear a mask at the resort?

Once we arrived at Sandals, where everyone that is staying received a negative covid test, we were welcomed to remove our masks in open spaces where we could maintain safe social distance.  ALL employees wore their masks 100 percent of the time.  If you are more comfortable keeping your mask on you can.  We opted to remove masks when we felt safe.  

What is Sandals doing to keep guest safe?

Would we do it again? In a heartbeat.  We arrived 2 nights ago and I'm currently writing this blog awaiting results for a COVID test to head to Jamaica with Kylie next week.  I don't recommend reckless travel.  I recommend travel as long as you are responsible enough to take the proper precautions and follow the recommendations put in place by authorities and the CDC.

I recommend you use a travel professional to book all travel.  I urge you to please have an advocate who can give you the information you may not know.  Someone who can guide you to the proper sources and answers to your questions.  What test do I need? What other forms are required? These are just some of the surface questions they can answer with confidence.