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This week, style and travel maven Michelle Esteban of @styledbym.e and @theoccasionbyme, a luxury events company, lets us in on why the pandemic presents the perfect opportunity to travel. Judging by the number of stamps on her passport and her current living situation between Curaçao and Toronto, we trust her seasoned advice. 

Photo courtesy of Michelle Esteban

“To travel or not to travel, that is the question…

Travel. Travel. Travel. Tomorrow never comes.

Dreaming of a semi-private plane, a private boat, butler service, low airfares, and zero lineups? Then you are in luck!

If you’re an avid traveler, you probably feel like a piece of your DNA is missing right now. You have rewatched travel videos, looked at your last 10 vacations countless times, tried on bathing suits, and baked every kind of bread to try and recreate the one you had in that little café in Italy.

Depending on your destination, I believe that this is the best time to travel, ever! Yes, you heard right. If you’re going to malls, grocery stores, and dinners out, why not take that trip? I believe it’s just as safe or even safer.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Esteban

I reside in Curaçao and Toronto and spent the first wave of the pandemic in Curaçao. On my return home, I travelled through Curaçao, Amsterdam, London, and then landed in Toronto. It was the best travel experience of my life. I felt like an A list celebrity traveling through the planes and airports. Plus, the return trip was under $1500 (CAD) – a 60 per cent discount on what it would normally cost.

Here is why: The airports were operating at such low capacity, I had never witnessed anything like it before. Planes were only 30 per cent full and you could have a resort (almost) all to yourself. Butler service, suite upgrades, no lineups for restaurants… Spas and activities too.

For many of us, it’s rare to have a catamaran to yourself or to your family, but this is happening in so many destinations right now.

“It was the best travel experience of my life. I felt like an A list celebrity traveling through the planes and airports.”

Photo courtesy of Michelle Esteban

The airports and airlines are doing an amazing job with keeping us safe. The level of sanitization I saw was amazing but also a bit scary – the moment an ant crawled on someone, voilà! It was sanitized.

With many schools and offices now online, you’re able to work from anywhere and quite a few destinations do not require quarantine upon arrival (once you show a negative test). This is the perfect time to take that slow travel family vacation – book two weeks or two months at a resort or vacation home.

The pandemic will be with us a bit longer, so take that beach vacation, allow yourself to exhale, and really sink your teeth into a culture for more than seven days. Food for thought, eh?”

Follow Michelle’s travels on Instagram at @styledbym.e and @theoccasionbyme

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