What family vacations are you planning for 2022? What family vacations did you take in 2021? How is Omicron playing into those decisions?
For our $.02, we have been extraordinarily COVID-cautious but are starting to think about planning vacations again for 2022 now that all of us are vaccinated and boosted. (In 2021 we only took vacations within driving distance, which was… fine… but gosh it would be nice to fly somewhere.)
We still feel like there’s risk, but my husband and I are trying to also be mindful of the fact that our kids are 10 and 7, and all of this *gestures wildly* has been going on since they were 8 and 5 — and may still be going on for a few more years.
Readers, what are you thinking about for family vacations in 2022? How comfortable is your family with the state of the world and the risk/reward analysis for travel?
Some links that might be helpful:
- Readers shared a ton of great tips for both Disney World and Universal Studios if you’re thinking of Orlando, FL.
- We previously rounded up some easy family vacation resorts.
- We got a ton of great comments on how to find the best kind of family vacation for your family.
- We recently rounded up the best baby travel gear.
I’m focusing on nature-y vacations within half a day’s drive. There are so many awesome places that meet these criteria, it’s less likely the pandemic will interfere, and it’s better for the planet than flying.
I’m planning a vacation for Q2 2022 in hopes that my 2 year old will be vaccinated by then.
Same as Kat, we’ve been extraordinarily cautious, but we’re all vaccinated and boosted if eligible and can’t live this way forever. I’m not really worried about Omicron, since there’s no evidence it’s a serious threat to vaccinated people. We will likely need to be flexible since we will have to comply with travel regulations and we might choose to reschedule a trip if hospitals in a particular place are under pressure, but we’re not going to spend another year sitting at home. We’re hoping to go to Europe at least twice as a family in 2022 (one trip would likely be in conjunction with a work trip for my husband), to the Caribbean once and to lots of different parts of the US to see family and friends we haven’t seen in a while. I’m also going on a girls trip to the Caribbean with my mom, which I’m so excited about – I haven’t been on a trip just her and me since I left for college.
We’ve given up. We tried planning a super safe socially distanced driving vacation to a beach house in Florida last summer. We ended up canceling because hospitals were so overloaded we were afraid of what would happen if someone got sick or injured during the trip. We were in the middle of planning something for February and then omicron popped up. At this point I feel like our vacation planning actually triggers the emergence of variants. There’s just no point anymore.
Feeling the same. Hoping to regroup with DH over the holidays on what we need to do for our family to cope in a Covid-endemic world where rich countries aren’t going to make vaccinating low-income countries a priority and public health measures other than vaccines (which under-5 can’t even get yet) are apparently off the table.
Omicron poses little risk at the individual level for most vaccinated people, but I’m really worried that (1) the healthcare system is about to just utterly break, (2) another wave where moms will need to leave the workforce or go under a ton of strain, and (3) that we have no handle at all on the Long Covid burden that is coming and will impact many lives for a long time.
Eh, hospitals didn’t get terribly overwhelmed in Johannesburg and they seem to be at or past their peak in terms of cases. I know South Africa has a younger population than we do, but they also have a much less vaccinated population and more immunocompromised people. There’s no evidence Omicron is going to send vaccinated people to the hospital in large numbers, and if it doesn’t, it shouldn’t cause a healthcare collapse.
South Africa is younger and had some resilience from prior infection. Omicron appears to possibly be less virulent, but speed can act to cancel out that benefit. HCWs are already strained. I’m worried. Ed Yong at The Atlantic has consistently had the best reporting on the pandemic, and he was pretty blunt that Omicron could spell big trouble for the healthcare system, and the growth rate I’m seeing backs that up. Small numerators on a very large number can be a lot of hospitalizations. There’s nothing I can do about it personally, but I’m frustrated for all the general healthcare that will be delayed, omitted, or of poorer quality because of the strain on the system from Omicron.
I think the US likely has similar immunity from prior infection to South Africa, and our total immune population is almost certainly higher when you combine prior infection and vaccination. I get the point about small numbers adding up, I’m just not convinced the situation will be way worse here than it was there and it doesn’t sound that bad there (from a hospital perspective, anyway). I think burnout of healthcare workers is a huge issue that we need to be addressing, but not necessarily one that is specific to Omicron.
I am also concerned about hospital overwhelm (and of course the disruptions to us working moms, and long covid), but I wonder how many Americans have neither had covid nor taken a vaccine. Are there numbers available somewhere? I would think by now most people would fall into one of the other three buckets: a) the cautious/lucky/take this really seriously folks – haven’t gotten covid and are vaxxed, b) the antivax / don’t take covid seriously folks – I think a lot of them have gotten covid by now since they don’t take many/any precautions (or they got covid early and don’t understand why they should also get vaxxed), c) the middle ground and/or unlucky folks – they either got covid pre-vaccine and then got vaxxed or got vaxxed and then got a breakthrough infections.
Anecdotally, I personally know people who fall into a, b, and c but don’t know anyone over the age of 12 who both refuses a vaccine and hasn’t had covid. I’m sure there are some, but is it a big group?
No, it’s not a big group.
72% of American adults are fully vaccinated. 15% of the US has had a confirmed Covid infection, but most experts agree infections are undercounted by a factor of at least 3, so assume 40% of the US has had Covid. If you assume there’s no correlation between vaccination and infection, that means that ~83% of adults in the US have had either the virus or the vaccine. But there is definitely an inverse correlation between being vaccinated and having had Covid because a) since vaccines became widely available in spring 2021, the majority of infections have been in the unvaxxed (this was especially true pre-Delta, when >90% of infections were in the unvaxxed) and b) some people chose not to get the vaccine because they’d had a prior infection they believed would protected them. I would be surprised if it’s not closer to 90% either vaccinated or infected, at least among adults. England has higher vax rates than us, but they’ve estimated seroprevalence (either infected or vaccinated) to be well over 90%.
Omicron is very immune evasive, particularly against Delta infection immunity and against two-shot vaccine (no booster). Hopefully it doesn’t overwhelm anything or dies down quickly, but we should be taking precautions to protect our healthcare systems for long tail people r air set case and we aren’t. Omicron will rip through the holidays and we’ll see what happens in January, that is the plan. It is a dumb plan, but it is the plan. The denominator will be significant, we’re basically just crossing our fingers that the numerator isn’t too big.
I feel the same way. We had two trips planned for last summer. Ended up changing the destination at the last minute because both areas became hot spots and there were no mask mandates. In 2020, we canceled a long-awaited trip to Disney. I just … give up. It’s not even fun to plan anymore and deal with the inevitable disappointment.
We’re doing a Disney cruise in February! Our family is 3/4 vaccinated and our ped gave us the enthusiastic go for it. I’m very excited.
Ooh fun! Where are you going? We’re booking a Europe cruise for this summer as soon as my 3.5 year old can get the vaccine. I know cruising in a pandemic sounds weird to some, but with vaccines and testing for all and masks indoors, it feels much safer to me than going to the grocery store in my red state.
I would mainly be afraid of getting stuck on the ship in quarantine, especially outside the U.S.
Yeah, I get that. We wouldn’t cruise without our child for that reason. But as long as we’re all together, a ship quarantine is an annoyance we can live with since we both work remotely.
DH and I just went to Mexico (without kids). It was AWESOME. Of course there was the risk of us getting stuck there/quarantined but we didn’t. The resorts said they have very very few people test positive because everything we did was outside/open air. We’ll do the outer banks NC again this summer
My husband had a work trip to Banff in October and I went too and our 3 year old stayed home with my parents. It was a really tough decision with the Delta surge, and we went back and forth on whether or not I should go right up until the day before, but we went and ended up having an amazing time. We saw the Northern Lights! And I felt so safe in Canada with masks and being asked to show my vax card everywhere. We tested every day for a week when we got home because we were so paranoid about being asymptomatic and passing it on to her.
We’re planning something in the Caribbean with extended family this summer, and then hopefully an October trip somewhere fun (fingers crossed for Paris!). This spring, I might take a trip home to see my dad and attend a friend’s wedding but leave my husband and toddler at home.
We’ll probably do driving distance and plan more last minute. We’ve had so many issues with quarantines, etc. and some places are difficult to cancel.