CT Travel Stories

Our firsthand accounts and client feedback are important to those who want to know more prior to traveling! This is the place to find that info. Contact us if you do not see something that you are wondering about. We would be happy to research it for you!

Family Trip to Peru 2022

A great review of an unforgettable trip!

“Leigh Ann and Carson Travel built an unforgettable trip of a lifetime for our family. We started our trip in the Amazon jungle of Peru, staying in the amazing Tree House Lodge. The tree houses were a unique lodging experience, immersing us in the jungle. The excursions from the lodge were amazing with incredibly knowledgeable guides who were just as excited to see the many animals as we were. From feeding monkeys, to fishing for piranha, to seeing the pink river dolphins of the Amazon, it was all incredible! Our trip continued from there to the mountains of the Andes. The tour group Leigh Ann set us up with was great. They were able to rearrange our trip at the last minute to avoid local protests so that we were able to experience everything we had traveled for. Our lodgings in Cusco and Ages Calientes were superb. The hike on the Inca Trail was challenging, but the views of the mountains, waterfalls, and, finally, of Machu Picchu were more incredible than expected. It was a trip our family will never forget.”

Honeymooners - A Fabulous Costa Rica Experience! January 2021

A wonderful review from a lovely couple who had a honeymoon to remember!

They decided to go to Costa Rica and stayed at the Secrets Papagayo. Here is their review of their experience:

“The trip went perfectly. The travel, pickups, resort, weather, views, excursion, food, you name it. I would totally recommend this destination for any couple looking for somewhere peaceful and not too busy. They were at 30% capacity, they said, so we didn’t have to RSVP for dinner or wait in lines at the restaurants. We could also find great seating around the pool and ocean side without issue. I loved that the resort was smaller. The rooms are scattered all over the hillside, and it makes it so much prettier and private. It allows for trees and greenery rather than concrete. The customer service there was amazing as well. We did end up going on an excursion and we loved it: rainforest, horseback riding, waterfalls, volcanoes, personal and private tour. We booked it with the merchants on the beach and it was excellent. The only thing we wish we would have done was go on more, but we maxed our budget. The beach was smaller, as the resort was on a hillside, and the sand was volcanic sand, so it was a mix of black and white, so the water wasn’t the clearest. There were clearer waters and big beaches not too far the merchants said. The vacation lived up to and exceeded expectations. We would definitely go back and recommend it, but we also would like to eventually go to other places as well.”

Flying Today - August 13, 2020

I had just about enough, and the price was right…better than right. I told my husband I was going to book a flight to go see my mother for a week. His reaction, in his typical supportive way, was “See ya!”  I pulled the trigger, and here I am sitting at an almost empty airport. I wanted to give a firsthand account of this experience, so my clients know what is coming, if and when they choose to fly. 

Let’s start with the booking process. That was normal, as I used our agency booking platform to make this purchase. I choose to book my flights on Delta, one of my favorite travel partners, and booked a basic economy seat. I figured the chances of having a seat in between me and another person were good with their current no-middle-seat policy, so why worry about my seat at this time. I would rather not spend the extra on upgrading my seat since it was just me traveling.

After booking, I received my confirmation, and then later that day an email directly from Delta that clearly had the new travel policies regarding face coverings during travel. No testing is required to fly domestically at this moment, and I hope that is something they do not ever start. 

The day prior to my flight, I completed my online check in. Everything was the same as usual except you needed to complete a new page with Delta. The page was titled “The Standard for Safer Travel,” and it displayed Delta’s commitment to you and then asked that you check off three commitments in return to them. The commitments are the following:

  • In the past 14 days, I/we have not had a COVID-19 diagnosis or been exposed to COVID-19.
  • In the past 14 days, I/we have not experienced the onset of any one of the primary symptoms of COVID-19.
  • I/we will wear a face mask or covering throughout the airport, in Delta Sky Clubs, and onboard the aircraft unless I meet the criteria for exemptions.

I could not proceed without checking these off. I also purchased my check bag at that time and, prior to completion, another pop-up came up with the face-mask advisory at the airport as they are following the CDC guidelines. If you are not clear at this point you will need to wear a face mask from the time of arrival at the airport to the time you depart the airport at your destination.

Upon arrival the next day I donned my homemade mask and walked right into the airport. Ready to go! Side note, I have worn the blue medical masks and the white heavy cloth masks that have been given out, but I seem to get more headaches wearing those.  So, I tried making my own. I used quilting squares that I had laying around and got that old sewing machine up and running, and, within one hour, I had a stylish new mask. A little bit of color and no headaches.

Ok back to the airport, I was ready to take on this beast of flying. Turns out no one was around… This was the first time I have ever walked into an airport and walked up to the airline check-in desk and had to find the one and only customer service representative working. It was very odd. I found a delightful service rep at the very end of the Delta check in under the one lit area. Once I got my bag checked in, I asked her if it always this way now. She said it is picking up, which I found a little funny since I was the only one there. She went on to say that they are now servicing more than five flights a day!  (Mind you this is at 11am and no one is around.) But her attitude was wonderful and, knowing how travel was in the past, I am sure that these representatives are enjoying this quiet time. The downfall is the amount of jobs that have been laid off or hours adjusted in this industry.

I walked right through TSA check-in and through security – easy peasy. No other issues. It was disheartening that there were more TSA workers than travelers. The terminal in Columbus where Delta flies out of has a few restaurant options, but nothing was open. From the looks of it, they have not been open at all. So, snacks it was for me! The normal airport sundries shop was open. Granola bar, water, and gum in hand, I strolled to my gate.

As I sit here and type, I count no more than 30 people, of which at least six are crew. I am very bullish that travel is coming back, and I think that it is starting, but the large amounts of travelers at airports is not happening. Now I do believe there were more travelers in the Southwest terminal to be fair, but I did not witness that area in Columbus.

I had a connection in Atlanta on my way down to Hilton Head Island. Atlanta was still Atlanta busy. Have I seen more people in the airport? Yes, but every gate had travelers, and the shops were all open in the larger terminals. Atlanta is a main hub for Delta, and I would assume all the main hubs would be the same around the country. I had to change to a different terminal for my connecting flight. This terminal probably was for those smaller flights to lesser-traveled destinations. Many shops were not open here. 

Overall, the flight experience was incredibly good. Upon boarding the plane, I was greeted as normal, and in Columbus I was handed a small zip lock bag that included a small bottle of water, two Purell hand sanitizing wipes, a Biscoff cookie, and KIND bar. On my shorter flight, I only received a Purell wipe. Neither flight had any more service from the flight attendants other than trash pickup. I hope this changes, especially for those longer flights.

Of course, this is going to continue to evolve and change as we come out of this crisis. I know things are opening slowly and some of you are ready to travel. I hope this helps you in what you can expect when you do decide to fly again!

-Leigh Ann Arnholt, Owner