international travel is still possible, despite the red tape
After navigating constantly changing entry policies, Emma Patterson explores what Ibiza has to offer during the pandemic, away from its clubs and nightlife
Following a touch-and-go experience at the beginning of the pandemic – where we luckily caught the last flight out of Coron, Philippines, just before the intense national lockdown – we were naturally nervous about our plans to fly to Spain this summer.
Before travelling, we spent countless hours attempting to navigate Spanish Health websites and filling out forms 100 times because of small mistakes. We also made the decision to forgo our plans of spending one night in Barcelona before the main holiday in Ibiza, due to a last-minute realisation that we would need to complete further paperwork for the domestic stop over. Despite all this, I can safely say that my first travel experience since Covid was one of my best yet.
With clubs closed, dancing forbidden and masks mandatory, it was a unique time to visit the island. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I enjoyed it more than my previous experience, where we quite literally slept all day and partied all night. I had no idea what Ibiza looked like in daylight before this holiday. The stunning green landscapes, the huge assortment of beaches and the endless cultural experiences had all been completely lost on me previously – I felt like a proper ignorant Brit who had their eyes opened by the beauty of the island.
Long lazy lunches, secret beach explorations and villa parties with our close friends were in abundance. Other highlights included seeing the sunset at Café Del Mar without the loud, drunk tourists; or shopping at the Hippy Market and listening to our favourite lockdown DJ, Mr Doris, live at the stunning Cotton Club beach restaurant to name just a few.
While I enjoyed the slow-pace and the calm vibes during this trip, I felt genuine excitement that the Balearic Islands were recently added to the UK’s amber travel list, as I know it has been a real struggle for those who live there and rely heavily on tourism.
Ibiza will get back to its former glory slowly but surely, but the memories of this unique trip will stay forever.
Since I work in comms it was natural for me to always have my ‘brand cap’ on. Below are a few ways I noticed travel brands not only pivoting but going above and beyond during our trip.
• Emirates ensures their website is consistently updated with the latest travel info by destination. It helped quell a lot of our concerns, and their call centre team also assisted one of our more anxious friends who called them every day to ‘double check’.
• With no dancing in any venues, we enjoyed DJs like Mr Doris, who scaled back his set into a stunning chill session, while maintaining a tempo that forced us to make do and dance in our seats!
• With the Island much quieter, entertainment providers including restaurants and more had an extremely fast response time, which helped since we didn’t want to spend our whole trip chasing reservations.