It’s been a trying year for everyone, but especially those who live far from family or friends. Or for people with wanderlust in their hearts. As the vaccine roll-out accelerates across the country, we’re finally inching towards a time when people can move freely with little concern. And biotech is scrambling for ways to provide solutions for travel. But for now, there’s a safer solution for those who are fully vaccinated; immunity bubble vacations, or “vaxications.” For fully vaccinated families, you can now get away with some of your protected besties at some of the most luxurious destinations around the world by utilizing an immunity bubble.
What is an Immunity Bubble?
The concept of an immunity bubble was on display during Major League Baseball’s 2020 season. The idea then—pre-vaccination—was that people would be exposed only to those in their “bubble” in order to avoid introducing outside exposure. As long as all individuals entered the bubble uninfected, it should remain that way if no one violates it.
Travel bubbles work similarly; you travel in an isolated group to a place where your exposure is limited to those traveling with you and the bare minimum of outside individuals. For Immunity Bubble travel, you and your favorite group of vaccinated friends travel to a resort designed to handle these bubbles. Since you’re all vaccinated and confined to your own bubble, it’s as safe as anything can be in 2021. If this sounds like something you can make happen, we’ve gathered a list of places that are sure to have you packing your bags and booking a flight.
U.S. Destinations Promise Domestic Divinity
In the United States, things may feel heavy but there are places where you can lighten the burden on your soul. Check out one of these domestic destinations:
- “The Foundry Hotel – Asheville, NC
Set among the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, The Foundry Hotel recently launched a partnership with Asheville Hot Air Balloons to redefine “pod travel” – in a hot air balloon in the clouds. The balloon can hold up to 16 people and is booked by the hotel’s concierge. Ideal for an adventurous getaway, pods that stay at The Foundry can experience one-on-one neighborhood tours with an on-site historian, chauffeured brewery visits via the hotel’s Tesla Model X house car and drives on the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway for a day-trip to The Biltmore Estate, the largest private residence in the U.S. 5x James Beard nominee John Fleer leads the hotel’s culinary program, complete with a 100-seat Appalachian-inspired soul food restaurant and second-floor lobby bar, Workshop Lounge.” Foundry’s twist on a downtown hotel will transport you on a truly unique journey.
- “ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki – Honolulu, HI
Multi-family and friend travel pods can buy out this 9-floor, 9-suite boutique luxury hotel situated in the heart of Waikiki. Each 2- or 3-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom suite offers spacious living and dining quarters, designer kitchen with a fully stocked refrigerator and an expansive ocean-facing lanai complete with a Jacuzzi. All 9 full-floor suites can be reserved with exclusive access to the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool, onsite restaurant and personal use of the hotel’s fleet of luxury vehicles. ESPACIO’s white-glove butler service specializes in ultra-exclusive experiences and can arrange anything from private surf lessons with Big Wave World Champion Makua Rothman to bespoke expeditions at a secret local beach. For single family travelers, the hotel is offering 20% off all suites as part of its Sweet Suite Package.
Rate: Individual suites from $3,700/night. Buyouts from $45,000/night.”
- “Hotel Zena — Washington DC
A bold new cultural hub and interactive venue, Hotel Zena is an ideal destination for pod travelers seeking a culturally engaging stay in the nation’s capital. From the moment guests step foot on property, they’ll be immersed in more than 60 gallery-quality art installations revolving around the courage of some of the world’s most notable figures. Highlights include a fierce portrait of Shirley Anita Chisholm and a bold mural of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg constructed entirely of over 20,000 hand painted tampons donated by CORA. Empowerment experiences extend to the hotel’s culinary offerings: Pods can toast to the accomplishments of women with inspired cocktails such as the HBIC and #ImSpeaking at Figleaf Bar & Lounge or, atop the hotel’s soon to open Hedy’s Rooftop. Conveniently located at the nexus of Downtown DC and Logan Circle, Hotel Zena is also steps away from the district’s most funky galleries and trendy boutiques for guests to continue their cultural immersion and explore the district’s rich history.”
- “The Confidante Miami Beach – Miami Beach, Florida
For those looking for an oceanfront oasis post-Covid pod trip, The Confidante Miami Beach is the ideal destination. The hotel honors the glitz and glam of the city’s mid-century retro-glam heyday with a modern twist. Guests can lounge poolside with their friends and family in the Confidante’s colorful cabanas and bungalows while enjoying craft popsicles from local Cielito Artisan Pops, drinks served in fresh coconuts from Miami Cocktail Co, and more. The Confidante offers beachside service for guests to relax on chaise lounges shaded by pastel-colored umbrellas. The Confidante Miami Beach offers custom-made face masks in collaboration with the hotel’s local Miami artist partners Aquarela Sabol, Carlos Solano, Rigo Leon and Luis Valle and locally made, art-inspired coconut scented hand sanitizer custom made for the Confidante with Miami-based artist Rigo Leon Herrera available for guests throughout the hotel spaces.”
Travel Out of the Country Can be Done Safely Too
If you’re looking to stretch your legs farther afield and your group wants something with a different flavor, there are a lot of non-domestic locales ready to accommodate immunity bubbles as well.
- “Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Riviera Maya’s most exclusive five-star eco resort, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, recently underwent a $50 million expansion debuting 34 dreamy private Beachfront pool suites, a brand-new Sands Beach Club, kid’s club, spa treatment rooms, with seven over-the-water Lagoon Sunset Pool Villas soon to come. Spacious two-and three- bedroom pool villas are perfect for traveling pods – featuring its own heated pool, bubbling jet pool, direct access to the white sand beach and option to host private, in-villa dining experiences like the signature in-villa BBQ, where a personal chef will pamper your pod from beginning to end.”
- “Velaa Private Island – Maldives
VistaJet, the first and only global private aviation company, recommends that travelers head to a private island, such as Velaa Private Island, for their first post-pandemic vacation. Recently unveiled as part of VistaJet’s ‘Safe Havens’ collection, VistaJet Members have the unique opportunity to experience the Maldives’ Velaa Private Island on an all-inclusive 7-night getaway by way of VistaJet’s unparalleled private jet experience. Designed and curated with privacy and comfort as its guiding principles, Velaa Private Island features private villas suspended over water, personal butler service, in-villa dining and spa treatments, a romantic pool residence that can only be reached by boat as well as unlimited activities for guests to enjoy in private.”
- “Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo — Monaco
Spanning approximately 4,300 square feet (four times the average NYC apartment), Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo’s top-floor collection is priced at around $55,500/night and includes seven stunning suites, each with its own unique atmosphere designed by iconic French designer Jacques Garcia for the ultimate group getaway. Combined with services such as private check-in within suite, dedicated butler, pillow menu and helicopter transfers, travel pods will be treated like royalty.”
Ready to Go? Us Too!
Are you vaccinated or soon to be and ready to go? Us too! With so many extraordinary and extraordinarily safe places to go, it may be time to get back out there. Cities all across the country are springing to life again after a dark and difficult year. In Las Vegas, signs of life are everywhere. New York and Miami are shaking off the dust of winter too and destinations everywhere are swinging their doors wide open for those with vaccines on board.
Those looking to travel are advised to check the CDC for recommendations, which for now allow fully vaccinated people to travel unrestricted within the U.S. and gather indoors and unmasked with one another. For foreign travel, check the country of your destination and follow CDC recommendations for returning. Biotech companies are working quickly to provide easy-access apps that will work as proof of vaccination once you’ve gotten all of your jabs. Per the CDC; “Since COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, more than 161 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 59.7 million people or 18% of the total U.S. population.” Masking and social distancing are still recommended in public places, but we’re one huge step closer to normal.