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Traveling from Puerto Vallarta to San Diego during COVID-19 (with Kids)!

From Puerto Vallarta to San Diego

We arrived at the Puerto Vallarta Airport the afternoon of June 4, 2020, ready for our Volaris flight to Tijuana where we would then walk across the CBX bridge into the US.

In our eight years of living as Permanent Residents of Mexico and flying in and out of Puerto Vallarta numerous times, we had never seen the airport so empty as it was on this surreal, COVID-reality day.

Traveling from Puerto Vallarta to San Diego during COVID-19 (with Kids)!

Our temperatures were taken at various points prior to boarding and once again after landing in Tijuana–via both contactless forehead thermometers and thermal body scanners. At the check-in counter, ID’s and documents were placed up against plexiglass dividers to avoid hand-to-hand contact between agents and passengers. 

All employees were masked and gloved (the majority with face shields as well) and there were disinfecting mats and hand sanitizer stations throughout.

Once aboard, we were happy to see that the plane was not full, that there was spacing between seats and that according to this sign, the plane had been”sanitized”. Nonetheless, I got out our personal hand wipes  to give each of my kid’s and my area a good wipe down. 

All stewards and stewardesses wore face shields, masks and gloves. Drink and food service was limited to a small selection of bagged snacks and ice was not available. The flight was smooth, service was excellent and I can highly recommend flying with Volaris. Crossing the CBX bridge was a breeze, lines were practically non-existent and both Mexico and US agents were cordial and professional.

Return Flight to Puerto Vallarta

We returned to Puerto Vallarta from San Diego on an early morning flight (the only one that day) on June 20, 2020. The lines to cross the CBX bridge were long and the Volaris flight was packed. With reduced air travel and the domino economic impact, the airlines are clearly needing to limit the number of flights per day and fill the planes that do fly to capacity. At least that was the situation with Volaris on this particular day. 

Our return to Mexico was more stressful than the outbound flight due to the crowds. Most passengers were good about keeping their masks on, although several did have to be reminded by the stewardesses to please pull them up and over both the mouth and the nose. 

Traveling during COVID-19

Home Sweet Mexico Home

After a bit of a bumpy landing coming in over the Sierra Madre Mountain range, we were grateful to have wheels on the tarmac and see that not just The Reds’ Daddy was waiting for us at the arrival area, but our fabulous fluff ball Luna Love as well!

Traveling during COVID-19

We made it home safe and sound, showered off the travel and sat down to enjoy this view! 

Tips for Traveling during COVID-19

1. Check with the airline several times before your travel day to make sure your flight has not been canceled. 

2. Wear a mask (and be prepared with backups).

3. Wear a face shield if that is your preference/comfort level.

4. Bring your own anti-bacterial gel & hand wipes.

5. Eat & hydrate well before you board as food/drink options are limited–or bring your own aboard.

6. Breathe, remain patient and lead with a sense of humor and gratitude

While traveling during COVID-19 brings with it some new challenges and changes, for the most part it was a relatively easy experience.

For those of you that have also flown during these surreal times, what travel tips could you add to this list? 

Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

In Health & Peace,


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About the author: Together with my Retired Firefighter Husband and our now 19-year-old twins who were just 8 when we immigrated to Mexico in 2012, we have created a joyful life of design and freedom South of The Border. Welcome to Los O’Gradys in Mexico! Saludos, Katie 🇲🇽 ☘️

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Joni Ribera July 5, 2020, 9:09 pm

    We live in Ajijic and I had to travel to Dallas for a day to see my doctor up there in order to get a prescription for meds I can’t get there. I know it sounds crazy for me to go for one day. I’m not wealthy. I am retired from American Airlines with all my pass benefits. Anyways…here is my BIGGEST tip. Don’t touch ANYTHING unless you absolutely have to. Especially the railings on escalators and stairs, actually anything you see yourself ready to put your hand on. I worked at a major airport and way before COVID I was very aware not to touch. Airports are breeding grounds for almost any bacteria you can things of.
    Happy your trip went well Katie. Bet you were glad to get home.

    • Katie O'Grady July 6, 2020, 2:03 pm

      Hi Joni,
      Yes! I couldn’t agree with you more–don’t touch–unless absolutely necessary and then wash/sanitize hands very well. This has pretty much always been my policy, just knowing the crud that lurks on public surfaces.
      The trip was a success and yes, it is always wonderful to get back home.
      Best to you and yours,
      Katie 🙂

  • Lisa Ward July 5, 2020, 10:12 pm

    Thanks for your helpful, uplifting articles – and your beautiful view! My tip: Pray. God’s in charge of this whole mess.

    • Katie O'Grady July 6, 2020, 1:54 pm

      Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to read my work and for your warm, positive feedback.
      Katie xx

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