Celebrities Are Taking Secret Vacations During the Pandemic

The under-the-radar world of high-end pandemic travel

The Maldives.
Nevit Dilmen/Creative Commons

Many people have felt a sense of cabin fever during the pandemic and the quarantine that’s accompanied it. It’s easy to dream of jetting away to some idyllic part of the world for a week or two, but much harder to make such a plan happen in reality. Questions of money, logistics and quarantine regulations all play a part. But some wealthy celebrities have found an easier time figuring out their own brief getaways — and reading about it makes for an enviable itinerary.

Writing at Vice, Drew Schwartz surveys the trips celebrities have taken during the pandemic. Schwartz notes that some high-profile celebrities, Drake included, have engaged in much-discussed voyages to all corners of the globe. Where Schwartz’s article focuses, however, is on the anonymous celebrities who have gone about their journeys with a little less fanfare.

Among the trips involved include vacations to the Maldives and South Korea. Some of the itineraries involve traveling via private jet, rapid COVID-19 testing and — as Schwartz phrases it — “buying out entire villas, islands, and yachts to ensure they don’t come in contact with anyone outside their bubbles.”

That part, at least, is encouraging — these are outsize displays of wealth, but at least it’s being done in a somewhat responsible manner.

Privacy seems to be another watchword here: some of the celebrity travelers described have vacationed on yachts, while others have ventured to sprawling and isolated compounds. Ironically, the founder of one of the luxury travel agencies interviewed for the story observes that — in Schwartz’s phrasing — some of the celebrities involved “have been outspoken about the importance of staying home during the pandemic.”

One could have a field day with the ethical ramifications of some of these trips. It’s a lot to take in, and whether it prompts feelings of envy or class war — or a little of both — will vary depend on who’s doing the listening.

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