Expert Advice

True Story: I Got Stuck On Vacation Due to COVID-19 (And It Wasn't Terrible)

One Owner finds the silver lining in his sideways vacation

Eric Z
Man facing the sunset swinging a golf club on a Myrtle Beach golf course in South Carolina.

I enjoy planning a vacation as much as being on vacation itself but planning during a pandemic has been a challenge. As timeshare Owners with Hilton Grand Vacations, it was supposed to be our Hawaii year, which we switched to Myrtle Beach— two pandemic hot spot locations with unique challenges.

Like many travelers, we had to ask ourselves whether we stick to our travel plans or enjoy a staycation. We prefer taking extended vacations, and while deciding what to do, I kept whittling down the Myrtle Beach stay a few days at a time in case we had to cancel last minute.

By then, our previously extended vacation had been reduced to six days. We had no flights booked, and school started the week after we were supposed to return home. 

At the last minute, we decided to go to Myrtle Beach—COVID-19 cases were lower than at home. My wife, who was already back at work, decided to stay at home. So my son and I jumped in the car, golf clubs in tow, and headed to Ocean Enclave by Hilton Grand Vacations road trip style. 

After a day and a half drive, we arrived to see super friendly staff, face coverings and hand sanitizer around every corner. Hilton Grand Vacations is taking their participation in Hilton CleanStay™ very seriously, and it shows. 

The property was at about 50% capacity and the Myrtle Beach area itself was quieter than usual. 

Infographic explaining the best restaurants in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.    

We did our standard "things to do in Myrtle Beach" activities. We had a few good meals, hit the outlet malls, played golf and were ready to come home when COVID-19 extended our stay from afar.

The day before we were scheduled to leave, my wife, Jen, called to say she wasn't feeling well. She had been to a doctor's appointment where she tested positive for strep throat and was waiting for her final COVID-19 results. 

Out of an abundance of caution, and after a brief discussion and planning (plus the flexibility of our timeshare), we extended our stay six more days.

Thankfully, Aidan, my son, could do virtual school from our Hilton Grand Vacations suite for the first week. And once Jen's test results came back negative, I was able to relax and enjoy a few extra days away. 

Aerial shot of a blank sand beach on The Big Island of Hawaii.    

I'm grateful it worked out the way it did, and I've already started 2021 vacation planning. Hawaii is back on, and even better now that we’ll be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary, which is even more special because we got married on the Big Island.

It should be a great trip, and part of the original wedding party is planning on a return visit as well.

The best part of our Myrtle Beach trip was all that Hilton Grand Vacations has done to make vacations as enjoyable and "normal" as possible. Most importantly, the flexibility of vacation ownership with Hilton Grand Vacations made a somewhat stressful situation easier (and very enjoyable). Next up—Hawaii

Read My Hilton Grand Vacations Timeshare is Worth It Now More Than Ever to hear more about Eric's timeshare strategy. 

Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Eric Z.

Eric Z

Seasoned Owner and returning Explorer, Eric made his home resort The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in 2006 and never looked back on life before vacation ownership — quickly climbing the ownership tiers, reaching Elite Premier status. As an Elite Premier Owner, he and his family including, his wife, teenage son and parents, regularly enjoy elevated access to some of the best amenities and services offered to Members, such as extended vacations. 

Over the years, his travel has afforded him unforgettable father and son trips, priceless multigenerational family vacations and even his once-in-a-lifetime destination wedding at Kings' Land by Hilton Grand Vacations in Hilton Waikoloa Village. He's your go-to guide for practical vacation ownership tips and says, "I love Hilton Grand Vacations and the opportunity to share what I've learned over the years."

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