The Most Controversial Celebrity Pandemic Vacations

Despite what we may have thought in the past, in 2020, it became very clear that celebs are not just like us. They might watch the same shows as we do or eat the same food that we do, but when it comes to how we've all made it through the COVID-19 global pandemic, we couldn't be more different. While most people spent the lockdowns in small homes or apartments, celebrities said, "we're all in this together" while bunkering down in their giant mansions.

Additionally, celebs are very different from us when it came to how we spent our weekends and time off this year. Most of us regular folks have spent these days going for a drive or maybe even splurging by renting an Airbnb for a day or two (if we could afford it), while celebs have been able to visit private islands, other countries, and more. Anything is possible when you can afford to charter a private plane and have easy access to COVID testing.

And so, many celebs did just that and managed to travel around the world even in the midst of a global pandemic. Obviously, this wasn't all met with likes and positive comments from fans who were stuck at home adhering to the protocols. Some of these celeb vacations caused major controversy this year, with stars traveling during the strictest of lockdowns and flaunting their lavish trips on social media. So, let's take a look back at the most controversial celebrity pandemic vacations.

Kendall Jenner broke lockdown to travel across state lines

In April 2020, amid the strict COVID-19 lockdowns and stay at home orders, TMZ reported that Kendall Jenner and NBA star Devin Booker took a road trip from Los Angeles, Calif. to Sedona, Ariz. TMZ obtained footage of the two taking a quick pit stop and reported that "it's not like they were trying to keep a low profile." A source told the outlet that the two were "just friends" at the time and took the trip "for some much-needed air." They apparently tried to minimize interactions with other people, with TMZ calling it a road trip between two "quarantine pal[s]," but when traveling across state lines, you're bound to come in contact with other people at one point or another.

The sources explained to TMZ that, "Kendall and friends have a small social circle amongst the group, who have been following the same social distancing and physical distancing guidelines. Devin is a friend and is part of the small group."

But regardless, people were not thrilled with Jenner and Booker breaking public safety protocols, especially because they both have plenty of space for "much-needed air" in their multi-million dollar mansions. Fans were quick to criticize Jenner and Booker, tweeting things like, "What exactly is a quarantine road trip? Doesn't quarantine mean you're supposed to stay home not have road trips," and "Celebrities stay acting like the rules don't apply to them when it comes to quarantine."

Timothée Chalamet and Eiza González went to Mexico as COVID cases spiked

While typically, fans would be very excited about a new celebrity couple alert, news of Eiza González and Timothée Chalamet's relationship confirmation happened when they were spotted kissing on a trip to Mexico in June. Page Six obtained photos of the two packing on the PDA in Cabo San Lucas, which means they flew to another country when the COVID-19 cases in the United States were still spiking. Additionally, according to Forbes, while Chalamet and González were in Mexico, the country reported their highest weekly total of COVID-19-related deaths at that point.

Fans didn't hesitate to call out the two celebs on Twitter. At the time of their trip, one person wrote, "in Mexico there are more than 180k cases of COVID and more than 20 thousand deaths, but Timothée, Eiza and their friends thought it was a good time to travel and enjoy vacations... I hate rich people." And another person tweeted, pointing out they'd come from New York City, which was a COVID hot spot, saying, "The fact that he thought *now* was the time for a quick little vacation to get papped in a foreign country is absolutely disgusting. And with his friends from NYC, too!!!"

And in case any Chalamet/González shippers out there were wondering if these two are an item, they already split. In October 2020, a source told E! that the two were only together for that Cabo trip.

Kylie Jenner visit Paris as others can't even see their loved ones

In August 2020, Kylie Jenner faced backlash for traveling to Paris amid the COVID-19 lockdowns. Despite the fact that Los Angeles, where Jenner lives, still had a safer-at-home policy and California's COVID-19 numbers were in the thousands every day, Jenner shared some photos of herself halfway around the world in Paris. Jenner's posts came as California's state government specifically asked its residents to refrain from non-essential travel. At the time, their website said, "Californians must realize that the safest place to be is still at home." And last time we checked, Paris isn't exactly close to Los Angeles.

It's unclear exactly why Jenner was in Paris, but she may have been allowed there for business purposes because the parent company for her makeup brand is based in the city. Regardless, fans were disappointed that Jenner notably wasn't seen wearing a mask in the majority of her Paris pics. People took to Twitter to express their disbelief about Jenner's pandemic trip. One person wrote, "Kylie Jenner going to Paris during Covid while the rest of the world can't travel or visit family in other countries/states due to border restrictions just doesn't sit well with me." Another fan chimed in, saying, "Kylie Jenner being in Paris in the middle of a global pandemic has got to be the most ignorant thing she has ever done."

Ludacris planned a trip for his wife's birthday amid the pandemic

While most people celebrated their birthdays at home this year, Ludacris and his wife Eudoxie took a trip to Turk's and Caicos for Eudoxie's birthday. Essence reported that the pandemic didn't stop Ludacris and his lady from taking a much-needed relaxing vacation. 

Ludacris shared a number of photos and videos from their July 2020 trip on social media. Alongside the luxurious photos, he wrote things like, "Life is short, so live the f**k out of it," and, "Somebody wake me up when all the bulls**t is over." Like many other celebs, Ludacris and Eudoxie weren't afraid to flaunt their getaway while many others suffered. They even went as far as dubbing the island they were visiting "Luda Island."

Fans flooded the comments with Luda's posts, writing things like, "Why u want the rest of us to be jealous" and "Omg I'm soooo jealous, I sat at home for my b-day." Others took to Twitter like this person who wrote, "Ludacris posted all these vacation photos and videos and I'm just here on the couch hurt."

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas put their new romance over safety

The beginning of a new relationship is always exciting for everyone, and for celebs, it's no different. It's normal to want to go out on a million dates, take trips, and meet each other's families. But for the average person who entered into a new relationship in 2020, much of that has had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. 

This wasn't the case for Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, who began dating in March. We all know that March was when the United States started to lockdown, but that didn't stop Affleck and de Armas from having their moment. The Washington Post dubbed them "the pandemic's only tabloid celebrities," and they too managed to ignore the travel restrictions for a vacation or two.

According to People, in June, Affleck and de Armas took a trip from Los Angeles to Georgia for de Armas to spend some time with Affleck's family. The two were photographed with Affleck's mother Cristine, and while Cristine was wearing a mask, Affleck and de Armas were not. Fans tweeted their feelings about this vacation situation, like this person, who wrote, "Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas not only didn't give a F bout the quarantines, but they also really didn't wear a mask around his mom who is wearing one?! WTF..."

Amanda Stanton takes influencer trips as the COVID cases rise

Bachelor stars are notorious for doing just about anything for a free vacation or paid social media post. Many of them have made entire careers out of social media influencing after their time on The Bachelor, and one of those former cast members/influencers is Amanda Stanton. Stanton has garnered over a million followers on Instagram since her first appearance on the show. She's constantly posting ads with her two young daughters and often partners with brands for getaways.

Like everything else in 2020, influencer-related travel had to be put on hold for a while, but in October, Stanton shared that she and her daughters visited California's Catalina Island. Stanton tagged Visit Catalina Island's tourism account, leading fans to believe it was either a free trip or sponsored post for Stanton and her family. Alongside Staton's post, she wrote, "first family vacation 2020 (in October, what?)." While Stanton seemed excited to be traveling and influencing again finally, she was faced with comments like, "Looks like a breeding ground for COVID," and, "This isn't being a very good 'influence' for an influencer." Stanton replied to these fans, writing, "It was outside and we had our own cabana! We walked around a bit but stayed 6ft away from everyone. Catalina is super strict with their precautions." 

And the negative comments didn't bother Stanton too much because just weeks later, she posted about another influencer trip to the Grand Canyon with the fashion company Revolve.

Kim Kardashian shares 'tone deaf' post about private island vacation

In October 2020, Kim Kardashian got heat from fans after flying her family and friends to a private island for her 40th birthday. Kardashian made it clear that everyone was tested, quarantined, and was completely healthy before going on the luxury vacation. But as much as the trip upset people, it was how the Kardashians showed it off on social media that bothered fans. In one of her posts about the trip, Kardashian wrote, "I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time." This caption might have been the most controversial vacation-related pandemic moment of the year.

People called Kardashian's posts about her birthday celebration "tone deaf" and "insensitive." One person tweeted, saying, "I haven't seen my family in 4 months because I work a public-facing job and I'm absolutely terrified of the possibility of passing Covid on to my vulnerable parents. I hope you had fun pretending things were normal, but spare a thought for those of us staying in the real world." Another fan chimed in, saying, "Nobody in this family could read a room if their life depended on it." And this Twitter user wrote, "Cool, people have had to say goodbye to loved ones over the phone while they died alone in a hospital. But neat trip to post all over social media while the world suffers."

Madonna travels to a party after saying she tested positive for COVID antibodies

In May 2020, Page Six reported that Madonna flew from the United Kingdom to New York for a friend's birthday party. In case anyone forgot, in May, New York was still one of the main COVID hotspots in the United States. That didn't stop Madonna from leaving where she was quarantining to fly overseas for photographer Steven Klein's birthday in Bridgehampton, NY. And apparently, the pop star took this trip while still awaiting her COVID test results. Madonna revealed in an Instagram post that she tested positive for COVID antibodies, but Page Six says that Madonna hopped on a plane before getting the results back.

At the party, Madonna was also reportedly seen cozying up to the birthday boy Klein knowing she just had the positive antibody test. Positive antibodies make it unclear when exactly Madonna had COVID, and according to Bustle, health officials still recommend social distancing after a positive antibody test, especially if you don't know when you had the infection. Madonna also has been spreading some questionable COVID conspiracy theories on her social media amid this whole pandemic. So, needless to say, she received some heat from fans for both traveling overseas to a COVID hotspot and not adhering to social distancing protocols once she was there. This person tweeted, saying, "I wonder how people Madonna infected at her birthday party after testing positive for COVID. We love selfish celebrities."

Justin Bieber breaks social distancing protocols for a family selfie

Many people have been unable to see their family members in 2020, even ones that live close by. For much of the year, we've been asked to stay home and only surround ourselves with the people we live with. But some people couldn't make it all year without seeing their loved ones. Justin Bieber was one of those people. In May, Bieber, who was quarantining with his wife Hailey Bieber, according to Insider, shared this photo with his young siblings Allie, Jazmyn, and Jaxon. They were outside in the photo, but fans were quick to point out that there were no masks in sight and they clearly weren't social distancing.

The comments from fans said things like, "It's not that I'm upset Justin saw his family, it's that they're all piled on top of each other in this pic without masks. Justin has had his share of health issues, plz be safe!" and, "what happened to social distancing?" Another person chimed in, and wrote, "can't you just hang with your loved ones and not promote not social distancing to your hundreds of millions of followers?"