What Spring Break 2021 Looks Like
Pandemic fatigue is a real thing. Lots of people want to make travel plans for later this year. But it’s March and spring break is here now!
Families who have been cooped up since last March and college students who want to break free are really getting restless. And as vaccinations pick up and weather starts to warm, people are asking, “where can I go for spring break and is it safe to travel?” Here’s everything we know with an eye to keeping your family and friends safe.
Know the In’s and Outs (literally) if you plan to cross state lines
Check the quarantine requirements for any destination you might be considering as well as the quarantine situation for your state on your return. Many schools have quarantine rules for kids and families returning, before kids will be allowed back in class (if they are in-person and not remote). Just make sure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed those t’s.
Destinations and attractions have restricted access
We know that a lot of theme parks will open this spring, but most of them will have policies in place to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. For example, restaurants will be no-contact at large, popular theme parks with limited menus. This means you can expect to order on a smartphone app, wear a mask unless you’re eating, and in some cases food will be take-out only.
Many popular and crowded attractions now limit the numbers of people allowed inside at any given time, and will have strict social distancing and masking requirements for visitors. The good news is that a lot of spring break warm weather destinations will have ample opportunities for dining al fresco – so you can sit outside and enjoy fresh air.
The bottom line is that visiting theme parks can be safe, if you’re prepared for a different experience. Read all about how Disney World has been managing.
Crowds should still be avoided
We’re still not out of the pandemic woods and we know that large-scale crowds create superspreader events. We can only advise you to avoid all festivals or large group gatherings (either official or unofficial). This should be a no brainer, but we have heard reports that college students are still planning large-scale gatherings. To that end, we can’t recommend visiting any beach destinations popular with college spring break, especially traditional spots in Florida and Texas (which have variable public health mandates depending on jurisdiction).
If you’re a college student looking for an alternative – consider a private airbnb with a pool for a smaller group of friends. You can cook together which avoids indoor restaurants altogether, while still enjoying a spring break vacation in a fabulous destination. A lot of universities have tried to encourage students to avoid superspreader events by truncating the spring break calendar altogether, giving students a more limited window of time in which they can travel anyway.
Think outside the box
Another work-around is to consider a spring break destination you might not have before. Camping trips are an amazing bonding experience, and our national parks can be incredible backdrops for all sorts of adventures. Lots of folks hit the road in RV’s this past year – another great way to see the country in a small group.
Ski vacations are also trending right now, as winter sports tend to provide a lot of built-in safety (skiing and snowboarders already tend to wear protective masks) and resorts have really managed to creatively implement social distancing with lift lines and lodge amenities. Just be sure to check with a resort before you book a trip – most now require online lift passes to help manage numbers on any particular day.
Protect everyone around you
If you do plan to take a trip this spring break with friends, plan as a group to get tested before you go so you can all be assured of your safety and mitigate any risk. Also, you should commit to masking up as a team. We now know that double-masking adds an extra layer of protection.