Pandemic Spring Break, The Sequel

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Cities around the world began to shut down, and travel restrictions and quarantine mandates were put in place. Students left school for spring break, and some never returned for in-person learning.

A year later, we’re still in pandemic mode, but things are a little different. We’ve learned to live with masks and social distancing, and figured out how to maneuver through our daily lives as such. We've seen some great strides on the vaccination front, as more people are getting The Shot every day. (Yay!)

The bad news, however, is that infections and hospitalizations are still increasing all over the country. (Boo) Additionally, some states have lifted their mask mandates and are allowing bars, restaurants, and other businesses to open at 100% capacity. Just in time for spring break.

Will Covid crash the spring break party again this year? Not necessarily. Let’s look at some safe, smart options...and what to avoid.

Travel

City officials from popular spring break destinations in Florida and Texas do not want a repeat of the super spreader parties from last year. Miami, for example, is upholding curfew and mask mandates, as well as implementing limits on group gatherings and restrictions at hotels, restaurants, and bars. Other cities, like South Padre Island, are encouraging family-friendly events over the usual concerts and parties.

Here are a few options for a destination spring break:
  ⛷ Hit the slopes - Avoid the big crowds and opt for a ski resort
       off the beaten path.
  🖼 Plan a museum tour - Cities like New York and Chicago have
       excellent art districts. And bouns: Most museums are currently
       at limited capacity or by appointment only.
  🏕 Spend time in nature - Cabin rentals provide secluded
       mountain or lakeside escapes with all the comforts of home.
  🏖 Find a private beach - You don't have to go all the way to the
       Maldives! You can find affordable vacation rentals with their
       very own private beaches.

If you decide to travel during spring break, now might be a great time to snag some deals on airfare and hotel rates. Be sure to read the fine print regarding cancellations and Covid guidelines. You should also be aware of any travel restrictions, including mandatory self quarantine upon arrival and negative Covid test results.

Safe Alternatives

Don't have the budget (or time or desire) to book a private beach or secluded mountain cabin? We hear ya! Here are a couple of safe alternatives to a typical spring break vacation.

Road Trip
Road trips bring to mind carefree adventures and traveling where ever the road leads. We're living in a strange new world now, so travelers need to do some meticulous planning and research before jumping in the car.

Safety should always be top of mind, so make sure you pack plenty of hand sanitizer and extra masks. You should also consider putting together a bathroom kit with antibacterial wipes, toilet paper, soap, and even seat covers. We all know how icky convenience store bathrooms can be!

Plan out your stops, and try to book overnight lodging beforehand. You'll want to make sure the cleaning and safety policies at hotels/motels/rentals meet your expectations. If you're bringing your pet along for the ride, do some homework first and look for pet-friendly accommodations.

Finally, don't forget to check the Covid guidelines for each city or state you plan to visit!

Staycation
Many of us live in or near a city with at least a handful of tourist attractions. However, we don't often take the time to visit the theme parks, beaches, museums, zoos, and historic buildings right in our backyards. Spring break is a great time to play tourist in your city! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  🏡 Book a night or two at a vacation rental near a local lake
       or beach.
  🧖‍♀️ Stay at a boutique hotel and book some relaxing spa services.
  🏞 Plan a day trip to a nearby national park.
  🧑‍🍳 Grab some take out from a local restaurant you've been
       wanting to try.

The best way to have a great staycation is to venture outside of your daily habits. Think back to your last vacation. Did you sleep in? Stay up late? Eat take out for every meal? Adding these vacation behaviors to your routine will help level up the vacation vibe!

What are your spring break plans? Head over to Visva for mobile and on the web and let us know!

PS...Don't forget to enter your vacation/staycation photos in the Visva Photo Challenge hosted by the 35mm tribe!