Spring Break 2021: Tips & Tricks for a Successful Trip
What To Know Before traveling for spring break 2021
Hitting the road for Spring Break this year? While traveling may not be the same as it’s been in years past, with a few adjusts, it can be done. Read on for tips and trips to make the most of Spring Break 2021.
Last Spring Break, I took my family of five on an adventure of a lifetime to the Grand Canyon. We drove 14 hours over two days in a rented minivan to Williams, Arizona. We woke up Sunday morning and boarded a train for a two-hour trek to the Grand Canyon. We had, quite literally, a grand time.
Back then (a whole year ago now!), the word Corona still mostly referred to beer my husband and I occasionally drank and the word “pandemic” was only something I knew about from history books. We arrived home on the Thursday of our Spring Break, ready to relax over the weekend and prepare for school and work as usual on Monday.
But Monday came with a bevy of surprises. There was no school. My husband didn’t go to the office. Life, as we had known it, was on hold. Little did we know what the year had in store for us.
This year, as we prepare for Spring Break, we are so ready for things to return to normal, although we aren’t there quite yet. While Spring Break travel may not look this year the way it has in years past, it can still be done if you make a few modifications! Planning, which is absolutely not my strong suit, must be done, and travelers should be aware of quarantine laws as they travel between states. If you are going to leave the US, make sure you know the COVID-19 protocols upon re-entering the US. Find the rules and restrictions here.
Ten Tips for Successful Spring Break Travel in 2021
- Travel with a pack- of antibacterial and sanitization products, that is! Make sure to stock up on hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and even toilet paper for your Spring Break travel. This way you won’t have to worry as much about bathroom stops during travel or unclean surfaces or other areas. Don’t forget to pack multiple masks per person and face shields if you are so inclined. And I always travel with mini essentials– antacids, pain killers, Band-Aids. Just in case. Better safe than sorry!
- Know what restrictions and protocols your hotel have in place. We’ve traveled a bit during the pandemic, and we’ve seen restrictions vary widely from state to state and hotel chain to hotel chain. Call ahead and find out what restrictions your hotel has in place. Some hotels make you reserve the pool ahead of time if your kids want to swim (we had many tears over this policy at a recent stay). If you rely on free continental breakfasts to keep your food costs down, make sure your hotel is still offering this. Some hotels have stopped offering breakfast at all right now, others offer bagged meals and long lines to get them.
- Map out attractions you wish to see and buy tickets ahead of time. Many large facilities such as museums and amusement parks are still closed or operating at a reduced capacity. Nothing is worse than arriving on-site to a place you’ve been dying to visit only to find out it’s closed or tickets are sold out for the day. Check the Website or call ahead if you can’t find the information you want. Check the rules on entrance times if they sell staggered tickets- if you buy tickets for 1 p.m. but arrive at 2 p.m., can you still enter? Knowing the rules will help give you peace of mind on your trip.
- Know the cancellation policy for your hotel and other prepaid attractions. Hopefully, everyone stays healthy, but, as we all know, anything can happen. Be sure to read the fine print on any reservations you make so you know what you are liable for, moneywise, if you or someone in your travel party gets sick and you have to cancel. Nothing is worse than being out loads of cash due to an unforeseen circumstance.
- Try to plan outdoor activities as much as possible. The U.S. is gorgeous this time of year. Flowers are starting to bloom, fields of green are, well, turning green again. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining. If you need to escape your routine (don’t we all!), try to aim for as many outdoor activities as possible. Hiking, bike riding, and canoeing are all great outdoor activities that allow you to maintain distance from those people not in your travel party. (If you are headed to the mountains for a cold-weather vacation, check out the cutest must-haves here!)
- Control what you can control. If you are worried about overexposure to germs but have decided you want to travel, focus on the things you can control: Book a hotel or room with a kitchenette and prepare your own food there. Don’t dine inside at restaurants. Avoid going to places with a lot of people, such as concerts or festivals. Bring hand sanitizer spray or wipes with you at all times.
- Consider traveling by car if possible. We love taking road trips! Not only do you get to see more of the beautiful US this way, but you can also control the number of germs you are exposed to along the way. We stock up on lots of snacks and DVDs for the kids and just go! Make sure you have proper car insurance documentation with you in case you need it, know the number for roadside assistance (many cell phone providers offer this service with your monthly contract) and make sure you get your car inspected and oil changed before hitting the road for more than a few hundred miles.
- Have a contingency plan. If you arrive at your destination and fall ill, have a plan as to where you will stay and how you will get home. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen! But be prepared to know “what’s next” in the event that someone gets sick at any point during your vacation.
- Be patient. These are trying times, and everyone is just trying to infuse some fun and normalcy back into his or her routine after this challenging year. Wherever you go, make sure to allow extra time and be patient for extra safety protocols that might be in place (such as temperature checks). Try to stay socially-distanced from people you aren’t traveling with but be understanding if space doesn’t allow for proper distance.
- Have fun! Spring Break travel is something many kids look forward to all winter. They can’t wait to be out of school for a week and have time to just relax and hang out. If you choose to travel, make sure to enjoy it!
Still not sure if you’re ready to travel this Spring Break?
- Here are a few more great resources to help you make an educated decision:
- Considering flying somewhere? Check out these airline tips from USA Today.
- Planning a ski trip? Or a beach trip? Read these tips from the Washington Post.
- Want an expert to weigh in? Here is advice on Spring Break travel from the CDC.