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Put pandemic safety first if you’re thinking about a Spring Break getaway

DES MOINES — With the arrival of March and the one-year anniversary of sweeping COVID-19 shutdowns across the state, more people are getting vaccinated which is prompting some Iowans to consider Spring Break trips or summer vacations.

Bao Vang, spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau, says if you’re planning to get away, be sure to take a “pandemic bag” with you.

“A pandemic bag includes staples like hand sanitizer, face masks, disinfecting wipes, health insurance cards, all good things to have,” Vang says. “Other items, a thermometer, latex gloves, hand soap.” You may want to opt for a road trip instead of flying, she says.

While road travel carries risks along with flying, it’s much easier to mitigate risks from within a smaller space you and your family control. Vang reminds, the pandemic isn’t over and there are still multiple risks associated with travel.

She encourages you to do your homework ahead of time. “Research travel restrictions,” she says. “Now, every single state has unique mandates and recommendations as those items about mask-wearing or whether businesses are open and at what capacity, they will impact your plans.”

Vang says flexibility is key. Be willing to pay extra for fully refundable flights, car rentals, and accommodations, plus, recognize your plans may change last-minute due to an unexpected lockdown or infection.

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