Minnesotans weigh whether to travel for spring break

The Oye family weighed their options and decided to take a vacation to Disney World, where masks were required to wear.

To travel or not to travel for spring break? That is the decision plenty of families across Minnesota are weighing amid the ongoing pandemic and historically low airfare.

Trading the snow for a spur-of-the-moment trip to Disney World, the Oye family has no regrets. After much consideration and coming across $89 round-trip tickets to Orlando the family got on a plane together for the first time since the pandemic started.

"Once the cases came down and we thought we could do it in a safe way, we decided to make the trip," said Leah Oye. "Masks the entire time, you could not take masks down for pictures, so they had a lot of really good precautions that made us feel comfortable."

While the Oyes and other families are traveling, others are not. The CDC and other health care providers continue to recommend postponing spring break travel until at least 2022.

"If you are making the decision to travel, you are also making the decision to put the people in your bubble at risk," said Dr. Stacene Maroushek, an infectious disease pediatrician for Hennepin Healthcare. "I mean the grandparents when you come back, the school teachers when you come back, your job workplace employees when you come back. Because you don’t know what variant is circulating in an area and you think you are safe and fine, but you pick up and bring it back to your bubble at home."

Still, Dr. Maroushek appreciates some people have to travel or for many Minnesotans, it improves mental health. Like the CDC, she recommends precautions of mask wearing, driving whenever possible, avoiding international travel and social distancing constantly.

Kyle Potter with Thrifty Traveler says with domestic travel down 60% in most places, he’s seen prices as low as $70 round-trip to Miami. Since vaccines started rolling out, there’s a shift in more people booking - most at the very last minute within two to four weeks.

"If you are set on taking a spring break trip, you can get there and back for under a $100 to Florida or Arizona, the trick is being flexible," said Potter.

Travel and health experts alike agree that safety is the key.

"If you feel like you can do it safely, I would," said Oye.

"I just feel like as much as we want this to be over, it’s not over yet," said Dr. Maroushek.