Visions of tall palm trees, white sand beaches and clear blue skies fill the mind of senior business management major Maria Lyttle as she dreams about what her spring break will entail this year.
“I can almost taste the delicious fresh crab legs and lobster I am going to devour,” Lyttle said.
For the last spring break of her college career, Lyttle and her three friends will be in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The group will stay together in a condo, but plan to meet up with other Kent State students there.
Lyttle’s group will drive 17 hours to their destination, a decision made based on the location of their condo, which requires a car to travel from place to place.
“Having a car down there was our best bet, but I am so excited to go grocery shopping for the car ride snacks!” Lyttle said with a smile on her face.
Due to their decision against flying, the members of Lyttle’s group are not required to take a COVID-19 test prior to their departure. However, Lyttle stated her willingness to follow CDC guidelines for domestic travel as they are “important to the overall safety of everyone involved with traveling.”
Other Kent State spring breakers have no other choice but to fly, like senior construction management major Christian Balodis and his three friends who plan to travel to the Dominican Republic for an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
Balodis reflects on why his group chose an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana stating, “it is the epitome of relaxation, which is what we have been craving since COVID-19 first hit, and it does not require much travel outside of the resort.”
Unlike Lyttle’s group, Balodis and his friends will each take a COVID-19 test prior to their trip, and per the CDC, they are required to provide a negative result to be able to fly.
“Originally, everyone in our group wanted to be fully vaccinated before our trip, but that is impossible to achieve due to the vaccine eligibility in Ohio, so we plan to quarantine two weeks before we leave,” he said.
The Dominican Republic does not require visitors to be vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry, but temperature checks may be implemented on arrival or departure by Dominican authorities to determine if a rapid COVID-19 test must be performed.
“The precautions I have to take will prove to be worth it not only as my feet touch the sand, but especially when my eyes meet the volcanoes surrounding the resort,” Balodis said.
According to a KentWired survey that was sent out March 27, over half of the respondents said they plan on staying home, mostly due to staying safe from COVID-19 or because they need a break from their schoolwork.
Saraina Wise, senior political science and music major and survey respondent, is expecting to both stay in and go out over spring break. Her twenty-first birthday is during that week so she said she wants to celebrate with her friends in her quarantine circle.
“[We are] maybe going to the state park and hanging out for all of our birthdays [which] are kind of in that same time frame,” Wise said. “So just getting together, maybe grilling some hot dogs, floating on the lake [and] hanging out.”
She also hopes to play Legend of Zelda games and go on walks if there is nice weather.
Wise said she didn’t care that spring break was pushed back from its original date and over half of the respondents to the survey agreed.
She said she is grateful that Kent State is giving students a spring break at all unlike other schools who have random wellness days throughout the semester. Also, she believes it is for the best that students will not be returning to in person classes after spring break.
“I’m just personally happy that we’re not because I just feel like that mitigates a lot of risk and kind of keeps us all safe,” Wise said.
Kent State spring break will begin April 12 and conclude April 18. Spring classes will resume remotely on April 19.
Jessica Ames is a teaching reporter. Contact her at [email protected]
Madisyn Woodring is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]