Many Islanders enjoying a ‘staycation’ as spring break kicks off amid pandemic for a second year

Many Islanders enjoying a 'staycation' as spring break kicks off amid pandemic for a second year

For the second year in a row, spring break is kicking off amid a pandemic.

For Islanders, travel plans are a little closer to home in 2021, many taking to the outdoors with their sleeping bags and tents.

“Realistically, it’s one of the only activities you can do this year,” said Greg Smith, a local resident visiting Goldstream Provincial Park. “You’re limited to what you can do indoors, and when you’re outdoors here at least the kids get fresh air and the chance to just be kids again.”

A group of nursing students is taking advantage of this two-week break, enjoying the campsites right here on Vancouver Island.

“I just like being in Victoria, I don’t want to go over to Vancouver, or take the ferries if I don’t have to. I don’t need to travel over there,” said Adrianna Braidwood, who is camping at the park with her classmates.

And it seems she isn’t the only one staying put this March break.

In an emailed statement to CHEK News, BC Ferries said that as of Saturday, the number of reservations booked over the coming week isn’t any higher than previous weeks as the province continues to advise against non-essential travel.

Instead of crossing the ocean, many Islanders are enjoying a “stay-cation.”

“Camping is our family-happy-place. We usually start early in the season, spring break is often our first trip of the year,” said Tracey Werry, enjoying lunch with her two children at a campsite.

For Braidwood, getting outside is also about the social aspect.

“It’s really mossy and gorgeous here in Goldstream, having some drinks, being with your friends, it’s really nice,” said the nursing student.

And being with your friends is something no one even thought possible this spring break, until only two days ago, when restrictions were loosened to allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.

“Being able to have those important connections … we need those opportunities, particularly for young people, especially over this march break. So, find ways to go explore in your neighbourhood, find ways to go to a park with friends,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday.

And so, spring break kicks off with some good weather, and now, the opportunity to see friends.

READ MORE: BC Parks campsite registration set to open for British Columbians, but some worry about out-of-province travellers

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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