For obvious reasons, it has been three years since we’ve published our otherwise annual guide to enjoying a safe and liability-free spring break. But now that BC Public Health Order (PHO) restrictions have been lifted on many spring break types of activities in the province, we feel that it’s time for an update. After all, despite lifted PHOs things aren’t back to normal quite yet. Here’s what your household needs to know.
5 Tips to Help BC Households Enjoy a Safe and Liability-Free Spring Break 2022
I. Monitor BC-Wide Restrictions in Real Time
Reference the BC Government website regarding COVID-19 restrictions every day, and always err on the side of caution. Relying on the news (and worse, your friends) alone can lead to a misunderstanding of updated protocols and even misinformation. The BC Government updates their online resource in real time. In referencing it each day, you will keep informed about what is permitted for local spring break activities such as visits to theme parks, community centers, pools, theaters, eateries, and everything else in between.
II. If Traveling, Know Before You Go
Travel restrictions across Canada and between the USA and Canada have also been eased. Not having to take an expensive PCR test upon return to Canada is one of them, as has the removal of vaccination requirements for children under 18. As a result, many households have booked flights or mapped out road trips to destinations that have been unreachable for the last 24 months. It’s important to note that while international, national, and provincial restrictions have eased, different provinces, states, and even municipalities have differing rules. Some restrictions have not been lifted. You don’t want any surprises when you get to the check-in counter at the airport, nor your hotel. Before heading anywhere, do the following:
- Contact your airline to inquire about COVID-related boarding and destination requirements
- Contact your hotel/accommodation to inquire about on-premises COVID-related requirements
- Check federal and provincial/state websites of your destination for real time updates on COVID-related restrictions
- Check the municipality website of your destination for real time updates on COVID-related restrictions
III. Update Your Travel Insurance
There is a major knowledge gap when it comes to travel insurance policies. Many spring break travelers choose insurance offered at check-out when booking a ticket with an airline. However, the policy is often not enough. For example, the policy may only cover basic medical expenses. Or, it may cover COVID symptom treatment, but not the cost of accommodations required should you not be able to return to Canada for 10 to 14 days. Be sure to choose the right travel insurance provider, one that offers coverage for COVID related expenses in addition to the “normal” medical coverage requirements. View more on our partner travel medical program, and contact a broker if you have any questions.
IV. Spring Break Rules of the Road
With COVID related concerns addressed above, we can now revisit the primary mode of spring break transportation in BC. Recent 2022 data shows that despite numerous campaigns to prevent it over the last few years, nearly half of BC drivers admit that they still have a habit of driving distracted. For this reason it’s important to review our guides to preventing distracting driving. In addition, protect your vehicle from criminal mischief. Be mindful of theft when parked in unknown cities and towns, especially when driving the family in an SUV. Lastly, with gas prices going through the stratosphere, you may have invested in (or plan to rent) an electric vehicle (EV) which opens you up to new kinds of MVA risk. Follow this guide to mitigating range anxiety.
V. Don’t Let Your Home be an Afterthought
You may be so excited to flee the coup for spring break that you neglect to consider your home. Follow these tips to preventing break-ins while you’re away. In addition, protect against water damage and other issues that may arise from within via the integration of smart home technology. A single application may detect and alert you about water leaks, smoke, heat, and more. And if renting, have a broker review your renters insurance policy to make sure that you’re covered.