There's no doubt that this year, the idea of a summer vacation will look much different than previous years. As restrictions from the pandemic are slowly lifted, some of us will take vacations (keeping face masks close and other people not-so-close). Others will choose a staycation at home and use that time to enjoy a special time with family. Whatever the summer looks like, we can still make the time a lot of fun.
Before you decide to travel this summer, you will need to make some preliminary plans. Check travel restrictions that may impact your destination decision as well as the current cases of COVID-19 and if the trend for cases is increasing or decreasing. Keep in mind that your own state may have quarantine requirements for when you return, depending on where you traveled.
When you travel away from home, take along sanitizing wipes. No matter how clean you presume an aircraft or hotel may be, it is best to do a quick clean with a sanitizing wipe before you use the space. You can keep travel-sized hand sanitizers, as well as your face masks, in a Ziparoos quart-size reusable bag that will easily fit in a purse or travel bag.
At the beach, you can still keep social distances yet have a lot of fun! Building sand castles, walking along the water, and resting by the shore are still possible at many beaches that have opened back up. Make sure to take along gallon-sized reusable bags to store wet, sandy clothes. You may want to consider a not-as-popular beach location so as to avoid any large, summer crowds.
Camping is a smart plan for vacation during this time. You can easily keep social distancing, yet still enjoy the great outdoors. Consider visiting national parks, go hiking, or watch the stars come out at night as you stay at a campground. Space is always a consideration while camping, so smartly fill necessary supplies and provisions in a gallon-sized bag. And make sure to also pack along first-aid supplies.
For those who plan to stay home this summer, you will want to keep some variety in your routine to help keep you and your family engaged throughout the summer. Water play is often a way to keep the family busy. Consider playing in a sprinkler, day trips to waterfalls or other water areas, or possibly investing in a small pool.
Try to let the kids go outside and play often. When things tend to be chaotic, sometimes it is the most simple activities that will keep them engaged. For younger kids, get them some sidewalk chalk and let them become little artists. For older kids, encourage them to go out and ride their bikes.
One affordable idea for a staycation is to spend the summer exploring the different paths of your local state or federal park. You can fill up some sandwich bags with healthy treats or even pack a picnic lunch. Each trail will offer new sites for your family to explore. Hiking is not only fun for the whole family, but also can be educational.
No matter if you choose to vacation or staycation, be together with your family and enjoy the time together. Be safe and smart and use all precautions. The summer of 2020 may just be the summer that brought your family close together as you explored alternatives to what it means to have a summer vacation.
Photo credit: @toddlinacrossamerica