Who doesn’t need a holiday vacation these days? We know we do. We’re thinking of sandy beaches, amusement parks, state parks, and many more. A holiday vacation is a good time to relax, recharge, and come back strong and ready to take on the challenges of life. In 2020, however, a vacation feels more like a need or a desperate escape rather than a capricious want. Agree?
Taking a break or a timeout is important for one’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Kids and adults alike benefit from vacations. However, traveling with kids is different from traveling on your own or with a bunch of bff’s.
One, family vacations need more planning and preparation, and two, family trips have to include everybody’s needs and wants. They are more extensive. For instance, parents crave relaxation while kids, for sure, think mostly of fun and more fun.
The pandemic has made life extremely different and difficult for many of us. Many travel plans have been cancelled, and it’s safe to say, many more will be cancelled. According to the CDC, travel puts many at risk, especially if you have to take public forms of transport, like an airplane.
Factor that and your increasing need to get away. Where do you go and what do you do to have the “best time ever” kind of vacation?
Here are a few ideas you should consider to have the best family-focused holiday vacation. One more tip: start with the right perspective. Hang some camping metal signs or add one or two I Love Camping hand towels to get everyone in the mood. When everyone is happy and ready, you’re more guaranteed to have a great vacation. Enjoy!
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has all the information you need regarding safety recommendations and health notices related to Covid-19. Before any type of travel, check out their website.
In a nutshell, don’t travel if you or if someone in your family is sick or has been exposed to someone with Covid-19 within fourteen days. Before leaving your home, make sure to inquire about your destination. Are there lots of Covid-19 cases there? Is there a health and safety protocol at your chosen hotel or resort?
Wearing a mask and avoiding close contact will help you minimize the risk of infection. So will frequent hand-washing and using hand sanitizers.
If there’s an abundant outdoor location in your area, consider yourself lucky. Sometimes, a break doesn’t mean boarding an airplane and flying to an exotic country. Obviously, an out-of-country trip is a must-try, but sometimes taking a break is just about getting out of the house, unplugging from the digital world, and communing with nature.
If your location has a forested area or a good trail, why not spend the day outside hiking? If there’s a cabin where you may stay overnight to protect you from the cold weather, stay the night or two and immerse yourself in nature.
If for whatever reason staying the night is not possible for you, take the whole family early in the morning and heed to a national or state park. Have a picnic and enjoy your time outdoors.
Staycation with grandma and grandpa for a week or so. That certainly beats staying in hotels and resorts and sharing elevators and hallways with strangers. Of course, if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to covid-19, stay away from grandma and grandpa. In fact, stay at home if that is the case.
A staycation with family and close family friends is an excellent reason to leave the house. It will give you and the family the change of scene that you need and allow you to catch up and enjoy your relationships.
Try not to show up empty handed though. No matter how small, we all love surprises. So think of favorite reds or take the time to bake holiday cookies with the kids.
Discover the bed and breakfast resorts within your locality. Book a night or two and just go with the kids. A change of scene doesn’t need thousands of miles to make happen. Sometimes you just need a refreshing perspective and someone else to cook breakfast for the family early the next morning.
What do you do once you and the family are cooped in a local hotel or B&B? First, set expectations right and let everyone on board the planning. Enjoy your room service, a nice indoor jacuzzi (if there is one) or swimming pool, or play tourist in your own area. There’s always something new to discover, so check out local websites and ask friends for recommendations.
Trade relaxation for one day at an amusement park or a theme park with the whole family. It’s not the R&R you probably have in mind, but it’s bound to be fun, especially for the little ones. Most amusement parks and theme parks offer a one-day pass or a ride-all-you-want ticket. Get that to make the most of your experience.
Remember to call ahead of time to inquire about safety protocols and to make reservations. For meals, choose an outdoor location or an al fresco dining setup. It’s important to keep hand sanitizers with you at all times too, especially since you and your family will be holding on to handles, bars, and railings for safety.
Before heading out, have a good talk with your kids. Kids tend to put their fingers in their mouths and/or rub their eyes without even knowing it. Remind them that, in general, these are not good practices but more so now that there is a pandemic going on.
If all else fails, meaning you can’t get a reservation at a nearby B&B, you can’t see the grandparents, you can’t leave your house, if all else fails, get a tent and camp in your backyard. When was the last time you indulged in such an underestimated activity?
Pitch a tent, start the fire, cook some s’mores, watch the stars, and exchange stories. This activity does not require lots of planning, travel money, and other extras. You even have access to a nice and clean bathroom at all times! Sometimes it’s the newness of an activity that gives us a rush rather than the mileage involved. Sometimes it’s all about the company you keep, and where you have your family, safe and sound, hopefully will always be good enough.
If you’re unsure where to go or what to do, especially with everything going on, don’t worry. As a last resort, call travel experts, who can assist you make plans and book reservations. To get started, however, get the family to agree on a few important things. Are you looking for an inclusive resort, a mountain cabin, a nearby amusement park?
The travel expert can give recommendations and practical tips, but ultimately, you have to do your due diligence too and read about the places you want to visit or the things you want to do.
Here’s hoping you and your family have a blast vacationing. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!