Keep social distancing, look for wide-open and outdoor spaces, and wear masks if you venture out!
Taking a vacation during the summer is a time-honored tradition for some families. During this time of great uncertainty, it may be even more important to take a break from work life, city-life, and all the events of the day to get another perspective with a new venue. Even a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can be good in more ways than one. Many studies show that a vacation can reduce stress, be heart healthy, and also be good for mental health. People often state they feel refreshed after even short trips and can be more productive after a vacation. Here are the top five vacation ideas for families during the challenges of the corona crisis and difficult times.
1.) Travel by Car, Rather than Air or Other Commercial Vehicles
If you make the choice to venture out for a family trip, you and your loved ones will be less exposed to the corona virus if you take a road trip rather than travel by plane, train, or bus. Road trips are often more entertaining because they provide some wonderful views of scenic landscapes, such as open fields, city-scapes, woods, lakes, and bridges as you traverse.
Car games are often fun for all ages while traveling. One entertaining game is the Alphabet Game, which asks you to use the letters A through Z as you identify road signs, building labels, or license plates. Another good game, particularly for older kids, is to select a radio station and be the first to recognize the band for a certain song that is playing, in a “Name That Tune” fashion. Sometimes family members might share memories or histories associated with songs or certain experiences that they connect with a tune.
2.) Individual Cottage or Cabin Instead of Hotel
Renting a cottage rather than a hotel will allow you to enter your temporary home away from home. You can do this without having to get into the closed space of an elevator or common hallway, as is the case with many hotels. Most cottages have kitchen facilities which allows you to make your meals on the premises instead of dining out and further exposing yourself to the virus. Eating in can also be more economical than dining out. The costs of cabin rental are usually the same rate as a nightly hotel, sometimes even less expensive if one gets a weekly rate. (Be sure to ask how they sanitize where you are staying between guests. Some suggest waiting 72-hours after sanitizing before renting facilities out to ensure everyone’s safety.)
Cabins that are situated near woods or water, such as an inland lake or bubbling river, make them more ideal for a nature getaway. Depending on your geography, you may enjoy sunrises or sunsets as part of your view. What might be ideal is renting a cottage near a secluded inland lake, where leisurely strolls up and down the beach would be less crowded than the more popular beaches. Nearby hikes in the woods would be wonderful as well, with less traveled paths. This is often a great opportunity for identifying various plants or floral varieties or even collaboratively birding.
3.) Visit Great Outdoors and Open Spaces
Many museums and parks are still closed, but some landmarks are starting to open up and can be visited safely since they are outdoors and allow social distancing and the wearing of masks. It is key to pick a place that does not attract huge crowds. Look for places that are not as well-known and are smaller scale than somewhere like Sleeping Bear Dunes or Tahquamemon Falls. For instance, Isle Royale National Park has a lot of open space and is fairly isolated. Isle Royale National Park is currently increasing accesses and services, along with other national parks. The Upper Peninsula is typically less populated, and boasts loads of woods and shoreline.
4.) Dine Out in Open Space or Continue with Delivery/Curbside
If you absolutely must dine out, al fresco dining (or eating outdoors) is probably the safest bet. Many restaurants are planning to expand their outdoor dining options during this time. Even though many are opening up, some restaurants are still focusing much of their efforts on delivery and curbside options. If you have a nice cottage or cabin with a woodsy or lake view, some takeout Chinese or pizza delivery might just be the perfect accompaniment.
Even though restaurants and locales are opening up, the safest bet is probably to still stay home. Make the most out of the space that you have. Camping out in the backyard is one idea, along with splurging on takeout and delivery. You can make your own home feel like a bed and breakfast by eating al fresco on the porch or patio. You can change your scenery by planting new garden beds to bring a variety of new colors to your own property. Social distance by kayaking on the Huron River, taking a stroll in the Arb, or smelling other people’s flowers by walking in the neighborhood are also great options. While at home, take a break from the news and relax to your favorite music, films, and books.