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School is out. Summer is starting. Now’s the time when many of us start packing for vacation. But, unfortunately, this year is different. Many places still have quarantine and social distancing restrictions in place. Theme parks, tourist attractions, and even restaurants are not open or are opening with limited capacity. And the general feeling is that it’s just not safe to travel right now. But, if you’re like me, you’re itching to get away on vacation. So, what do you do? Here are some tips and ideas on how to travel safely when it’s not safe to travel.
Take Day Trips
My family is taking lots of day trips right now. It is one of the easiest ways to satisfy your desire to travel during this time. It doesn’t require flying, crossing state lines, or staying in a hotel. You also don’t need to do a lot of advance planning, so you can make last minute plans based on the current situation with closures and restrictions that are in place in your area. Additionally, you can pick a location (or change it) depending on where other people are and your comfort level.
Find attractions, parks, or other outside spaces near your home that you can visit with your family while still social distancing. Depending on where you live, this may mean going to a state park, zoo, nature preserve, outdoor shopping district, or pool. Be creative! Find places that you feel are safe and take off. To get you started, check out our staycation ideas. I bet you and your family will have a blast!
National or State Parks
If you are looking for a destination to safely visit, consider national and state parks. Even the popular national and state parks are generally huge and have lots of space for people to spread out. To be even safer, consider visiting a park that is a lesser known attraction. I promise that the Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico is much less crowded than Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. This is a great opportunity to explore a location you may have never considered before. These parks are an excellent choice for day trips and longer overnight stays. Check out the National Park Service’s website for information on which national parks are open and any restrictions that are in place.
If you are wanting to get away for longer than just a day, but are looking for how to travel safely, consider taking a road trip. Your own vehicle is going to be safer than flying on a commercial airplane simple because you will only be in close quarters with those in your family. And the beauty of road trips is that you are in complete control of where you go, which route you take, when you leave, and when you stop. You can take a road trip to a national park you’ve always wanted to visit or to some other state that may be opening up more than your resident state. Just be sure to check with any restrictions put in place by state and local officials in the area you are looking to go to before leaving home.
Depending on the distance you will be traveling, you may need to stay in a hotel along the way. If at all possible, try to do your entire journey in one day to prevent this, but if you have to stop for the night, research hotels to find ones that feel safe to you. If you are not sure about taking a road trip with your kids, see our tips on successful road trips with kids and road trips with babies and toddlers.
Rent a House
Another idea for how to travel safely is to rent a house somewhere for a week or more. You could rent a beach house, cabin in the woods, or a lake house. This will allow you to have fun with your family, maintain social distancing, and have a full vacation. When you rent a house, you can either go out and explore the surrounding area or just have fun staying inside and spending quality time with your loved ones. Look at Airbnb, Homeaway, or Vbro for vacation house rentals.
Rent an RV
As an alternative to renting a home, consider renting an RV. This is an especially good idea if you are planning on taking a road trip this summer. This will allow you to stop for the night without having to stay in a hotel. An RV is a self-contained environment that will allow you to travel with confidence that you are keeping your family safe. Plus, if you have never taken an RV trip before, this will be a fun change of pace for your family.
Speaking of RV’s, another way to travel safely this summer is to go camping. You can either camp in an RV or tent. And there are so many options of places to camp around the country. You can go to a state or national park that allows overnight camping or head to a lake. You may even be able to find a forest, river, or beach that has public land open for camping. I’m sure your kids will love sitting around a campfire at night eating s’mores and sleeping in a tent.
One of the safest ways to travel is to just simply get outdoors and do something fun with your family. Go fishing, kayaking, hiking, or fly kites. You can have a cookout or picnic in a local park. Go bike riding or bird watching on a nearby trail. Many times, just getting out and doing something fun with your family can help satisfy your sense of adventure and tide you over until you feel safe to travel again.
Find Hidden Gems
One of my favorite things to do when we travel (even when it is safe) is to find hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions to enjoy. This is a very easy way to avoid all the crowds. You can enjoy some amazing experiences this way as well. Do some research to find places that are in an area you would like to visit and that are open. It won’t take long to find some unique things to do this summer.
Go Visit Family
Another way to travel safely is to plan a vacation to go see family or friends that live far away. You don’t have to go to any tourist attractions. You can just spend your whole trip catching up and bonding with them. And if you are able to stay with your friends or family, you won’t have to worry about staying in a hotel, which will make your trip even safer.
These are difficult times right now because we are all caught between wanting to travel and feeling like it isn’t safe to do so. But, the above tips and ideas are great ways to travel safely when it’s not safe to do so. While it may not be the vacation you imagined you would have this summer, you can still have an amazing time doing something different and a little out of your comfort zone. I hope you have a great summer vacation! Happy travels!
P.S. Are you ready to turn your ultimate dream trip into a reality? Our FREE worksheet can help you get there! Grab it in the box down below and get started planning your trip today!