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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Planning a Coronavirus Summer Staycation

Well, ya'll. It looked for a minute that we might be getting close to being able to travel this summer, and if you're into outdoors and hiking, then you might be interested in road tripping to less populated places like National and State Parks. For the rest of us, who want to travel, but are also seeing worrying spikes in destinations we want to travel to, and know that most borders are closed to us, here's what we can do close to home.

Head to the beach/lake

While we can't go on our annual Vegas t
rip this summer, we have been thinking about what we can do close to home. Many beaches and lakes are great alternatives, because there are much fewer people, especially during the middle of the week. You're able to social distance while still getting away from home and soaking up some sun. I'd definitely try to keep away from the popular areas, just to stay on the safe side, but being outside is really helpful, too. 

Take a self-catered break

If you don't mind making your own food and your own entertainment, then this might be the way to go. Since many things are not open, or aren't safe to do, your vacation is going to feel a lot different. By staying in a vacation rental instead of a hotel, you'll get a nice change of scenery without being around a ton of other people. Bring your own cleaning products to sanitize throughout your stay. A lot of travelers are going this route right now, just to get away from home and relax and recharge.

Create an outdoor oasis

Take a portion of your vacation budget and invest in making your backyard, porch or balcony a space you want to hang out in and enjoy. Whether that means new furniture, a firepit, a movie screen, cool lighting, or an above-ground pool. Make it a space you are excited to hang out in, and then order some delivery food and it'll be super relaxing and also can get your kids out of the house and off their video games. get some backyard games out there and you've got the makings of a summer full of awesome family memories.

Participate in Zoom activities

Whether you want to learn a new activity like cooking, get fit, or mix and drink and participate in pub trivia, there's so much available through Zoom right now. We host a weekly brunch for a group of friends, just so amid the monotony of working from home and getting grocery deliveries there is at least one thing that's fun to look forward to. Often we choose a theme and we dress up or find an appropriate background, then we share what we made four our meals and just chat for an hour or so. 

Have a small "Quarantine" party

Last weekend was my husband's birthday, which he was sure was going to be lame, but I wanted to make it special. Usually we do something fun, like have people over for a party or go to an escape room and out to eat. I was seeing a lot of people doing drive by parties and graduations, and people bemoaning not getting to travel, so I came up with a travel party. I purchased some props, including an airplane backdrop, decorated our front yard/house, set up a snack and drink cart and then made some antipasto skewers and two different kinds of sliders that I wrapped up in tin foil and served in to-go containers with a Biscoff cupcake (like the cookies you get on the plane). 

I told everyone we would be wearing masks and social distancing. When people arrived, they got their picture taken "in the plane" and were served food and they could either leave or hang out on the lawn for a while. Souvenirs were available (we gave out sleep masks and passport stamp books) as a thank you for coming to celebrate. We had about 14 people rotate by, and it was really fun and safe. 

Tips for your party: Keep it short and manage expectations. I let people know that we'd be out between 12 and 3 and they could come by anytime during those hours, say hello, get some food in a to-go container, and have a little fun. Keep it outside and let people know that social distancing will be observed. By letting them know this and to-go containers will be available, it lets people know that you won't be letting people in the house if at all possible.

Sightsee in your own city/state

I bet there are a lot of outdoor things in your city you haven't seen yet. Beautiful parks you haven't visited. Street art you didn't know was there. History you haven't absorbed. One of my favorite ways to see the city is through a virtual scavenger hunt. You download to your phone, solve puzzles to get clues to the next spot, and learn about spots you've never even seen. Do some research or ask friends for suggestions on what to see near you, charge your phone, gas up your car and go check it out. I mean, I walked around my neighborhood to find joy, you can do that, too.

What are your plans for summer vacation?

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