Saying travel hasn’t been easy in 2020 is an understatement. Most of us have faced cancelled vacations this year and aren’t even sure when we’ll be able to travel freely again. If you’re like my family, you still have that travel bug. While staying safe and healthy is a top priority, there are still ways to get out there and travel. It just may not be what you imagined when you last planned trips back in 2019. Staycation anyone?
Traveling local (within your states current guidelines) is still possible and can be a great way to get away while not going far from home. Derrick isn’t allowed to travel outside of the state (Virginia) without having to quarantine for 14 days on his return. That isn’t a great use of hard earned annual leave! Therefore, we have to be very careful what we plan.
***Please check current travel guidelines and restrictions before planning any type of travel. Your health and the health of those around you is the top priority.
Here’s some ideas to scratch that travel itch but stick close to home:
- Be a tourist in your neighborhood by checking out your local tourism board. You’ll find a ton of info about things to do in your area. Some things you may not even know about! Bonus – you’ll usually find discount offers as well!
- Many museums, zoos and aquariums are open for visitors. They will be following COVID protocols, so you’ll likely need to reserve your spot online in advance. This can be a great way to experience a usually crowded venue.
- Get out in nature by camping, renting a cabin or house in the woods, by a lake or beach. You should easily be able to social distance there. Just be mindful that National Parks are also restricting visitors.
- Stay active by hiking or biking new trails or parks. Walk the beach or boardwalk to get outdoors, marvel at the beauty of autumn and get some vitamin D before the weather turns even cooler.
- Stay at a local hotel. Hotels have implemented a ton of protocols to keep everyone safe, from eliminating daily housekeeping to having breakfast delivered to your room instead of a buffet. You can also find discounted rates at some establishments.
- Find street art to let kids see some local artistic talent. Many cities (even smaller ones like mine) have a street art scene.
- Take a scenic drive to get out of the house while easily social distancing. Many places have beautiful foliage this time of year. Pack a picnic and you don’t need to be around other people.
- Take a virtual museum tour. Many sites are offering these opportunities and are just a simple google search away. How about a tour of the National Museum of Natural History? The Louvre? The Vatican Museums? NASA – Langley Research Center? The British Museum?
Just to name a few….
- Eat local to show your support. While chain restaurants have employees also needing your support, I’m a huge fan of small business. If you’re not comfortable dining in and you live in an area where it’s too cold to dine outside, get takeout. You can have a picnic at home or break out the china and candles for a fancy meal. Make it even more fun by trying a new type of cuisine!
- Try a local winery or brewery and you just may find a favorite new brew. There are a ton of breweries in my area that we haven’t checked out yet. If it’s a warm day, many establishments still have outdoor seating. VA is allowing alcohol to-go, so you can give the place a try while maintaining distance and drinking at home.
- Bring the destination to you. If you don’t want to travel or can’t due to quarantine restrictions, replicate your vacation at home. Did you have plans to visit Italy (or just really want to go?) Plan to learn a few words of Italian everyday, create classic Italian meals, listen to Italian music, read an Italian travel guide together and watch movies based in those locations. You can even start planning things to do, see and eat once it’s possible to visit your dream destination again.
- Get ready to view Christmas lights. Driving around in the evening will be fun way to escape the house and see some epic decorations. Many neighborhoods have displays as well as parks and boardwalks.
Traveling within your local area can mean going as far as 30 min away to a few hours. It all depends on what’s available in your area and how far you’re comfortable traveling (or are allowed to travel). These are just a few ideas for traveling close to home. Comment with your other staycation ideas to help beat the travel blues.
*Don’t forget to pack multiple masks for your family as you probably won’t want to bother washing them in the hotel room or cabin sink.