Unless you live deep in the woods or on a 36-foot yacht on its way across the Pacific, the rush of COVID-19 cancellations this past week has affected you. Millions of people have had their trip plans negatively affected. Just knowing that we need to stop travelling to help control the frighteningly rapid spread of coronavirus is disappointing and, perversely, gives me the proverbial itchy feet, and I didn’t even have a trip planned.
But, of course, we don’t really need to give up exploring and discovering — we just need to shift our focus to our own city! No matter where you live, there is something you can do to have fun and create memories. You might even discover something new. Part of what makes travelling so wonderful are the unique experiences, the different schedule, or the interesting people you meet.
Staying in a hotel is the quintessential staycation luxury, but during the time of COVID-19, it may be irresponsible. So stay in your house and loosen up the rules about routine and schedules (Soften up on the screen time limits, for example). Pitch a tent in the basement or backyard or plan a meal in front of the TV — whatever your crew finds special and fun!
While museums are closed, there are many museums and virtual tours you can do online.
Build some relaxing time into your schedule, with books, games, or movies, but be sure to get out to go on a bike ride to a place you’ve never been, or challenge yourself with some new hiking trails. The outdoors are still open! You could also go geocaching. Indulge in a new toy or book. National Parks have an Xplorer program for the kids, with fun activities that will help guide your visit. But before you head out, given the changing situation, check to see if your destination is still open.
What about the food? Depending on how old your crew is, you should have lots of options in your own city! Go on a “world tour” of restaurants, trying a new cuisine for take out. Let each kid pick the theme of something they’ve always wanted to try or plan a fancy picnic, either inside or out, depending on the weather. A more budget-friendly option is to let everyone pick their favourite food at the grocery store; it will make for a delicious, if possibly ridiculous, meal. Then, take the opportunity to get to know your kids better, with some fun questions!
The interesting people you meet on a journey add richness and depth to any trip. But interesting people are everywhere! Is there a family you’ve always want to get to know better? Invite them over for games or a meal. A meaningful connection might take effort, but it’s so worth it!
Don’t forget to take photos of your great “vacation” so you can add it to your family history! My kids still look back on the one night we spent in our city at a hotel with a waterslide as “so much fun!” Bon (sort of) voyage!