COVID-Friendly Family Holiday Break Ideas

Family vacation planning is no simple task: between managing packing lists, picking the perfect location and staying on budget—parents definitely have their hands full. With the current state of the pandemic, the holidays are going to look a little different this year, including travel plans. 

Your family’s safety should be your first priority. That means becoming more creative with your getaway ideas. To start planning, we’ve compiled a few simple, fun and COVID-friendly vacation plans for your consideration.

(Remember, that if anyone in your family is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, request a rapid test from your county testing sites and stay quarantined until you’re able to confirm a negative result).

Go Backyard Camping

The great outdoors can be a wonderful, exciting place to explore—half the fun comes in setting up your tent, stoking a fire and enjoying delicious, gooey s’mores. For those in warmer climates who plan to stay at home this year, consider an adventure in your backyard. Grab a tent, blankets, snacks and a few lanterns to recreate your wilderness. The best part is, you’ll still have access to indoor plumbing and a shower.

While it might seem like a simple activity, these types of smaller, scaled plans will build memories with your family that will last a lifetime. Often, it’s not about where you are, but rather, what was said, jokes made, connections formed and stories told.

Invest in a Stay-Cation

You don’t need to go far to try something new; make the city and home you live in your new dream destination. (Plus, in-state travel might be safer and not require quarantining and testing). Book a hotel room or cabin in a nearby city or town, or even simply try out a new neighborhood.

If you’re unable to visit some outdoor, socially-distanced activities, consider the following activities in/near your rental:

  • Spa day: grab a bath bomb, candles, sugar scrubs, face masks, soft music and a good read to recreate a trip to the spa. Set aside time to relax and unwind so that you can have the energy you need to keep the stay-cation energy going!
  • Movie night: while you might not be able to go to a MegaPlex theater to see the newest movie release, you can get pretty close to recreating it. Gather up popcorn, treats, blankets and your family’s favorite flick to set up a movie night in your lodging. 
  • Fine dining: What’s the next best thing to Gordon Ramsey’s Steakhouse? Your own personal steakhouse at home, made in partnership with the best chefs around: your kids! For those staying in a rental with a kitchen, set aside time to make a meal with family members. Bring everyone together and enjoy some extra-special cuisine. (If you’re a new chef and the final product doesn’t quite work out, no worries, Domino’s still delivers).

While you might not be going far, it’s still important that you clear your schedule, and take a few days of PTO when possible. Just as you would for a vacation in the Bahamas, give your family your full attention at this time—and take a little break for yourself, too!

Read more: Staycations Cities to Visit 

Tips for Making Your Trip Safe

As you begin your family vacation planning, identify areas of high risk for your family. This could include places like gas stations, grocery stores, or your Airbnb. 

Think about ways to minimize potential contact with others in these places and sanitize or disinfect spaces before use. We recommend lodging that is pre-cleaned and remote from other potential vacationers. Smaller precautions can also include consistent mask use, regular hand sanitization, and regular cleaning of your car and personal devices.

Vacation and Getaway Ideas for Your Family

The week between Christmas and New Years’ is normally one of the busiest travel times. While families might not be able to travel like they normally would, they can still enjoy their time together. 

If you can’t do one of the above activities, don’t be afraid to think outside the box for smaller outings! Take day trips to nearby sites or parks to explore. Experiment with new cuisines via take-out. Depending on local regulations and your comfort level you might not be able to “get away” in the traditional sense, but you can still make sure to have a fabulous holiday break with your loved ones. 

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