Spring break is typically the perfect time for a family vacation. After being cooped up all winter, it’s normal to want to head out on a road trip, or fly somewhere tropical, or take a cruise. Traveling is actually important, and it can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.
Unfortunately, this year is a bit different for most families — not just in the U.S., but around the globe.
The coronavirus pandemic has created a new way of life for many people. Schools across the country have closed with some choosing to stay closed for the remainder of the year, impacting over 55 million students. Travel has also been impacted thanks to the CDC’s recommendation to practice “social distancing.”
Many states have also taken things a step further, going on “lockdown” and only allowing essential businesses to be open. Otherwise, people are encouraged to stay in their homes.
Obviously, the coronavirus is something to take seriously, and so are the rules and regulations that have been put in place. But, that throws a wrench in many people’s spring break plans. In fact, if your kids have been home for a couple of weeks already, you might find yourself wondering what you can do to change the pace, have some fun, and make it feel like spring break even if you had to change your initial travel plans, as many others have.
So, what can you do to have a great staycation at home with your family while keeping everyone safe and healthy?
Stop the Spread by Staying Home
One of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 is simply to stay home. The World Health Organization has designed a strategic plan that involves finding appropriate ways to communicate information to the public, and isolating affected individuals. They’ve also encouraged restricted traveling, which is why many U.S. citizens have had to travel home from other countries.
So, if you’ve heard people talking about staying home, again and again, there’s a good reason for that. It can flatten the curve and keep you and your family safe.
But, it also means you might have to get creative with your spring break plans. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do at home or close to home that can help you to create lasting memories.
If your family enjoys being outside, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the lovely spring weather. Go on a day hike somewhere secluded, or go camping in your own back yard. Try new outdoor hobbies together, like metal detecting. Your kids will love looking for treasure in your yard, or at the beach or a park if you manage to get those spaces to yourself.
Spending quality time with your family is the most important part of staying at home. Whether you plan an outdoor adventure or a movie marathon with everyone’s favorite snacks, try to do something special to break up the everyday routine you’ve been working with for the past couple of weeks.
Encourage your kids to use their imagination. Build something with them. Create something new. Put on your swim gear, make some fruity drinks, and pretend you’re on a tropical island. You can’t go wrong as long as you take the time to make it a memorable experience for everyone.
Travel Safety Tips
If you do want to travel, you can keep your family somewhat isolated by hitting the road in an RV. It’s a great way to stay comfortable, safe, and warm on those cool spring nights at your favorite campsite.
If you do decide to go camping and still want to practice social distancing, research the campsite ahead of time. Chances are, there will be fewer people there than normal, but it’s still a good idea to plan ahead, read reviews, and book a spot if possible so you can distance yourself from other campers while staying in your RV.
If you’re going to be “living” in your RV while you’re on the road, you can also play it safe by packing your necessities. The less you have to stop while on the road, the better. You shouldn’t have to go into stores to purchase anything, so make a checklist ahead of time for everything you’ll need to bring with you.
What type of climate will you be in, and what clothes will you need? How much food should you bring with you? Will you have enough toiletries to last the entire time?
It’s okay to be over-prepared if you’re leaving the house and going on a trip. If it can keep you from having much contact with other people while you’re out, it’s worth it to keep your family safe.
A Spring Cleaning Staycation
Though it’s easy to feel disappointed about vacation plans falling through, you can use this time to teach your kids new skills, and the importance of keeping things clean. If your kids have heard anything about the coronavirus, they might feel uncertain or scared. Keeping them busy around the house can provide a source of comfort, and knowing you’re there with them will help them to feel secure.
Spring cleaning is nothing new, but it might be more essential this year than ever! It’s a great opportunity to teach your children how to do certain things and to make cleaning up a family event. If you want to get your kids involved, try some of these tips to make the cleaning experience something fun:
- Crank up some music everyone loves while cleaning
- Have your kids compete to match lost socks in the laundry
- Play “follow the leader”
- Have a family fashion show to help your kids decide which clothes they should keep and which they should donate
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your spring cleaning ideas, both inside and outside.
While this spring break might not be the one you initially imagined, you can make the most of it by spending quality time with your kids at home, or finding things to do outside and away from others.
Keeping your family healthy right now should be your top priority. This will all end eventually. Things will go back to normal. By next year, you can look back on your staycation and remember how fun it was to spend that kind of time together as a family.