If your family has ever deserved a vacation, it's this summer. After a year of locking down and making sacrifices of all shapes and sizes, COVID-19 rates are dropping, and vaccination rates continue to rise. That doesn't quite translate into a total return to normalcy, especially when it comes to travel. But these four tips will help you organize a safe and memorable vacation that includes a little something for everyone.
- Make it easy.
If your clan is a seasoned group of adventurers – and you're all vaccinated – then most travel options are available to you, including an increasing number of international destinations.
However, if, under normal circumstances, you or members of your family get a bit grumpy about the hassles of travelling, this might not be the year to hop on a plane. Pent up demand could lead to long lines and delays. The TSA recently extended its mask mandate for airports, planes, and busses until September. The CDC requires anyone who leaves the United States to take a COVID test before returning. And anyone who isn't vaccinated – such as young children – is still susceptible to COVID in enclosed spaces.
Again, to your family, these might sound like minor inconveniences you're willing to work with. In that case, bon voyage!
But the easier your travel plan is, the more likely you’ll all enjoy it. This could be a good opportunity to hop in the camper and cross one more National Park off your list, or rent a cabin where you can combine invigorating activities with some R&R.
- Be inclusive.
Your family probably has a backlog of postponed plans that's been piling up since the pandemic. Have a family meeting and give everyone a chance to list two or three things they'd really like to do. A destination vacation to an all-in-one resort or theme park might offer enough variety to cross something off everyone's list. For added variety, ask your travel agent or on-site customer service reps about nearby attractions or dining options that might make for a fun day trip within your trip.
You also might consider planning some smaller vacations throughout the summer or booking a couple weekend getaways. Just because your children don't want to stroll through a winery or cozy up in a bed and breakfast doesn't mean you and your spouse shouldn't be able to.
- Go big!
While it's important that everyone in your family has a chance to enjoy their favorite vacation activities, the time you all spend together is what's really going to make this trip memorable, especially after the year you've all had.
Try to organize one big vacation event around something that you all love. See how many roller coasters you can hit in one day. Buy tickets to watch your favorite baseball team visit a ballpark in another city. Make a reservation at a local restaurant that specializes in your family's favorite meal.
It can also be fun to pull everyone outside of their comfort zones. If your crew is usually more into museums and spas, camp under the stars for a night. Take a break from fishing to give water skiing a try. Making mistakes and learning new things about yourselves can create some of the most vivid and meaningful family memories.
- Plan ahead.
Your family isn’t the only one that’s excited to get out of the house this summer. Demand for travel is skyrocketing as the U.S. and parts of the wider world begin reopening. On the other hand, communities that are playing it extra safe might still have rules in place that will make it harder for you to do certain things. Round out your itinerary with a few contingency plans and some careful budgeting.
We hope that travel will give your family’s Return on Life a big boost this summer. Stay safe and get in touch if we can help you plan for this year’s big trip or another one on the horizon.