One of the hardest parts about dealing with this pandemic is not having any idea when it will end. We have no countdown and no way of knowing how long these life changes and restrictions will go on. Some places are starting to open up around the world, which gives us hope, but that doesn’t mean it will happen everywhere or even stay that way. Planning your family’s summer around COVID-19 is hard!
For my family this is usually the time of year where we make summer vacation fans. In fact, we had already been loosely planning a family road trip. Either to Alberta to see family, or maybe down south (Mount Rushmore or Minneapolis.) Unfortunately, with so much going on, it’s not easy to imagine people will be encouraged to travel anytime soon.
Planning your family’s summer around COVID-19
If you’re a planner like me you’re probably going crazy with all the uncertainty. First of all, this is normal! It’s also totally normal and OK to be upset that your plans are changed and expectations not met for what you wanted your family’s summer to be like.
Second, you can still start planning your family’s summer as long as you do it with COVID-19 restrictions in mind. I’m going to be the first to tell you that even if restrictions are lifted in your area, it’s probably not a great idea to jump the gun and do a bunch of stuff. You might all end up sick, which even if you recover well will still be a bummer during the summer.
Here’s some tips for planning summer of 2020 for families:
Don’t plan to travel
Travel plans usually need to be booked ahead, especially when flying. With so many things up in the air (pun intended), it’s tough to say right now whether or not we can even travel this summer. It also probably isn’t very safe to do it even if we’re allowed.
Even travelling by car, though, can have its own issues. You obviously can transmit illnesses, but you could also end up sick away from home which again is no fun. If you’re planning a family road trip save it for 2021.
Expect to keep to yourselves
If you normally make plans with family and friends, expect to cancel those for summer of 2020. Social distancing is our new reality until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, which means you won’t be doing much partying this summer.
Don’t plan any events, and don’t attend large ones either even if they’re permitted. Instead, make summer plans for your family that involve sticking within your family unit and making memories together.
Things might be closed
Even camping registration is closed here right now, which is pretty social distance-y if you ask me. Around the world, many recreation facilities and parks are on lock down to help stop people from gathering. Even playgrounds are closed! And we still don’t have a reopening date for Disneyland.
Don’t make any specific summer plans around doing a certain activity. You can hope things reopen, and visit them if it’s safe (the zoo, for example), but there’s no guarantee especially given the variability from place to place. No promises to take the kids to the water park this summer, I’m afraid.
Find a way to accept things
I know it’s hard, but it will be even more difficult to plan your summer if you’re still angry or, even worse, in denial about what’s happening. Process those feelings, be upset, but try and move on and make the best of a bad decision. After all, your family is hopefully together and safe.
Sometimes the best memories are made in our kitchens, living rooms, and own back yards.
Plan for next summer
If this summer’s still feeling like a bummer, you can start planning next summer as a family. Chances are things will be more back to normal then so you should be able to do some of the things you’re delaying this year.
If you normally do a family vacation or spend a lot of money on activities, for example, maybe you can save that and do an even bigger trip!
What can you plan then?
So how do you plan your family’s summer around COVID-19 when it feels like you can’t do anything? First of all, focus on planning things that you know you’ll be able to actually do.
Consider making a family bucket list full of fun things you can do in your own backyard and even if you’re still social distancing.
Some COVID-19 friendly summer 2020 activity ideas:
- Play games in your backyard
- Stay up late and have a movie marathon
- Go stargazing and find constellations
- Pick up a classic backyard game like croquet
- Go on a family hike (if parks aren’t open, make it a neighborhood scavenger hunt instead)
- Take the kids out for a drive through meal or ice cream date
- Try and find a drive in theater you can check out
- Have a camp out in your backyard
- Make s’mores or roast hot dogs over a fire
- Play in the sprinkler or have a water balloon fight
- Get some summer reading done
- If beaches are closed set up a backyard pool
- Do activities and crafts at home
If you really think about it there’s still a lot you can do with your family while staying at home. The biggest thing is letting go of those little extras you’re used to doing, or were planning to do, over summer vacation.
Focus on family time while planning your family’s summer around COVID-19 and you’ll be just fine.