Quarantine has really been such a bummer (understatement of the year). I’m glad we’ve been able to stay home as much as possible to keep our families and friends safe, but the itch to get out and explore the world is still there. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones with cancelled travel plans.
While the coronavirus pandemic may have halted your travel plans for the summer and fall, there are still ways to explore the world. Here are 10 trips you can still take while social distancing. Some of them may just be for an afternoon, some of the trips may be overnight. Either way, they get you out of the house and into an adventure–which is what travel is all about!
1. Rent a House or Cabin Within Driving Distance
It doesn’t seem safe to go very far right now, but it seems reasonable to go places that are within driving distance. Find somewhere nearby you’ve never been to before, somewhere with a lot of outdoor space to explore, and book a place to stay.
Many rental companies have instituted stricter cleaning measures, so be sure to check on this. You might also feel comfortable bringing some of your own cleaning supplies. Bring your own food, but don’t forget your mask!
And remember that this isn’t the time to tour big cities. Going knowing that you will need to either a) stay inside or b) limit your explorations to outdoor places.
2. Visit a National or State Park
Most National Parks and State Parks are currently open. It should be pretty easy to maintain social distance, and there is so much space and beauty to explore. Get in the car and drive to a National Park or State Park for a day, or overnight (see camping below)! Bring food and hand sanitizer with you, and masks in case there are any visitor’s centers you will need to go into. Because of all the open space, these make great social distancing trips. Be sure to check online to see what parks are open near you.
Remember though that a lot of other people are probably doing this too, so be aware of how crowded places may get in order to maintain proper social distancing. Also be sure to follow whatever guidelines the park has put into place. Always bring a mask!
3. Go Camping
This is perhaps the ultimate quarantine trip. Gather up your camping supplies and spend some nights outside. If you are tent camping with a bathhouse nearby, be mindful of cleanliness and try to avoid being in the bath house with other people if possible. Bring your hand sanitizer and a mask!
4. Go Hiking
We have been doing so much hiking during quarantine. Find a new trail to hike near you or a new outdoor walkway and get outside for a couple hours. Personally, I’ve been amazed at discovering all the trails local to me that I’ve never made the time to hike.
5. Go on a Local Scavenger Hunt
There are so many things you can find in your own city!
- Challenge yourself to see all the historical markers in your city.
- Take your kids on a color hunt.
- Find nearby outdoor art installations.
- Go hunting for rocks people have painted (maybe leave some of your own!).
- Research historical events in your city and go see where they took place.
6. Find a Body of Water
Are you in driving distance of the ocean? Go. The lake? Go. A pond in your neighborhood? Go. Standing near a body of water has an inherent peacefulness to it, and this is something we all need right now.
We were lucky enough to drive down to Florida’s Gulf Coast a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good for our mental health. We’ve also been finding a lot of local waterfalls, which are so soothing!
7. Go to the Tourist Spots in Your City
Maybe there are outdoor destinations you never go to because it’s what the “tourists” do. Now is the perfect time to visit because tourist crowds should be low! (Like those murals everyone always lines up to take pictures with!)
8. Create Your Own Food Tour
We love taking food tours in new cities because they give you a great overview of the restaurants a city has to offer. But you can create your own food tour within your own city! Plan several restaurants where you can get take-out from. Order appetizers and desserts from them and then have little picnics in various spots around your city. Pack a blanket, some hand sanitizer, and a mask.
9. Vacation in Your House
Ok, so this may not be a trip that gets your out of the house during quarantine, but it can still be fun. Designate a day to pretend that you are somewhere else. Create a beach at home in your backyard and make tropical drinks. Set up a spa day for yourself. Have a “Disney Day at Home” by watching rides on YouTube. Take a virtual vacation across the world. Get creative and enjoy the small adventures at home you might not make time for when life is “normal.”
10. Read a Book
Of course we had to include some books! Diving into a book will instantly transport you somewhere else, whether you want to experience sailing through the Caribbean, pretend like you are living in Brooklyn, or take a trip around the world.
Start planning your next trip! Studies show that part of the happiness we get from taking a trip comes from the planning and anticipation of it. I say it is never too early to start dreaming about your next trip, even if you aren’t sure when you can take it. So decide on a location and start researching things you want to do!
And in the meantime, take one of these trips while social distancing. It might surprise you how much there is to explore in your corner of the world!
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