20th May 2020

Summer travel plans are up in the air right now as local governments sort through the best strategies for keeping COVID-19 under control. Although it’s disappointing to put off a holiday or big family party you’ve been planning forever, there are still recreational options that will get your family outside safely. If you’re starting to reschedule your summer, keep these ideas in mind to make the most out of the months ahead.

Stay safe.

No matter where you go or what you decide to do, social distancing is still Rule 1.

The government recommends that you and members of your household stay at least two metres away from other people, even in the open air. If you visit a public park, avoid group activities or team sports like basketball, or football that put you in close contact with other people and shared equipment. Avoid public facilities like bathrooms and playgrounds. Walking and taking bike rides are good alternatives.

Also, make sure you bring along a cloth face covering and some hand sanitiser, avoid touching your face, and wash up when you get home.

Explore local options.

Many parks are open, with many of the same restrictions in place. You can take a long walk or bike ride with members of your family, as long as you can maintain a safe distance from other folks, but depending on your local health guidelines, playgrounds and public restrooms might still be off limits. Check websites for more information about what facilities are available and plan ahead, especially if you’re bringing children along. Of course, that empty playground is tempting in the park too, so before you head outside have an age-appropriate chat with your kids about why they need to stay off public equipment.

REALLY local options.

If your home has a private garden space, wake up your inner child, especially if you have children of your own. Kids who see their parents really throwing themselves into family time are going to feel a little less anxious and sad about things they can’t do right now.

When you’re not working or teaching, leave your phone inside and make this family time special. Plan a treasure hunt. Lead a garden yoga session. Organise a family football game. Plant flowers together. As the weather improves, move inside activities outside, like meals, storytime, and board games.

Finally, use the space available to you to embrace some of the simplicity that this situation has created. Hang up a hammock or set up some extra reading chairs around a fire pit. One of the reasons we struggle to fill time during quarantine is that rushing through our normal lives makes us feel like we should always be doing something. Older children and adults should take advantage of extra downtime to think, reflect, and be creative.

We know summer travel is just one of many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted your life. As our country and our local communities start to reopen, please be safe, and please get in touch if we can help in any way.