ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Family Vacations Will Change in 2020: A Few Ideas for Salvaging the Tradition in a Trying Year

Updated on June 26, 2020
Marcy Bialeschki profile image

Marcy is a school counselor at an alternative school in Illinois. Other than education and her family, her passion has always been writing.

Salvaging 2020 With Some Kind Of Family Vacation

The family vacation is a tradition for many families. Moms and dads and kids alike look forward to the carefree summer months when they can embark on the annual bonding session. With all of the chaos happening in the world today due to COVID-19, family vacations are taking a backseat in terms of priorities. Some people's lives have been so devastated they are trying to pay necessary bills and have the bare essentials. They are not looking to spend extra money on a vacation.

These financial hardships are real for some families, and my heart goes out to them. Yet, this hard-luck might be just the reason to salvage a little normalcy and to try and have a family vacation, even if it's not traditional. For these families, I offer a few suggestions.

Kids love to explore the outdoors.
Kids love to explore the outdoors.

Camping is Social Distancing in the Woods

Many families know camping is tons of fun and do it regularly with or without social distancing restrictions. People who have not tapped into the camping secret might want to this year. The way I look at it, camping is just social distancing in the woods. Some might argue that camping is expensive if you have to buy all the essentials. However, I would argue vacations, in general, are expensive. That stay at the Holiday Inn Express for a family of four is going to cost you somewhere around $130 a night. How much is a tent, or two and the campground fees? Comparable? I think so. And if you are one of the lucky ones who have a camper, you are practically ready. Pack up some essentials for a few days, and see what Mother Nature has to offer.

Camping is not just having a tent and a place to pitch it, I know. Still, it is a refreshing option to traditional vacations. True, camping might not be for everyone. But I would say, it could be a top pick for anyone who wants or needs a family get-a-way this summer.

The popularity of camping this year can be seen in RV and camper sales across the country. Now that summer is here, this spike in interest has some campgrounds turning people away. Be sure to call ahead and book a reservation. The link below is a website that lists hundreds of US campgrounds and has updated availability. You simply type in the city and state where you want to camp, and it will give you campgrounds, their fees, and their availability.

Going out on the river. By the way, I lost those sunglasses in the water that day.
Going out on the river. By the way, I lost those sunglasses in the water that day.

Kayaking, Trails, and Parks

I live in the Mid-west. In my neck of the woods, there are ample places to walk trails and get on the rivers and lakes. Kayaking and paddleboarding are two popular water activities that don't take a lot of equipment or skill. As with camper sales, kayaks are hard to come by in stores and online these days. Scout around your area for lakes and that rent kayaks and paddleboards. Make a day of it with a picnic and a hike. Or maybe plan to camp as well.

There are also some state parks with river access that have tubes and kayaks to rent. Take the family out for a "lazy river" float on an actual river. They will love it. The rivers are not usually very deep, and the kids can collect rocks and shells on the banks, and get acquainted with small creatures like frogs and minnows in the shallow water. Be sure to pack sunscreen and bug repellant to ensure a happy day.

Be sure to call ahead for reservations. Some camping sites and river excursions might be booked entirely or running at partial capacity.

The Unplanned Road Trip

Have you ever just gotten in the car and headed out into the unknown? 2020 might be the year of the Ultimate Road Trip. If this idea sounds appealing, do a little research in the area you plan to travel. You should be able to find roadside attractions to view. Kids love different activities. They don't have to be sophisticated and high-tech. And on the technology note, to get maximum satisfaction out of the random road-trip, limit the earphones and devices for at least part of the trip. Maybe create a game to play along the way like a scavenger hunt you can do while looking out the windows. Children usually find these straightforward activities fun, and they are far more engaging than everyone glued to a device.

Make sure to pack a stocked cooler with drinks, snacks, and other food or plan on stopping at convenience stores for snacks. Your passengers will be more open to trying new things with their bellies full. Find a beautiful spot to pull over and enjoy a roadside picnic along your journey. Children love eating outdoors, and they will think it's great even if it's not a big expensive vacation. Also, be sure to pack sunscreen and bug repellent, or your enjoyable day might end up being a flop.

Even if it is just a day-trip, getting out and enjoying unfamiliar sights could be the change of pace your family needs after being cooped up for so long. If you want to make the fun last a little longer, consider staying at a hotel with a pool for the kids to burn off a little energy. Food delivery options will be available as well as drive thru's. Sure, you might not get to explore traditional tourist attractions, but if you keep your scope narrowed and plan a little, the random road trip can be a ton of fun.

Are you planning a family vacation this year?

See results

The Stay-cation

Well, most people are probably thinking, The last 2 months have been a Stay-cation. I'm ready to get out. But, let's face it. Finances will prevent some families from enjoying a family vacation this year. Maybe what some families need is a Stay-cation with some time together and some time apart.

There are tons 'back to basics' activities the whole family can enjoy in the back yard, and they don't cost much cash. For example, yard games are a popular activity for the whole family. Whether it's one of those giant Jenga games, corn hole, or just good ole' whiffle ball, the whole family will have fun. If going somewhere is not an option, you might as well make the most of it.

Additionally, once everyone gets back to work, getting vacation time might be difficult. If you can't go anywhere, and you need more of a getaway than games in the backyard, maybe this is the year you get that family pool, a boat, or one of those big outdoor projectors to watch movies under the stars. Or, perhaps you tackle a family project like building a treehouse or giant swing set for the kids. The adults need some stay-cation time and space, too. This could be the year you upgrade your outdoor space with a fire feature and outdoor bar. My sister-in-law and her husband built an impressive ninja warrior course in their backyard, and everyone in the family loves it. The point is that part of the fun is imagining the project and then building it. Then you get to enjoy it afterward, too.


Stay-cation idea: We are going to upgrade the fire pit this year and enjoy several nights on the patio.
Stay-cation idea: We are going to upgrade the fire pit this year and enjoy several nights on the patio.

Nontraditional Vacations Can Offer More Than We Think

Sure, if you go on that vacation you planned this year, it will be riddled with restrictions. However, you might as well make the most of it. It will still be a change of pace and quality time spent with family. Likewise, if a vacation is not in your sights, you do not have to let that ruin your traditional family time. The vacation ideas and alternatives offered here are just a few of the many activities families can do to salvage their vacation this year. Some creativity and a positive attitude will make your 2020 family vacation one to remember. The important thing is you are together, and you are having fun. This year, a non-traditional vacation might teach you and your family lessons you didn't know you needed.

© 2020 Marcy Bialeschki

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Marcy Bialeschki profile imageAUTHOR

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      11 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      Thanks for the comment, Abril. Best, to you as well.

    • Williams Abril profile image

      Abril Williams 

      11 months ago from Mendoza, Argentina

      All of them great options to connect with family and nature.

      We must seek new ways to enjoy in 2020!

      Best!

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile imageAUTHOR

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      11 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      I went tubing at Turkey Run last year with some girlfriends. We had a blast. You will love it! I say this is the year you kick that bucket list item!!

    • Jason Navratil profile image

      Jason Navratil 

      11 months ago

      Kayaking and camping are the best summer getaways.. for the weekend or extended stays. Starved Rock is gorgeous but feels like becoming overrun and more commercial. Never been to Turkey Run (bucket list). Great stuff as always!

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile imageAUTHOR

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      11 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      I know several families who plan to do more camping and outdoor activities. I wish I had more access to the beach, but I live in land-locked Illinois, USA. We have beautiful lakes and rivers galore!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Interesting! Altogether, families may spend more time outdoors so they could enjoy more space. As for me, I like the beach but not enough to measure distances in the water,

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile imageAUTHOR

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      11 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      I think families will find ways to get creative. Thanks for the comment, Liz.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      11 months ago from UK

      I have read your article with interest. Just recently I was saying that friends who have small RVs are in a good place to take vacations post lockdown, as they can drive somewhere, be self contained and practice social distancing.

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile imageAUTHOR

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      11 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      Great! I was inspired by the fact that our planned vacation will probably be canceled, so I'm going to need an alternate.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff here. Right on! I am cogitating a day trip as I write.Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)