6 Adventurous, Social-Distancing Staycation Ideas to Keep You Entertained

Top Staycation Ideas During COVID

Since its identification in November 2019 in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has sickened 14.5 million people worldwide and claimed more than 600,000 lives. It has also utterly demolished the itineraries of countless inveterate travelers. Mandatory lockdowns, the halting of cruises and the cancellation of majors sports events, such as the Olympics, have forced countless people to scrap their plans entirely. Despite travel plans being cancelled, you can still partake in a staycation! So, we offer some staycation ideas during COVID.

The Prevalence of Staycations Due to COVID-19

Something funny is happening: people are still traveling. A July 9 article in The Wall Street Journal featured the provocative headline: “Stuck at Home Because of Covid, the French Discover France.”

Reuters similarly reported that Belgians have booked stays in tree-based tents originally designed to protest deforestation.

“I believe it’s because of the government’s guidelines to travel in your own country,” Katrien Houbey, head of tourism for Borgloon, Limburgh, said. “So people started searching for alternatives to stay somewhere.”

Indeed, the once humble staycation is proving to be incredibly popular during the pandemic. Read on to learn all about staycation ideas during COVID.

What Is a Staycation?

Created by mashing up the words vacation and stay, a staycation has a somewhat malleable meaning. Some people use the term to talk about a “getaway” where you simply stay at home and pamper yourself to no end. And you know what? Such sedentary escapes certainly have their own set of charms.

Staycation in Your Home

Consider how such a staycation might look. You turn off every alert on your smartphone, intentionally misplace your calendar and set an out-of-office alert for your email. You have your meals delivered to you. (Services such as Grubhub, DoorDash, or Uber Eats are always a possibility. But why not have Maryland blue crabs, Kansas City barbecue, or Wagyu beef show up right at your front door?) Then, you can camp in the backyard, make your own film festival, soak in the tub for an hour and sign up for that MasterClass that always looked particularly interesting.

However, that is not the only way you can do a staycation. Part of the fun of traveling is the, you know, traveling, and there are ways you can still manage a change of scenery even during a global pandemic.

Day Tripping as a Road Warrior

Opinions vary wildly on what is and is not safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should always carefully consider the guidance offered by local authorities and remember the guidelines. Do what you would want others to do.

With that being said, a day trip or a short road-warrior expedition replete with an overnight RV stay can be the perfect way to stretch the definition of a staycation. Start by looking at a list of iconic American road trips and seeing whether or not any of them intersect with your home.

Do you live in California? Think about driving down Route 66. Are you located in the Midwest? The lighthouse studded shores of Grand Haven, Michigan lie only a few hours from Chicago. Stir-crazy south Floridians can cruise A1A or US-1, which are both historic stretches of highway. Residents of Colorado might think about escaping to the mountains to hike.

Indeed, both road tripping and getting out in nearby nature offer great, largely safe mini-vacations. You may not live next to some famous routes (although you should definitely check out Roadtrippers first just to make sure).

If you do not, consider spending some time hiking, fishing and enjoying the scenery at a national park. For Americans, the U.S. National Park Service maintains 419 amazing parks and provides info about where you can camp. Keep in mind, many parks and campgrounds are shut down, or have reduced hours and capacity due to the pandemic.

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Explore Your Local Community

We’d be the first to admit that part of the appeal of traveling is separating yourself from your mundane surroundings. Some might not feel comfortable with any sort of traveling in the traditional sense. That’s okay and it still leaves you with lots of options besides simply hunkering down in your house or apartment.

Discovering your local area might leave you wondering why you waited so long to do it. Here you will find a few ideas for how to build a staycation using only your local city or countryside.

Build Your own Self-Directed Walking Tour

Tours do a great job of showing you the parts of an area that you might have missed, but they are problematic during a pandemic. Crowded busses, shoulder-to-shoulder groups, lots of strangers from who knows where — none of these elements help facilitate appropriate social distancing. Self-guided walking tours, though? They let you set your own pace, choose your group and stay safe. Visit GPSMyCity.com to build walking tours of locales all over the world.

Sample the Tastes

One of the great practical downsides of the COVID-19 pandemic is how it restricted restaurant dining. Fortunately, curbside pickup and on-demand delivery service have made it possible for you to still sample grub from various eateries. And you know what? It’s a wonderful way to take a tour with only a knife and fork, or perhaps chopsticks or your fingers. Have you ever noshed on sambal oelek or peri-peri chicken? What about that universally praised Italian place that you never got around to trying? There’s no time better than the present!

Go Snap Happy

Imagery dominates social media, which is more than evident when you peruse Facebook and Instagram. We all like to wow friends and family with our amazing pictures, but did you ever stop and consider that snapping images can help you understand a place better? Try taking pictures of all the famous sights near your home. You might be surprised at what you discover.

Take a Nature Scavenger Hunt

If you read anything about staycations, you will almost invariably find a recommendation to take a hike or stroll through the woods. (We even did so earlier in this very article!) It’s a good suggestion and you can liven up your outdoor time by throwing a nature-based scavenger hunt into the mix. You can try one of those kid-focused check sheets. You can attempt something more subjective, such as the most beautiful leaf or interesting cloud formation. Or you can crack open a field guide from the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, Peterson, or the National Wildlife Federation and see what you find.

Time to Staycation!

Any sort of travel really is what you make of it. This remains every bit as true for a staycation as it does for “normal” travel. So, take a look around you, break out a pen and paper, and start your own itinerary. You just may create your favorite trip yet right at home.

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