Memorial Day is typically considered the unofficial start of summer here in the United States.
But this summer, things are shaping up a little differently. While some businesses and National Parks are starting to reopen, the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 still hangs over us, causing uncertainty for our summer travel plans.
Will the trips we have planned be cancelled? If they aren’t, should we still go? Is it safe?
National Geographic recently polled 2,200 Americans to see how this uncertainty about Covid-19 effected their plans for summer travel.
The poll revealed that only 8% of Americans would consider taking a flight for a vacation this summer.
So if you’re one of the many Americans planning to staycation this summer, here are 10 ideas to help you stretch your wings a little closer to home.
#1 – Go Stargazing
When was the last time you properly appreciated the stars in all their glory?
Warm summer nights are perfect for stargazing! Why not grab a loved one and a blanket, and head out of the city for a magical date night?
For an even better view, check out this list of International Dark Sky Parks where light pollution is minimal.
And don’t forget to check out the Perseid Meteor Shower which peaks on August 12th this year.
#2 – Take A Road Trip
Take a road trip, day trip, or even just a scenic drive!
It can be fun to give your trip a theme, for example: waterfalls, hot springs, lighthouses, ancient ruins, national parks, historic sites.
It can really be whatever you want!
Here are a few cool themed road trip ideas to inspire you:
#3 – Go Car Camping
Car camping is a great way to commune with nature (and cure cabin fever)!
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not plan a backpacking trip?
Many campsites across the US are opening back up, but be sure to check your local listings for any restrictions. The same thing goes for backpacking, as some National Parks are still limiting backcountry access.
#4 – Find A New Trail To Hike
If you’re a regular hiker, you might be getting bored of the same old trails.
This summer I challenge you to do some research, and explore some new trail systems! A little change of scenery will do you good.
There are some awesome resources out there for discovering new trails. Here are a few of my favorites:
- The AllTrails app which contains both hiking and biking trails.
- Only In Your State which has awesome hiking trips and other activities for all 50 states.
#5 – Go For A Paddle
Paddling, especially stand up paddling, has been gaining popularity in the last few years.
If you’d like to get out on the water this summer, why not check out stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, or kayaking, in the lake, river or ocean?
Paddling is great exercise, and a fun way to explore nature!
Plus, paddling is probably an even easier way to recreate and social distance than hiking is, since with paddling you aren’t confined by trails.
#6 – Go For A Bike Ride
Bikes aren’t just for kids anymore. They are a great form of low impact cardiovascular exercise. If you don’t own a bike, rent one or borrow from a friend.
For local bike trails in your area, check out Rails to Trails. This organization transforms old railroad lines into bike trails all over the country, and is a great option if you aren’t comfortable riding on the road.
#7 – Visit A Wildlife Refuge
If you’ve been missing mother nature, this is just the adventure for you! Don’t forget to pack your camera and/or binoculars.
#8 – Play The Tourist In Your Home Town
When we’re constantly busy, it’s easy to overlook the attractions we’ve got right in our own backyard.
I work in tourism and live in a tourist destination, but there are so many things I have never taken the time to do, or avoided altogether because of the crowds.
However, now might be the perfect time to hit up some of your local tourist destinations, since it is likely that many people will be not travelling far from home this summer.
Not to mention, local tourism businesses could really use our help!
#9 – Go For A Float
Grab yourself one of those fashionable tubes shaped like a unicorn, pineapple, or flamingo, and just go with the flow!
#10 – Have A Picnic
Can you remember the last time you had a picnic?
This summer, find the most scenic spot you can think of. Get one of those sweet, old-school, wicker picnic baskets, and pack yourself a feast! This is a great adventure for the family, or can be a fun date idea.
I know that a lot of people are pretty bummed about cancelled events and travels this summer, but I’m here to tell you, not all is lost!
These types of close-to-home adventures are the most likely to be allowed first as things begin to re-open.
Start planning your next adventure today – it’s good for your mental health!
Do any of these 10 close-to-home adventures appeal to you? If so, which do you think you’ll try first?
Have I left any important ones off?
I’d love to know what kind of adventures you have planned for the summer. Be sure to share in the comments!