Did you have a European Vacation planned for 2020 that got cancelled. Our family did. Or were you planning on taking a trip in 2021, and still not sure that can happen as the pandemic drags on. I do believe that European travel will come back, and probably with a vengeance. But many families, mine included, are choosing to wait until 2022 to try that type of international travel again. This does not mean you cannot travel in 2021. So if you are missing Europe, maybe think about these places within the United States that remind us of popular European destinations.
California Wine Country - Were you planning to visit the rolling hills of Tuscany? Napa Valley and wineries in that California region can give you the same relaxing vistas and some wonderful wines.
Mount Desert Island, Maine - This little island of Maine and the town of Bar Harbor will remind you of Cyprus. On Mount Desert Island you can enjoy all the great outdoors in Acadia National Park with hiking trails and gorgeous coastlines.
. St. Augustine, Florida - How does a town with Spanish Flair along with a beach sound? Old Town St. Augustine will remind you of Madrid, Spain while also getting to relax and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean. Talk about the best of both worlds!
Newport, Rhode Island - What European location reminds you of a coastal town with beautiful homes? How about Nice, France. The cliff walk and along the mansions and coastline will lead you past The Breakers and a walk to remember.
New York City - Many cities in Europe are not that different than our largest cities. Rome, Vienna, London all have historical components, but are active cities. Exploring our own New York City can be just as exciting and full of heritage.
Tip 5: Know about where you are going
Another aspect of your trip we can help with is finding the local places to visit. Small local businesses have take a real hit with the pandemic, so why not patronize them on your visit. We can help present names of places that are known for following safe protocol, have great reviews and you will be helping the economy of your destination. Plus you might find a new favorite store or restaurant!
Tip 4: Splurge on Your Hotel Room
Travel in 2021 could be a little more time spent in your hotel or resort so why not splurge in that area. If you spend that extra money for a room with a terrace or balcony there are some definite perks in a covid travel world. These perks could make a difference in some families comfort level as we move back into traveling and exploring.
If you have a balcony or terrace with your room you have the ability to open up your room for outside airflow. Fresh air is known to be beneficial in helping with covid precautions, so something this simple would give you that extra protection.
If you have a wonderful hotel room, you would also be more likely to get take out, grab a bottle of wine and have dinner on your terrace. This will add the extra protection from dining indoors and make for a night to remember.
Tip 3: Travel at Off Peak Times
We all know that Off Peak Travel times can bring savings, but if you have school age children that is not always an option. But there are more ways to travel at non-peak times, even during the summer, than you realize. Think about some of these options which will help you encounter less crowds and offer more social distancing options during the hopefully "tail end" of the covid pandemic.
1. If you are flying consider taking your week vacation from Wed - Wed. Mid week flights are never as crowded and usually cheaper as well. This will lower your contacts both in the airports and on the flights.
2. Weekdays are not as busy as weekends. So if you are going to hit a more popular location possibly plan that for mid week. Disney World on a Tuesday is better than a Saturday. Exploring a large city could be done on Mon - Thurs and a National Park on the weekend before. This would give you the smallest crowd possible at each location.
3. Finally, consider the highlights you want to see. If you are going to New York City, how about a walk around Battery Park for a view of the Statue of Liberty instead of a crowded ferry ride. Maybe you could spend an entire afternoon exploring Central Park. Look away from the most popular tourist sites this summer. You might be surprised at the things you will find and love when you explore a little more "like a local".
Tip 2: Embrace New Travel Guidelines
Covid has changed our world and to get the most out of travel it is best to simply embrace the changes. So one aspect that could be fun for your trip is to get masks that play into your vacation. If you are heading to Disney - allow the kids to get a mask of their favorite character. If you are having a family reunion you could get custom masks instead of custom t-shirts. In order to travel safely masks are a part of our packing necessities. So why not have some fun with them!
Tip 1: Outdoor Vacations
As the vaccine continues to roll out the world of travel will begin to open back up. But this spring and summer there will still be covid concerns. So here are 5 tips to help you plan a way back to that family vacation.
Tip 1: Enjoy the outdoors! We live in a beautiful country with TONS of options. Our National Park system provides opportunities to explore some of our most beautiful landscapes while maintaining distance from other travelers. So take this opportunity to give your family a look at our country in a different way.
National Park Trip Options: