by Jenny Smedra
The last year has been a difficult adjustment for everyone in our household. We all gave up things to protect one another during the pandemic. In addition to everyone working and studying from home, we have discontinued our usual travel and vacation plans for more than a year. The isolation and social distancing have definitely challenged everyone. Now that adults have received the COVID-19 vaccine and infection rates are falling in our state, we’re looking for opportunities for fun family outings.
5 family outings for the summer
With the return or warm weather and sunshine, we are all eager to get outside. Everyone also realizes that after doing so much over the past year, we need some fun family time when we are not home. We lived cooped up in winter and we all agree we need something to look forward to this summer. When considering our options, it is important to find something that also fits our household needs. Here are some of the summer vacation ideas we examined. Not only are we looking for ways to avoid crowded places, but also thrifty ideas to reduce the financial burden of planning family outings.
If you enjoy the outdoors as much as we do, the summer vacation is the perfect time for a camping trip. Whether you are looking for luxury accommodation or a simple campsite, options are available for every type of RV. Personally, I prefer to hit and camp and make my own campfire. But I’ve found a lot of websites that have more amenities to make sure everyone is comfortable. This is an important consideration, especially if you are traveling with older family members with limited mobility.
If you’re on a bigger budget, there are all types of cabins to accommodate an entire clan. However, outdoor camping is ideal for the budget conscious as it significantly reduces the cost of accommodation. If you have your own gear or borrow it from someone, you can camp for next to nothing. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors without breaking the bank.
Family weekend at the lake
While looking at the local campsites in our area, we came across a number of state parks located near lakes and rivers. Every member of our family enjoys spending the summer days on the water, either swimming, boating, or fishing. So when we book a family weekend at one of the state parks near a lake, we have the opportunity to be outside and soak up the sun. It also gives my father the opportunity to use his fishing permit, which he always talks about. This family vacation really has something for everyone.
My parents found this option particularly attractive because many of the state parks are so close. Because of my grandmother’s health concerns, my mother is never comfortable walking too far from home. If you choose a destination close by, we can either spend a long weekend or take a day trip if necessary. However, you can be sure that we will extend the weekend for as long as possible as some of the cabins have free boat access.
Another of my favorite childhood memories were our annual float trips on the river. There are short distances in our area. But the most famous one takes you to some of the most remote parts of the state. You can either bring your own pipes and transportation, or hire local outfitters to take you between the pick-up and drop-off areas.
When it comes to float trips, you can spend as much or as little as you want. Bringing your own camping and grocery supplies can cut the cost of a family vacation by more than half. But renting the services or staying in a budget hotel are definitely more convenient and comfortable. Most likely, we’ll do both to keep costs down while maximizing our time. In any case, my nieces will experience the picturesque places and waterfalls that made such a lasting impression on me.
For those who appreciate a more active vacation, a local bike tour is a great way to enjoy your family outings. A quick search can direct you to local walking routes in the city as well as more scenic routes. Additionally, these types of family vacations encourage everyone to be more physically active. Not only is it a great example for the younger family members, but it also provides a gentle form of exercise for those of us with knee and joint injuries. You can choose which routes to explore based on the difficulty and fitness level of everyone on the trip.
Fortunately, we already have a good selection of bikes to choose from. Otherwise it wouldn’t be an affordable option if we had to buy new equipment. If you think this could be a fun activity for your family, you can visit TrailLink to find hiking and biking trails near you.
Visit to the family farm
After all, the last family vacation we’re planning for this summer is a visit to the family farm. While not everyone enjoys the quiet, small town life, some members of my family were very excited to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. So this summer we plan to finally implement the vacation plans that we always discuss, but never to solidify them.
I am very happy about this family vacation. It will give us much-needed time with relatives we haven’t seen in a while. In addition, it exposes the younger generation to a different way of life. I am very curious to see how teenagers react to life without consistent internet access. Sometimes we forget the importance of slowing down and appreciating the simple things in life.