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For those of us who didn’t travel during 2020, the vacation season of 2021 may be looking pretty good. However, there are still concerns about virus transmission that will need to be considered before you go. For the best break for your family and your budget, consider planning a vacation with some distance.

Go Glamping or Camping

For some travelers, hiking out to a rough campsite with gear, food, water and an excitement for roughing it could be an ideal trip. Other travelers prefer a mattress, running water and indoor plumbing. Your glamping trip could include renting an RV for a longer road trip, staying in a Conestoga Wagon with all the luxuries in southern Colorado, or tent camping in a yurt in a winery in Napa Valley. All of these preferences are wonderful! NO matter your travel intentions, make sure you pack multiple

  • masks and the Ziplocs for discarding
  • disposable gloves
  • disposable wipes
  • bottles of hand sanitizer

For older children, invest in a small daypack they can carry loaded with their disinfecting gear. Younger children may not be able to carry their own, but you can certainly train them by example to pack for the day with a COVID mindset.

Hike, Bike or Get on the Water

Many hiking trails offer those who love to stretch their legs both in freedom and privacy. For a pandemic hike, especially with small children, invest in matching masks and baseball caps for big family gatherings.

This is another setting when you can go as wild or as casual as you wish. Time out on a family rafting trip could mean fast rapids or a comfy float with some whitewater thrown in to cool everyone down, remember that you can also find hiking trails that will burn up a lot of calories and feature some boulder hopping, or you can take a milder trail and just love the view.

Rent a House for Immersion

Instead of wondering about time in a hotel, rent a house that’s close to a region that you either enjoy or have always wanted to study. For example, an AirBNB in Santa Fe means that you can visit many historical sites, do some gallery shopping, and enjoy wonderful food with no worries about who’s been in your hotel room or who breathed in your elevator.

A rental house can also save you some money by reducing the number of times you have to leave the hotel to get a snack or a cup of coffee. Many rental houses come with amenities that can add a lot of convenience, such as a lovely coffee pot, a great kitchen setup and linens.

Carefully review the contract before you sign up for any rental house. There will obviously be the charge per night for the number of people you have staying. However, make sure you understand that no matter how tidy you leave the place, you will be charged a cleaning fee. Unlike in a hotel, this fee is not wrapped up in the total bill.

Hub and Spoke Travel

Because some folks may have suffered some hard budget hits during the pandemic, consider doing some hub and spoke travel. For example, you could plan a staycation that would allow you to explore cities within two hours of your home.

This form of travel allows families to enjoy all the comforts of home while exploring close to home. Check out local universities to study the museums on campus. Make sure to branch out from the art department. For example, a trip to a college library in your area could put you in touch with their archivist, who may have information about the people who lived in your region before European settlers arrived.

Studying the history of the people could help you study the means of transport. If you have a child interested in trains, there are interesting historical points all through the Dakotas and over the Rocky Mountains.


Your vacation doesn’t have to get skipped this year. You can plan a stay in a rough tent or a luxurious house. You can book a stay in a city or in the country. Best of all, you can dig deep into the region you’re visiting with a family that’s both secure and excited to travel the country and gain a new perspective on our nation.

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