It’s the hot summer season and there is one thing on everyone’s minds: VACATION. Sadly, this year things are turning different because of COVID and its implications. To answer many burning (no pun intended) questions about what to expect from a vacation during COVID, this week we discuss ‘Vacation during COVID’ with my guests Suzan and Phil.
How does a vacation during COVID look like?
During COVID, most of us prefer to have staycations to ensure safety. To have fun, we seek daily opportunities such as visiting parks, restaurants, and amusement parks. With fewer places available to go, we tend to prefer exploring nature more by taking walks and going to a park. To explore vacation options away from home, we mostly prefer to wait until there are more available opportunities as provinces re-open. Some common ideas are going on a road trip or a day at an amusement park.
What are some challenges faced during a COVID vacation?
Besides safety, it’s not too easy to truly take a break from work and have a vacation during COVID restrictions. Since our home has become both our living and office space, it is harder to draw the line between working and taking time off. We are inclined to check our emails and reply to texts to get things done. However, this can easily throw us down the rabbit hole of working.
Even if you are able to take a break from work, there are still challenges for parents on completely unwinding. With everyone being home at the same time and having few electronic devices, it’s harder to keep children occupied. Also, parents are spending more time with their kids to ensure their safety, even if it is taking them to get ice cream down the block.
To solve this problem, there are now more experiences to help people do fun things outside. Some bookstores have a children’s section and museums are starting to allow tours. Also, there are apps like Codezilla which send supplies to your home and provide video tutorials for home-made-crafts for children.
Aside from these challenges, what are some of the upsides?
- We now have more time to focus on things we want to do such as exercising, going for a walk, spending time with our kids, and catching up with TV shows we never got a chance to binge-watch. This gives us time to rediscover and spend time on ourselves, which we normally delay during normal times from multitasking.
- With limited access to hairdressers, people are being more comfortable in embracing themselves in their natural self. We now don’t need to dress up formally, have frequent haircuts, and do makeup daily. This helps to blur the lines of formality and allow us to connect with everyone on a more personal level, leading us to be kinder to ourselves and each other.
- We are using this time to focus on hobbies and treat ourselves better. Gardening, renovating our home and office space are some of our most common choices. These help us to unwind while improving the space we will spend most of our time during the pandemic. We also now bake, cook new recipes, and treat ourselves to a more expensive bottle of wine that we normally wouldn’t.
What are some financial implications we can expect from our COVID vacation?
It’s free! Since we can’t go to many places, we are now saving on what we would usually spend on plane tickets, hotel or Airbnb reservations, shopping, and many more. Even if it’s just a staycation, we would at least go out for a nice dinner which now we fear. This summer, our vacations during COVID consist of being at home and enjoying what we have. However, our spending now goes elsewhere. We now spend more time on hobbies such as working out, cooking, and gardening and need to buy equipment to do them. Buying these materials surely makes up for the money we saved by not going on a vacation during COVID.
A COVID vacation is hands down different than others. What are some traveling trends businesses should be aware of?
- With air travel becoming a security concern, people are traveling within Canada more which helps to rebuild the local economy. So, this is becoming a new benefit for us to explore our country and turning our home to a retreat while strengthening the economy.
- Because of increased interest in hobbies, supplies in stores that sell these products are having limited stocks.
- It’s been reported that LGBTQ+ community travelers are more risk-taking when it comes to traveling. They also spend more on vacations, making them an attractive segment to target for businesses. Business owners can take this opportunity to be more inclusive and improve their marketing material and acceptance towards this group to make them feel safe not only COVID-wise but also socially.
Finally, how will COVID vacations change our vacation plans for 2021? What will this year’s experience teach us for the future?
We now have a more casual mindset about vacation plans because COVID keeps changing what to expect. Moving between COVID phases consistently impacts what is available and it’s best to be careful about booking a vacation. Booking trips too early can cost heavily because COVID stages of opening and unexpected outbreaks can change our plans. Also, some airfare companies and hotels don’t refund clients, burning a hole in wallets and ruining our chances of booking a vacation later.
We hope you enjoyed reading our blog about ‘Vacations during COVID’. To learn more about our discussion, you can check our comprehensive short summary video on our Youtube channel. You can also find the full live chat here. Stay tuned to learn more about tips on another topic each week on our Instagram Live at 5 on Instagram! To check last week’s blog article about ‘Working Moms and COVID’, check our previous blog post.