The summer of 2020 may not look the same as years past, but that doesn’t mean you can't have a vacation. Instead of taking that flight to Disneyland, embrace the idea of a “staycation” this summer, which lets you stick close to home and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. At Security Public Storage, we've compiled some staycation ideas to help you get the most out of this unusual summer.
Camp in Your Own Backyard
With many campgrounds still closed, setting up a tent in your own backyard is the safest bet for an outdoor escape. Depending on where you live, you may not need a tent for warmth, but it does put a barrier between you and summer bugs. Try leaving the rain-fly off of the tent so you can fall asleep stargazing. Here's what you'll need:
- Tent — Optional, but a tent adds to the full "camping" experience. Also, many kids love the idea of a backyard tent – for sleeping and fort building.
- Air Mattress or Sleeping Pad — The grass may be comfortable for some, but you may want a little more support. Get an air mattress, sleeping pad or cot to set up in your tent or even under the stars.
- Sleeping Bag or Blankets — You may not even need a sleeping bag when camping in your own backyard. Want more blankets? Just run inside and grab a few off the couch.
- Lighting — One of the perks of backyard camping is being able to go inside to use the bathroom. Keep a flashlight or headlamp handy in order to avoid tripping as you go back and forth between your house and yard in the dark.
- Ambiance — Atmosphere can make a big difference in your backyard escape. A portable fire pit could work as an improvised campfire and to roast marshmallows for s’mores. Add citronella torches for ambiance and to keep the mosquitoes away.
- Food — Conveniently, your kitchen is nearby, but consider buying easy “camping” foods. Roast hot dogs over that fire pit, buy outdoorsy snacks, and load up on craft beverages from your favorite brewery. Make it your own by ordering takeout from a local restaurant, using the BBQ, or whatever brings you comfort and inspires a vacation vibe.
Enjoy evenings around the firepit telling ghost stories, reminiscing about past camping trips or listening to your favorite summer playlist. Add sprinklers and kiddie pools to cool off during the day. Backyard camping can be just the staycation you need, without the hassle of packing up the car and driving around looking for the perfect camp site in a hot or crowded campground.
Go to the Drive-In
Not every town still has a drive-in movie theater, but if you are lucky enough to live close to one, this may be your best opportunity to see a movie on the big screen this summer. Many drive-ins have closed since their heyday, but the ones still operating offer a taste of nostalgia – and social distancing! Many drive-in theaters charge by the vehicle rather than per person, and admission often includes two films back-to-back.
Depending on your age, you may remember summer nights bundled up in the back of a truck bed, open hatchback or station wagon enjoying a movie under the stars. In the 50s and 60s, America was home to nearly 5,000 drive-ins. Barely over 300 remain, so take the opportunity to enjoy a movie from the comfort of your own vehicle while you still can!
Looking for a drive-in near you? Driveinmovie.com offers a full resource and map of drive-in theaters for your convenience.
Hike Local Trails
If you live in an urban area, you may have to travel to find good hiking spots, but odds are you can find a beautiful outdoor venue nearby. Alltrails.com provides comprehensive trail information from all over the US. Specify the area you’d like to visit, and the website will list all nearby trails and the difficulty of each. This summer, take the opportunity to explore the flora and fauna of your nearby open spaces.
Even though the outdoors offers some great options for social distancing, remember to still follow pandemic trail etiquette:
- Wear a Mask — Many trails aren't wide enough for people to maintain 6' distance. Be sure to slip on your face covering when passing other hikers at tight spots on the trails.
- Pass Quickly — When someone pauses to let you pass, do so quickly in order to minimize your interaction.
- Sanitize — Not all public bathrooms are being maintained during the pandemic and not all trailheads have running water and soap, so bring your own hand sanitizer in case you need to use the restroom.
Explore the Neighborhood by Bike
Use your staycation to explore different parts of your neighborhood by bicycle. Cycling is a great way to social distance, as there is only one person per bike, and physical distance must be maintained while riding. Vacationers often rent bikes at the beach or in quiet mountain towns to explore the sights and sounds of the area. This summer is the perfect opportunity to take your own bike out, or rent one to support a local business, and explore your own neighborhood.
To make your ride a little more interesting, you could organize a pub crawl for you and a small group of friends, hitting local breweries and dining on newly opened patios or taking your beverages to go. Enjoy scenic areas of your own neighborhood while supporting local businesses. Remember not to drink and bike. Wait until you get to a designated home or park to enjoy your local craft beverages.
Stay Safe and Close to Home This Summer
Your big summer plans may have changed, but that doesn’t mean no fun in the sun. You and your family can still enjoy the great weather and explore parts of your own neighborhood that you may not have visited before. This summer, it’s up to all of us to practice social distancing, wear masks, and help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Camp in your own backyard, go to the drive-in, take some long bike rides, or explore nature.
Looking for events and suggestions for summer fun in your own community? Find the weekly newspaper in your area for calendar listings and up-to-date information about what’s open and closed near you.
And above all, stay safe and healthy this summer!