We Asked, You Answered: Vacation Alternatives

Association pros discuss alternate vacation plans given the big shift in travel that COVID-19 has created for many.

Perhaps, like me, you were planning a trip to Japan before this pesky virus got in the way, and are staying by the homestead.

Maybe you were looking to keep it simple even before all this—and are still planning to do so now.

But the coronavirus definitely changed up some vacation plans this summer, and that’s leading many to rethink what a break looks like—and, perhaps, turn an airplane ride into a road trip.

Here are just a few responses to our last reader poll on the topic:

Gail Kulp

Executive Director, Sea Tow Foundation

My husband and I had planned to go to London to celebrate our 20th anniversary, but that was canceled, so now our plan is to take a few days throughout the summer to go on day trips to state parks, scenic locations, and bike trails within an hour or two from our home.

Jim Tedford

President and CEO, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Frequent short trips in my Casita Travel Trailer. There is only room for myself and my wife and our two small dogs, but social distancing is easy in the great outdoors. We’ve already done two long weekends at parks within a two-to-three-hour drive from our home. We take long hikes each day and unwind under the stars at night. NO screens until bedtime when we may watch a favorite show or movie. Headed to a South Carolina beach in August to relax for a full week.

Kim Paugh

Executive Director, Raybourn Group International

The great thing about having a 4-year-old is that you can call anything an adventure, and it will be fun! I plan to take her on picnics, scavenger hunts, to explore new parks, and get her out on a boat. Seeing the world through her eyes will make for a fun summer even without a big trip. Instead of taking a long vacation, I plan to take several half days to lay by the neighborhood pool and read while my daughter is in day care.

Danielle Deane

Membership Manager, The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

I am lucky to have grandparents with a beach house in Maryland. I will most likely take time and go there for a long weekend. I most likely won’t be going on the beach, but a change in scenery can help mental health greatly. Summers used to be packed with travel for work conferences, weddings, and visiting my partner’s parents in Massachusetts. My partner and I are refocusing our summer travel budget on house projects and creating a backyard patio that will allow us to have our own at-home escape. Honestly, the pandemic has helped us both slow down and focus on what really matters in life.

Monica Ackerson

‌Chief Staff Executive/Owner, Integrated Association Solutions

I have a seasonal campsite close to home that allows me to safely get away. I may do some in-state travel, but that will largely depend on outbreak trends. Recognizing that I need a break, I’ve tried to make my deck and backyard a place to relax, enjoy my flowers, and escape from work.

Deb Harvey

Executive Director, National Utility Contractors Association, DC Chapter

At the beginning of the shutdown, I was optimistic about the potential for a shorter-term impact on public health. I bought plane tickets for my family to travel to California in early August to see my parents and go camping in the Sierras. Sadly, the rate of infection continues to rise in many places. Therefore, I decided this week that travel through airports and airplanes, exposing ourselves to potential virus carriers and then potentially exposing my elderly parents, was too high a risk to take. Yesterday I canceled our plane tickets, car, and hotel reservations. Now we are working on a Plan B camping trip in a location to which we can drive. This breaks my heart because my kids and I have not seen my parents in over a year, and now it is likely that we will not see them again for at least another year.

(zoff-photo/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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