25 Social Distancing Summer Vacation Ideas

Social Distancing Vacations

As some states reopen in the U.S. following the COVID-19 pandemic, many will feel called to get away after being cooped up in their homes for months. Destinations, hotels, and attractions are working hard to make it safe for travelers to visit once again, but even then, travelers are living in a reality where social distancing on vacation is vital to keep themselves and others safe. We’ve rounded up all the creative ways you can vacation this summer and still social distance.

Virtual Vacays
Virtual travel experiences have exploded since the pandemic hit, and as it stands, it’s still the safest way to explore the world. It could be fun to plan a virtual four-day vacation in which you visit different regions around the globe each day, and thematically plan the day with virtual activities and meals and drinks associated with those regions. Plus, it’s far more cost-effective for those who have been financially hurt by the pandemic.

State Parks
State parks are often overlooked compared to their national counterparts, but they offer a wealth of outdoor adventure, well away from large crowds. Book a cabin in a state park or camp in an RV or tent, staying well distanced from others. Spend your days hiking, kayaking, climbing, and animal watching, and your nights, viewing the stars.

Luxury Staycations
If you don’t have the time to take a long vacation this summer or don’t feel comfortable traveling the U.S. yet, consider a luxury staycation. Book a two-night stay in the most upscale hotel in the city, enjoying all the amenities the property has to offer. Order food to the room, indulge in a long bath, have cocktails on the balcony, and book an in-room spa massage. Pamper yourself to the fullest extent without putting yourself or others in danger. Bonus: Many luxury hotels are offering major discounts following the pandemic, so take advantage.

RV camping
Book an RV from Outdoorsy and hit the open road. You can cook, sleep, even go to the restroom all from the safety of an RV. The U.S. is a massive country with beautiful natural areas that you can explore by RV. For instance, the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park reopened in May and is ready for those on cross country social distancing adventures who want to stop and see one of the most majestic places in the world.

Day trips
Whether you don’t want to spend the money on a hotel or don’t feel safe doing so, then day trips are for you. If you have a car or can rent one, you could plan a short multi-day trip summer vacation. Each day, wake up bright and early to drive to a charming destination, outdoor recreation area, or some quirky roadside attraction. Bring along your meals or go through drive-thrus to minimize your contact with others. Then return that night to stay in the safety of your own home. Wake up to do it all again the next day. Not only will you be putting money back into your local economy but you’ll be staying socially-distanced and safe.

Remote Ranches
If you’ve never had a ranch-style vacation, you’re missing out. Ranches like The Ranch at Rock Creek offer a large selection of activities that you can do on your own (or with minimal contact with others) like horseback riding, shooting ranges, spa experiences, and more. Ranch resorts don’t tend to have a huge amount of rooms which will minimize your interaction with others and make you feel comfortable vacationing.

Golf Retreats
Golf is unlike most sports, in that it’s structured so that you can do it solo. This summer, enjoy a golf vacation. Plenty of resorts around the U.S. have beautiful golf courses where you can spend full days riding around in golf carts, improving your game, and getting plenty of vitamin D, all while social distancing.

Glamping Getaways
Glamping was booming before the pandemic, and we predict glamp sites will continue to get a lot of love from travelers when they start traveling again. The style of the glamp site — whether it’s tiny home, yurt, tipi, treehouse, or safari tent — adds a fun experience to camping and allows travelers to be safely tucked away from others.

Boating adventures
Not many people realize you can rent boats that are equipped with sleeping quarters and cooking areas. This summer rent a houseboat on a lake, a sailboat on the coast, or a yacht in a bay. Spend your days swimming in the water, laying out in the sun, reading amidst the breeze, and enjoying a nightcap under the stars. Not only is it a unique vacation experience, but you’re well away from others.

Wildlife Fun
If you and the kids love animals, then you should check out the many wildlife vacations across the U.S. this summer. Places like Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort in Nevada offers up-close encounters with animals and outdoor experiences that the whole family will love. If you’re short on cash, consider taking the family on a drive-thru safari, of which there are many across the nation.

Empty Islands
Many island nations across the world are protecting their citizens by preventing incoming travelers who could unknowingly spread the disease, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an ‘island’ vacation. The U.S. is surrounded by many uninhabited islands from San Miguel Island in California to Don Pedro Island State Park in Florida, Tatoosh Island in Washington, Mustang Island in Texas, and more.

Long Distance Trek
Long distance treks offer travelers a chance to see a wide range of natural areas and be outdoors away from crowds, for a long period of time. Thankfully, the U.S. is a treasure trove of long-distance treks. Just make sure before you book your trip, that the long-distance trek paths you’re interested in are open.

Ghost Town Explorations
Want to spend a day “on the town” without worrying about social distancing? Head to a ghost town! These empty towns make for a fun and quirky experience. Explore life left behind by settlers and citizens in many of the impressive ghost towns across the nation. Some ghost towns even let you stay in abandoned buildings overnight, which makes for a thrilling experience.

Fishing Trip
Grab your fishing license and head to the lakes, oceans, and rivers this summer for an ultimate fishing trip! You could book a cabin stay, stock it with groceries, and enjoy days spent on a pier catching a variety of fish to be cooked for your evening meals.

National Parks
National parks, for the most part, have remained open during the pandemic, and they’ll still be open this summer. Keep in mind that many other travelers might have the same vacation idea as you — to visit a national park — so try to schedule your trip when there are fewer people, like during the week, or hike at odd hours, like at sunrise. Perhaps even consider visiting the least-visited national parks like Gates of the Artic in Alaska, Isle Royale in Michigan, and North Cascades in Washington.

Long Roadtrips
If you’d rather not hop on a plane just yet, consider a long road trip. Rent a sexy, fun, or utilitarian vehicle for the trip and set out across the nation to your chosen destination. This type of travel will not only keep you socially distanced from others, but it allows you to see so many beautiful landscapes between destinations that often get missed with air travel.

A Haunted Stay
Surround yourself with ghostly spirits during your 2020 summer vacation by staying in a haunted hotel. Book a room on the hotel’s most haunted floor and spend time indoors in search of ghostly beings. Whether you see a ghost or not, you’ll have a chance to learn about the hotel’s history, haunted sightings, and have a fun time away from the living.

Extreme Sports
Keep far away from others while on vacation by engaging in extreme sports. It’s just you and the thrill as you hang glide off mountains, kayak on white water rapids, or scale exceptionally high cliffs. Book one extreme adventure per day and return to your hotel each night to rest and relax before the next one.

Outdoor Art Experiences
Art isn’t just found inside museums or galleries. It’s outside too! This summer, enjoy the outdoor art installations around the nation such as Salvation Mountain outside of Palm Springs, Seven Magic Mountains in Nevada, Cadillac Ranch in Texas, and the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park in Chattanooga. Not only can you socially distance while viewing these outdoor installations, but you’ll be amazed by the sheer amount of artistic minds of the country.

In-State Travel
As states begin to reopen, you might want to limit your travels to those within your own state. For one, it’s more affordable and will help your local economy bounce back from the losses associated to the pandemic. And two, it allows tourists to travel by car, a means which in itself is already a form of social distancing.

Remote Hotels
Consider building your vacation around a remote or secluded hotel. This will ensure that you’re away from the large crowds of cities, while also providing a chance to experience the nature surrounding the hotel. Take advantage of this slow-style vacation by delving into the relaxing experience of the secluded property.

Secluded Beaches
Stay away from popular beaches this summer and enjoy some sea and sand at the most secluded beaches around the nation. If the state is located along the coast, chances are there is a secluded beach that you haven’t heard of and would love to discover. Pack a picnic and take a drive to find those secret spots where you’ll be able to worry less about crowds and focus more on having a great time.

Long-term Vacation
Has your job gone completely online and are you craving an entirely new change in scenery? Plan a long-term vacation. Choose a city or charming town and book a month or longer stay. Not only will this allow you to safely quarantine as you settle in for some days upon arrival, but it gives you a chance to integrate into the community and spread your vacation fun over multiple weeks.

Private Hotel Rentals
Hotels have generally attracted people from all over the world, inviting them to congregate in one small area. We understand how that can not be quite as appealing right now. Some hotels are adjusting their layouts to allow for more privacy, separation, and safety of guests. For instance, the Inns of Aurora in the Finger Lakes now allow three of their five inns to be privately rented so guests can have the whole place to themselves and feel far more safe and secure.

Volunteer Vacation
Just because parts of the U.S. are reopening does not mean that the pandemic is over. Many communities and hospitals are still in need of assistance. This summer, consider a volunteer vacation. Some organizations are looking for health professionals to assist in hard-hit areas, while others are looking for volunteers to assist at food banks or to provide care in remote areas. Do your research to see where you might be of help this summer.

Courtesy of Alex Temblador July 09, 2020

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