In a world that feels utterly divided right now, the one thing we can all agree on is that it’s hard to relax knowing that COVID-19 is knocking at our door. Whether you’re stressed about your health, the economy or the uncertainty of the future, the one thing we all have in common is just that...the stress.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve also likely stressed about whether or not to travel. Nearly everyone has had to make the difficult decision to cancel vacations or miss important life milestones, just to avoid the risk of exposure on an airplane. With the majority of people taking a hard pass on air travel for the foreseeable future, does that mean we’re all subject to house arrest? After eight excruciatingly long weeks at home—working, parenting and homeschooling—my husband and I unanimously decided that the answer was no.
With distancing learning complete and summer almost within reach, my husband and I desperately sought the relaxation that only a luxury vacation could provide. Since that was temporarily out of the question and we can’t shake the kids these days, a long weekend at the lake had to suffice. With an overstuffed car top carrier, three excited kids, and five bikes in tow, we set out seeking relaxation.
I’ll be the first to admit, this was by definition a trip, not a vacation. But, I’ll be damned, our Memorial Day weekend lake escape was the closet thing I’ve had to a lavish vacation in a long time. Or at least that’s how it felt compared to the virus vault we’ve been trapped in. In fact, the in the COVID19 era, the weekend trip—be it to an isolated lake house, a desolate cabin in the mountains, hell, a tent in your backyard—is the escape we all so greatly need right now.
Luxuries of the weekend family trip include:
- Guilt-free screen time throughout the entire duration of the several hour car ride. In fact, the longer the car ride the better. Because you know what mom can’t do in the car…a lot of shit. Entertain yourselves, feed yourselves, talk amongst yourselves because guess what…mom can’t help/hear/reach you from the front seat.
- Food prepared by…someone else! Literally, anyone else. McDonald’s, Subway, you name it and it will taste delicious because for the first time in a very, very long time you are not making it. The open road will provide you ample opportunities to be pampered by the gourmet chefs of the fast food industry. Greasy, salty, golden french fries will make you feel like you’re on a hot, exotic beach from the inside out.
- Wide open streets your children haven’t biked up and down one bajillion times. The thrill of watching your children dodge in and out of new cars on new streets will make you feel alive and rejuvenated once again.
- New strangers to talk to about the same old shit! “Yes, we’re working from home with all the kids. No, we haven’t lost our minds…yet. Now let’s dive deeper into your great aunt’s knee replacement because this is the most riveting adult conversation I’ve had in months.” No need to worry about your long hair, grown out roots and unibrow! You’ll never see any of these people again. Unless, of course, your bond lasts long past the weekend and into the eternal realm of social media.
- Different sidewalks and trails to stroll will have you and your significant other laughing lightheartedly over the meaningless spat that nearly destroyed your marriage two days earlier. It’s not your husband’s fault he breathes so loudly while watching six straight hours of Netflix. Right?
- Daily dish duty and meal prep will be obsolete with non-stop snacking resulting in fewer meals to cook and virtually no dishes. “Sure, kids, you can eat ice cream for breakfast and fruit snacks for lunch. We’re on vacation. Just don’t use any dishes, okay?” After all ice cream is dairy and fruit snacks must have some fruit in them right?
Don’t forget your hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. They won’t be conveniently located on every countertop on every floor of the house like they are at home. Be sure to indulge yourself in day drinking which is highly encouraged and will help melt the stress away from the ongoing pandemic. While the spa most likely will not be an included amenity, long showers will be available while the children are distracted by new toys like a large rock or long stick. Take advantage of the late night entertainment, which includes kids running around well past their typical bedtimes, parents not giving two shits and regrets by all in the morning.
Consider spoiling yourself by inviting another family to join your COVID-free excursion. While this does toe the extremely blurred line of the social distancing guidelines, it is understandable given you’ve just spent the last two months imprisoned with the same five people. Go ahead, you deserve it. And you’ll be fine, probably.
This roughly two to four day getaway will likely have you racing back home to the comfort of your own bed – car top carrier, three tired kids and hopefully all five bikes in tow. A brief but hot shower interrupted by a child asking for a snack will be waiting for you followed by several hours of watching Netflix next to a husband who breathes too loud.
Yes, the weekend family excursion will certainly be a trippity trip but the mental and physical escape from the challenging times we currently live in will make it feel like a luxury vacation.