Canceling a vacation is like canceling Christmas—the disappointment is immeasurable for adults and kids alike. We get it, it hurts. But that doesn’t mean summer has to be all doom and gloom, because there are real solutions to help you deal, while having a good bit of fun. Your vacation will happen eventually, but for now, read on for inspiration on creating a new avenue for entertainment this season.
Be an At-Home Foodie
A nutty Parmesan, handmade pasta, salty cured meats—sounding a bit like Italy? Or even your favorite eatery in New York? Ordering food online can allow you to at least taste the region, even though being there to see the sites would have been ideal. Bella Italia has both a Europe and US online store sending off antipasti, sliced and spiced salami, and robust coffees to round out the meal. Sweets like wildberry panzerotti are well worth tossing in the order.
Give Your Bed a Luxury Makeover
Frette has been designing luxe sheets and covers since the 1800s. Yes, the 1800s! And if you’ve wondered why a night at the Ritz is so deeply restful, the sheets may be partly credited, as the brand often adorns the beds of the hotel chain. A new set of silky sheets, a perfectly weighted bedspread and snuggly accent throws can revamp not only your bedroom look, but overall sleep quality. Get that vacay kind of rest, but prepare for sticker shock.
Visit the “Dark Sky” Anytime
Upgrade a room to a Dark Sky, with the Homestar Flux Planetarium. So if summer plans were taking you stargazing in iconic viewing destinations like Sedona, this device can bring a little bit of that to a living or bed room. Accurately projecting 60,000 twinkling stars onto walls and ceilings, the mesmerizing show even rotates, with occasional shooting stars passing by. The small, sleek orb would make an awesome movie room addition as well.
Immerse in History and Culture
National Geographic is a wealthy resource for educating kids and adults about wildlife, history and culture around the world. While families may not physically be heading abroad this summer, some roots can be set at home. Who knows? This could spark the desire to visit a destination that may have never been thought of. Kids can learn some cool facts while playing games and interacting on the National Geographic Kids website. Amazon offers different science and history kits that could incorporate some hands on learning, like the archeological sets with real fossils! They’ll get to identify and unearth, which is too cool.
Camp is synonymous with summer for kids—it’s their own escape, a vacation of sorts, away from parents. From week long adventures to just daytime stays, it’s likely we won’t see as much of this happening this year. No worries! Parents can create a camp itinerary for young ones, that will ease the pain a bit. Theme your event—sports, outdoors, science —whatever the usual would have been. If self containing, encourage FaceTime campfire nights with friends. Set up daily activities like hikes, archery and swimming, and even pitch tents outside if possible, like Amazon’s out of the box Volkswagen camper van!
Yakiniku is a form of Japanese cooking that involves guests in the process. Everyone sits around a table with a grill in the center, and cooks veggies, meat and seafood little bits at a time. Kind of like the fondue concept, it’s as much about the experience, and socializing, as it is eating. Yakiniku grills are relatively inexpensive, and this is an opportunity to discuss another culture while eating really tasty stuff. Miso, garlic and soy sauce are commonly served as dips, and in Japan, you may find sides like salad and ramen.
It might be the time to buy that camper you’ve always wanted. Maybe your heart was set on that spa vacation, but when owning a camper, there’s no worry about who has been sleeping in the bed or using the bathroom. Parks in the US are gradually allowing folks to visit, while still taking precautions. Check with the official NPS site of the destination to be sure camping is allowed. And when looking to buy an RV, browse a dealer website first, then call to find out the best time to come take a look.
Above Ground Pool
An above ground pool can be a sturdy seasonal addition to a back yard that otherwise might be a little barren. Sure, sipping pina coladas oceanside would definitely be better, but having a private space to cool off has its perks. The rectangle design of this option fits cleanly beside a patio or deck. Add some swanky lounge chairs, large floats and maybe even a cabana—this could become quite the sweet retreat.
Have a Luau
With the pool in place, it’s only natural one would want to have the ultimate luau. Hawaii can come to you with a little creativity and authenticity. Smoke some pork, grill chicken, skewer zucchini and tomatoes and set out fresh pineapple. Chill with a rum runner, then let the games begin. A wooden limbo set is not only a fun game for kids and adults, it adds a decorative touch. Toss in some tiki torches, natural grass table skirts and flower leis, to be seemingly transported to the islands.
Soothe the wounds of a canceled trip by planning another one. While things can still be a bit unpredictable, it’s never a bad time to start discussing jetting off some time in the future. Right now, cruise, air and hotel lines have eased cancellation policies a bit, so there’s the opportunity to get a deal, while being able to cancel if things aren’t back up and running 100 percent. Viking River Cruises is promoting their “risk free guarantee”, which allows date changes up to just 24 hours before, and there are not any fees to do this. You do have 24 months to pick another cruise. Enter wanderlust.
Sometimes the most beautiful, undiscovered roads are within reasonable driving distance of our own home. Maybe there’s a nearby road surrounded by forest, or pastures dotted with farm animals. Set the kids up with a spiffy safari set complete with a great pair of binoculars for viewing the surroundings along the adventure. For the more intense gazer, Nikon distributes a sleek, crisp set. Stop at uncrowded overlooks, and maybe even enjoy an open air picnic.