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What do I do (or not do) for summer vacation?

It is officially the season to begin talking about "summer plans.." Interestingly enough, this summer may be the first time someone has been anywhere outside of their vicinity in over 14 months. Even in Florida, one of the most sought after vacation states, there is growing anxiousness in family households - is it safe for us to travel?

Does the idea of travel cause you to feel confused? Are you anxious to experience a vacation? It can be frustrating to think of a vacation that has governing rules, or feel the hypothetical notion to "let go.." and therefore not sway away from infectious air droplets. Overall, answering each question with caution is necessary because travel or vacationing will likely not look or be the same this year. In other words, whether CDC's recommendations mean an ear full or faint chatter, taking precautions for mental, emotional, and physical health is essential to know what is best for you and your family.

Since when did deciding upon a vacation have to be the beginning of an argument? - Alyssa Scott, LMHC

Here are considerations to ease anxiety and household tension:

  1. Pay attention. Remember how vacationing started with a wish and then a booking? To ease pressure and tension when making family decisions, follow facts instead of feelings. Pay attention to trends of infection rates vs vaccinations vs testing. Know your group. Know your health risks. If you would return from vacation and then go back to work environments, think about the potential of being a host to others. An old school method that never disappoints is to create a pros and cons list. Be open to speaking about fear when discussing cons. This is where you will really gain insight and value on the level of comfort to venture at this time.

  2. Be flexible. Travel plans are now expected to change. For this reason, you may be surprised at the cancellation policies of most places where bookings are confirmed. There is no pressure to fully commit which also melts off some uneasiness. Also, be prepared that if traveling in a group, someone may feel ill, or may become exposed to someone potentially with COVID. Having a sense of adaptability during vacationing planning is a familial strength.

  3. Be realistic. The travel industry has been in low demand for the past year. As a result, prices are likely to be HIGH everywhere - especially hotels. Airbnb residences are the new and most sought after place to stay anywhere, however these are short on availability. Can I be pragmatic for 2 seconds? - this may be the most expensive, riskiest vacation ever. Be prepared to spend more money than anticipated.

Vacation - leave of absence. A trip. A journey. Time with friends. Time with family. Leisure.

In the end, a vacation can be anywhere at anytime. Have you heard of the family that took a camping trip in their backyard? They gathered wood for a small fire, made smores, and then set up a tent in the backyard for sleeping. Did you hear about the family that rented national geographic segments to any place in the world their kids wanted to visit? Have you heard about family dinner that set them up to vacation in France?..and everyone dressed up to visit a French restaurant with French customs ...and a menu with French foods in order to add an educational flair? I think you get my drift :)

Define what vacation means to you and your family. A break is a break.

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