Can Summer Vacation Still be Fun?

little girl on beach, wearing a big hat
Jun 23, 2020 | Sara Khaki

How to Make a New Adventure

When you are raising children, summer vacation is often the highlight of the year. This is a time for summer camps, family trips, and all the fun opportunities that come with the kids being out of school for a few weeks. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear this summer will be very different. My family was planning a trip to London this summer. My daughter loves Peppa Pig, and my son is really into history and World War II right now, so this was an adventure we were all looking forward to. Canceling this trip was disappointing, but we know it was the right move.

Though this summer might not look like how we planned, that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. I know a lot of people are switching their plans to take a family road trip rather than fly to their destination. There are also plenty of ways to have summer fun at home. That said, canceling major plans creates even greater challenges when you share child custody with your ex.

A lot of child custody arrangements have been disrupted due to COVID-19. Most of these arrangements work around the school schedule, and many students have been out of school since March. Families have questions about when they get their kids. Cross-country custody exchanges become even more difficult when air travel is no longer an option. If you and your ex agreed that you would have the kids for a big trip and that trip was canceled, do you still get the kids during that time? Additionally, what if you need to take a trip now that you weren’t planning on because of COVID-19? How do parents grapple with this disruption?

A lot of stress and anxiety about summer vacation is common right now. Hopefully, if you find yourself in this situation, you and your ex will engage in positive communication and come to an agreement on a new schedule. If you don’t have that kind of relationship, you should definitely speak to your attorney to create a formal, temporary agreement. Ideally, it won’t come to this. Summer vacation means a lot to families. It’s still possible to have a great summer by making a new arrangement that works for everyone.

Summer vacation isn’t ruined — parents just have to be a bit more creative this year. If you are taking a road trip, make sure you pack plenty of extra food just in case your destination suffers from food shortages. If you’ve booked a resort or theme park trip, check those use-by dates and possibly reschedule the trip for later in the year. You can even use the time spent rescheduling your trip as an opportunity to reconnect with the kids. Treat it like a “virtual vacation.” Research destinations together and get the kids involved in picking activities they’re excited about. Though it might not be the trip you originally dreamed about, you can still have fun and enjoy new adventures.

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