Summer 2020 will be the summer of camping. While all experts agree that the only way to be 100% safe during a pandemic is to not leave your house, the majority also agree that’s not sustainable if you’re also considering your mental health. So right now, the world is working to find ways to balance mental and physical health by eliminating as much risk as possible. When it comes to summer plans, camping just might be the lowest risk way to get away from it all this summer. Outdoors, check. Ample space, check. Literally sleeping in your own bubble, check.

All joking aside, there are still ways you can make the most out of your summer this year. Here are a few ideas for summer vacations that encourage social distancing. Spoiler: the majority include varying degrees of camping. And as always follow CDC guidelines and updates from local officials for the latest information for how to stay safe during this time.

Local Campgrounds

Spend your travel budget on upgrading your camping supplies and find the nearest campground to you. The change of scenery and fresh area will do wonders for your state of mind.

gif of tom from the show parks and rec camping

National Parks

There are 419 National Parks in the United States. If crowded beach towns were a staple of your summer pre-pandemic, consider exploring the National Park closest to you or planning a road trip to see multiple. The parks offer massive vistas and space to stretch out while you enjoy nature’s beauty. Many offer varying levels of accommodation from campsites to cabins to fully decked out hotels, so you can pick your own comfort level for enjoying the great outdoors.

gif of national parks in the US

Operation: Find A Pool

Pools are a summer staple. At this point, most public pools will be slow to open—if they even open at all this summer. Many hotels have also closed their pools to visitors because open pools usually go hand in hand with crowds. There are tons of home shares still available and many of the listing sites allow you to filter by “has a pool.” Consider finding a house within a comfortable driving distance to you that has a private pool so your family can reclaim the summer staple!

gif of an empty outdoor pool


Chances are the biggest city near you relies heavily on tourism. It’s been estimated that international tourism, which was booming last year, could drop nearly 80% in the wake of COVID. That’s going to be a blow to the economy. Take this opportunity to be a tourist in your own city. Book a hotel room. Walk around the parks, support the local businesses that are open and offer socially distance accommodations. Enjoy the freedom of becoming a tourist in your own backyard.

gif of a man rollerblading

RV Parade

Missing some of your most favorite people but not ready to share that family vacation house you go to every year? Perhaps an RV can be a replacement. Pull into driveways of loved ones and enjoy socially distanced hangouts in the front/backyard. Plan a weekend RV parade route or extend it longer to cover more ground and see some faces in real life at a distance.

gif of two women driving an RV

Overall, you don’t have to travel far to have fun. Vacation is more of a mindset than a destination. And it’s fair to say, we ALL need a vacation. The first half of 2020 has been rough. But it’s true what they say: summer hasn’t been canceled. So, get creative and take some time to unplug and recharge.

Stay safe!

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