Being on holiday doesn’t have to be about geography. It is as much about adventure, exploration or even relaxation as it is about flight schedules, hotel rooms or miles traveled.

A far-flung destination may not be in the cards just now. So consider putting your creative juices to work to manifest a never-to-be-forgotten memory for you and your family. And, don’t forget to take pictures. Clear the calendar and consider these five ways to savor some family time in a way that might be possible:

1. Go for it

Plan a multi-day adventure, hiking or camping in the backcountry. This year of social distancing is one to research, plan and execute that idea you’ve been talking about but never had time to organize. Declare it a family affair and make the preparations part of the fun.

2. Trade houses

Find a trusted friend or family member in a nearby neighborhood who is willing to join in the fun. Think about it: new toys in the closet, bikes in the garage, playsets in the backyard and cereal in the cupboard. (Agree up front on what is included in the deal.) Trade information about local walking and biking paths, parks, outdoor dining areas and active pursuits. Then enjoy the new view.

3. Make it a weekend

Part of the holiday mindset includes saying no to checking work email, participating in a Zoom call, sending text messages or posting on Instagram. If not for a week, agree to make family the focus for one whole weekend. Visit a new park, take a long bike ride or play board games at home. If duty calls, let folks know your family is on vacation.

4. Focus on free

Virtual museum and destination tours, online cooking and art classes, card and board game tournaments are all examples of how you can build a safe family holiday that won’t break the bank. Get your creative juices flowing and craft your no-cost itinerary for the length of your “vacation.”

5. Book last minute and local

Check travel websites for last-minute deals in your hometown or in a nearby city. Given recent events, there are likely to be unusual options on travel menus. Without air and significant gas charges, taking advantage of these down-to-the-wire deals can be worth the minimum expense. You’ll enjoy the travel treat knowing you’ve made wise choices and kept expenses in check.

Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer.