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Summer Vacation 2020!

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Summer Vacation 2020!Summer vacation 2020 isn’t looking good. My original plan was to visit my parents in Thailand. However, that’s impossible now. Thailand has extended the ban on passenger flights until the end of June. I’m pretty sure the rule will be very stringent when the airport opens back up. Most likely, travelers will have to go into mandatory 14-day quarantine when they arrive. The long flight will be pretty bad too. You have to wear a mask the whole time and it will be very uncomfortable. RB40Jr can barely keep his mask on for 30 minutes. 20 hours with a face mask on would be impossible for him. Luckily, we haven’t booked anything so we don’t have to deal with cancellation. At this point, it looks like international travel is out. Many countries have closed their borders and are only letting their citizens in. Any summer vacation will have to be within the US borders this year.

Even traveling inside the US is iffy right now. Most campgrounds on the west coast are closed this summer. It probably isn’t very safe to use shared bathrooms so that makes sense. Most national parks and state parks are still closed, but they might be open for day use very soon. I guess some hotels are open. Popular attractions like Disneyland are closed. Summer festivals are all canceled. There just isn’t a lot of stuff to do with the coronavirus pandemic still simmering.

It’s been a tough spring with homeschooling, but summer is almost here. A break from homeschooling will help a ton. However, this summer won’t be much fun without a good vacation. Unfortunately, it seems like we only have 2 choices – a staycation or a road trip. Check out my summer plan and share yours in the comment section.

*I know many families have a lot more important things to worry about summer vacation, but let me vent just a bit. Lockdown isn’t easy for anybody. Even an introvert like me is having a hard time.

Staycation

Obviously, the easiest and safest choice is to have a staycation this summer. However, I’m not sure if I can take it much longer. We’ve been in lockdown for 9 weeks and I’m sick of it. At this point, a staycation in town won’t be much different than lockdown. Portland is under lockdown for now. We might open up at the end of June, but we’ll have to see. Most counties in Oregon are in phase 1 of reopening, but our county isn’t ready yet. So for now…

  • Restaurants are takeout only. Now is a good time to learn how to cook. I got some great easy dishes on my SAHD recipe page.
  • Spas and gyms are closed.
  • Live shows and movie theaters closed.
  • Shopping malls are closed.
  • Recreational centers, pools, museums, libraries, amusement parks, arcades, and entertainment venues are all closed.
  • We can’t even rent a kayak right now.

Unless things improve dramatically, a staycation won’t be much better than a lockdown. I guess we could order some luxurious goods and indulge that way. (To Mrs. RB40…) Honey, can I buy that tandem kayak I’ve wanted for years?

In-state road trips

Our county is still under lockdown, but we could take several short vacations to nearby counties. Most places in Oregon are in phase 1 of the reopening and their economy is ramping up. Many of the businesses I listed above are open with extra precaution in place. I think most of the beach towns are still closed, but they should open up very soon.

We could book a hotel for a couple of nights and go away for the weekend. It’ll a good chance to introduce our son to various in-state attractions. The problem is most people will think this way too. I’m pretty sure the beaches, rivers, lakes, caves, and trails will be packed this summer. I guess we’ll go and see. If it’s too busy, we’ll just relax in the hotel and order room service.

Longer road trip

Unfortunately, short in-state trips just don’t really feel like a vacation to me. If things improve a bit, we might be able to take a longer road trip to see families and friends in California. Mrs. RB40 grew up in southern California, but she never been to Yosemite, Sequoia, or Joshua Tree National Park. I’ve been to those parks because my parents enjoyed road trips and took us when we were young. We could drive down to see families and visit those parks, assuming they open this summer.

The situation would have to improve a lot, though. I’m not sure how I feel about driving so much if the coronavirus is still raging. What if we caught it and spread it around? That would be very irresponsible.

road trip

*2012 road trip.

Summer vacation 2020

In summary, it’s iffy right now. If things improve, we’ll take a 2-week road trip to see friends and families in California. If not, we’ll just take short trips within Oregon. In the worst-case scenario, we’ll probably spend the summer in town and just order some frivolous stuff. There are plenty of rivers and lakes we can visit. It’ll be a lot of fun to take my family kayaking. I guess hiking would be okay too, but most trails are so narrow. You can’t stay 6 feet away from other hikers. Yes, I’m very paranoid. Only the paranoid survive, right?

What about you? What will you do this summer? Is your state opens for business? Give us some ideas.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

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{ 44 comments… add one }
  • bob May 24, 2020, 7:14 am

    In South Africa we’re also getting really bored, its been 9 weeks here too and nothing is open, no hotels, parks, beaches nothing. We can be outside for 3 hours in the morning. The worst is not being able to visit friends and family. Id arrange to meet up in the parking lot but Im worried about the police after theyve arrested a quarter of a million citizens so far. Its all a bit ridiculous, but at least its a virus and not a war, so think things will go back to semi normal in the next couple of months.

  • Hawaii Planner May 24, 2020, 7:09 am

    We were supposed to go to Hawaii, but will instead drive (northern California) to the Oregon coast. We have a vacation house, and are feeling incredibly grateful that we can get a change of scenery with minimal risk. My understanding is that most parks/beaches will be opening up in OR soon, and some have already started to open up.

    We’d explore the beach (never crowded at the location near us, even on the busiest weekend of the year), fly kites, go for hikes, ride bikes, and just get a change of scenery.

  • Matt May 22, 2020, 5:42 am

    We were planning on taking a road trip to Michigan but with the border closed that has been canceled. We have an RV which means we can take our bathroom with us but with campgrounds currently closed its a little up in the air. I’m with you that if we can we’ll go on a road trip with our RV.

    It will be very welcome to get out of town for a few days.

    • Bob May 23, 2020, 2:06 pm

      In South Africa we’re also getting really bored, its been 9 weeks here too and nothing is open, no hotels, parks, beaches nothing. We can be outside for 3 hours in the morning. The worst is not being able to visit friends and family. Id arrange to meet up in the parking lot but Im worried about the police after theyve arrested a quarter of a million citizens so far. Its all a bit ridiculous, but at least its a virus and not a war, so think things will go back to semi normal in the next couple of months.

      • bob May 24, 2020, 7:13 am

        woops wrong thread =)

  • GYM May 20, 2020, 12:22 am

    Now would be a perfect time to have an RV (but I guess campsites are closed?) then you can use your own toilet on the RV (I think RVs have toilets right?)

    We were going to go to Whistler but I’m not even sure if that hotel is open.

    I’m paranoid too, but hiking is probably pretty low risk, there’s very little chance of transmission outdoors.

    • retirebyforty May 22, 2020, 10:21 am

      Yeah, you can park the RV in a Walmart parking lot. But you still need the hookups to clean out everything. I guess it’s best to stay put for now.
      Good luck with Whistler. You’re probably right about hiking.

  • Tawcan May 19, 2020, 4:32 pm

    We have a trip planned for Banff in July so we’ll see if that happens or not. It’s camping trip so maybe that will be mostly OK? I don’t know.

    It will be interesting to see if FinCon happens or not.

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:12 am

      I’m pretty sure FinCon will be canceled. That’s a big gathering with lots of up-close contacts.

  • Myinvestingkarma May 18, 2020, 3:29 pm

    It’s getting tougher to continue like this. For us office workload also getting heavier ?
    I am thinking to rent a small camper van as staying in hotel may not be safe.

  • Jim @ Route to Retire May 18, 2020, 12:27 pm

    I’m guessing that’s going to be very similar for most folks for summer vacation this year. Sucks, but it is what is, right?

    We’re just hoping to get back to the US from Panama to see family at some point. We were supposed to head back on 6/9 but that got crushed – flights out have been suspended until at least the end of June and possibly longer. I imagine we’ll make it back at some point but I’m sure glad we have a flexible schedule or this would even more of a pain in the @#$!

    I’ve actually just been thinking about FinCon lately and I’m guessing that’ll be canceled at some point though nothings been said yet. That kind of sucks, too.

    I think 2020’s just going to have to be a suck-it-up kind of year! 🙂

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:10 am

      Good luck with the flight. Will you have a hard time getting back to Panama?
      Sounds like many countries don’t want US visitors right now.

      • Jim @ Route to Retire May 20, 2020, 10:37 am

        That’s part of my concern as well. Panama hasn’t announced yet if they’re going to open things back up to visitors yet or not. The only thing we might have in our favor is that tourism is a fair part of the economy. Not sure if that’ll play into the decision or not – time will tell.

        In the meantime, we’ll roll with the punches. We’ll be staying with Lisa’s parents in Ohio and I’m sure they wouldn’t complain if we had to stay longer. The question will be how much longer? 🙂

        • Bob May 24, 2020, 7:12 am

          South africa banned US citizens from coming in 2 months ago. Friends of ours have also been stuck here since that time and the foreseeable future. It’s unfortunately unknoweable how long borders remain closed. I wouls just avoid any flights that aren’t direct and end up stuck in a transit country.

  • [email protected] May 18, 2020, 11:28 am

    I feel the same. Homeschooling and wfh has been tough especially since we live in a small apartment with 2 young kids. Even if things open up like amusement parks I’m not sure I’m comfortable going. Same goes for flying and hotels…maybe. My kids love the water parks so I was thinking maybe rent an AirBnb with a pool. Not many nearby and kinda pricey. Like you said, hiking is fine but can get crowded since everyone is going there plus the trails do get narrow. Kids are definitely getting cabin fever. Actually me too!

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:10 am

      Ouch, small apartment is tough with kids.
      AirBnb with a pool sounds really nice. Maybe we’ll do something similar.
      Although, there aren’t many homes with pools in OR. Probably more in CA.

  • Katie Camel May 18, 2020, 9:01 am

    I’m supposed to be in the Balkans right now, but that’s been placed on hold indefinitely. If the situation improves enough that I feel safe flying, I might head to the west coast. If not, maybe I’ll visit friends in other states or do a roadtrip. Other than that, no idea what this year will bring for vacation. Maybe I’ll take this opportunity to buy a cheap car instead, since it’s time I get one.

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:08 am

      I’m not looking forward to flying at all. It’ll be uncomfortable and scary. This year, we’ll probably stick with driving.

  • FullTimeFinance May 18, 2020, 8:28 am

    We just cancelled our annual Maine summer trip. Unfortunately the people that come with us are high risk. A collective decision to pass. I have a business trip planned in August to a place on the edge of driving distance. If that happens I think we’ll tack something on. Otherwise this summer is a wash.

  • Adam May 18, 2020, 8:17 am

    It’s good of you to acknowledge those who are worse off, but you’re fully justified in venting. This situation is bonkers. Maryland is phasing our reopen in a similar way. At last check my county has 30% of the state’s cases and more than four hundred deaths, though, so our county executive has left us on lockdown and the governor is just fine with that. They’ve opened some state parks and my dad is spending three nights camping on the beach next month; he’s excited to get out there.

    Careful with the tandem kayak. My friend who’s really into whitewater calls them “divorce boats,” and when we rent kayaks at a nearby riverfront park my wife is resolute that we each got our own. But I bet it’d be all kinds of fun with your son!

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:06 am

      Camping sounds good right about now.
      The tandem kayak will be for taking my son out, mostly.
      I tried tandem kayak with my wife before and it worked okay. The problem is she doesn’t want to go out that often.

  • Wilson May 18, 2020, 8:09 am

    I was hoping to escape the summer heat of the Gulf South and head toward your home state and Wa. and hike and camp the coast and some of the state and national parks. I had been hoping to show Crater Lake to my daughter. But you raise all the issues. Even in the best of times national parks are packed in the summer, and if everyone’s directing their pent up energy to exploring what’s around them there’s going to be some maddening crowds. Plus is it even a good idea to road trip so far and pass through so many different states? By mid June I would think/ hope that shouldn’t be problematic.

    Playgrounds here finally opened this past weekend but it looks like it’s going to maybe hit 90 in the next few days and the humidity has descended. Between the need to get out and the intemperate weather we need to get away to somewhere more than 5 hours away. Day trips won’t cut it. A cabin in the woods? I guess we’ll have to tamp down expectations and consider some places we never would have before. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:05 am

      Crater Lake is beautiful. They should be open pretty soon, I think.
      I guess we’ll wait and see how things are by mid-June.
      Our playgrounds are still closed, but that doesn’t keep people out anymore.
      The bigger problem is the pools. Kids love swimming so that’s one missing piece.

  • Dragon Guy May 18, 2020, 6:46 am

    I am definitely struggling a bit with the lack of travel. We had to cancel a trip to Korea and Taiwan in April and we should be in Europe now for a month but obviously had to cancel that.

    Right now we are only comfortable with road trips. We’ve thought about looking for an Airbnb to rent somewhere with nature where we can still be isolated from large crowds. Somewhere where we could still have food delivery and take nice walks.

    But I agree with you that a short trip just doesn’t feel like a vacation. So we are going back and forth with how far to go.

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 7:02 am

      Renting a cabin in the wood sounds good to me. I’d be okay with cooking some food too.
      I’ll check around with friends to see if they want to go somewhere.

  • David @iretiredyoung May 18, 2020, 6:17 am

    Hey Joe, it sounds like a camper would be perfect for a road trip!

  • Lazy Man and Money May 18, 2020, 4:38 am

    They say they are opening up camps for us. I just don’t know how that will work out.

    We take a staycation every year, but you have to take a ferry to it and that might not be safe, unless you we stay in our cars, which could work. Once there, the big activity is hiking (good), beaches (maybe) and restaurants (not good).

    For our long road trips, we like to stop at amusement parks and those will be the last things to open. Driving to hike isn’t likely going to work well for the kids.

    It looks like most of the summer, we’ll be doing a modified version of Dad’s homeschool. I want to teach them photography with the old cellphones they have for Pokemon Go. My youngest is good at art, so I’ve been thinking of getting him a digital drawing pad (~$75), which is something I might use too. There’s still that YouTube channel that I wanted to get off the ground. That’s just to make them comfortable in front of a camera – not to get rich. We can also do some computer programming. Those kids of digital creation skills should be useful going forward.

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 6:59 am

      Really? Our campgrounds are closed until the end of the month, at least.
      At this point, I don’t want to share the campground bathroom.
      We’ll probably just camp in the backyard this year.
      Good idea about summer homeschooling. I need to make up some projects for us.

  • Dave @ Accidental FIRE May 18, 2020, 3:20 am

    I highly recommend you buying kayaks. Mine is almost 20 years old, has been paddled for thousands of miles, and worth every dollar 🙂

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 6:56 am

      I’ll see if we can maneuver something that large into our basement this weekend.
      We need a tandem so I can bring my son. It’ll be huge…

  • Ernie Zelinski May 18, 2020, 2:30 am

    I was supposed to be in London, England for the first week in May but my trip got cancelled. Unlike a lot of people, I was able to get back my $1,440 (plus my 110,000 Aeroplan miles). Last week I booked a trip to Vancouver, B.C. from June 16 to June 23. The way I see it, flying with Air Canada then will be much safer than when I flew to Honolulu in February and when I flew to Vancouver for a week in the first half of March. Way back, I had actually booked another trip to London England in International Business Class for mid October. At this time, I have no idea whether I will be able to make that. If I can just fly between Edmonton and Vancouver (my second home) several times this year, I will be happy. Restaurants in Edmonton were allowed to open to half capacity on May 14. In Vancouver, they will be allowed to open under the same conditions on May 19. That makes me happy because I love spending money in restaurants. At the start of the isolation period, I changed the lyrics to the song that Elvis used to sing.

    One for the money,
    Two for the show,
    Three to get ready,
    And nowhere to go!

    • retirebyforty May 20, 2020, 6:55 am

      I’m not sure when the local restaurants will open for seating. Probably in 2-3 weeks or so.
      They will need to reconfigure somehow. The seating was packed previously. I think lots of restaurants won’t make it with the reduced capacity.
      We planned to be in Honolulu for Memorial day but had to cancel it. 🙁

  • Backpack Finance May 18, 2020, 12:57 am

    I’m staying at home for the summer. At least I have beaches walking distance from my apartment so that’s where I’ll spend most of my time. As for international travel, I still have my hopes up for later this year.

    Planning on doing Thailand in December but we’ll just have to see how things are progressing.

    • retirebyforty May 18, 2020, 2:50 pm

      Wow, that’s great. I wise we have a beach within walking distance. We live in the city and need to drive to see nature.
      I hope Thailand opens in December. I probably will go for a few weeks too. Maybe not if they have mandatory quarantine.

  • Hi Joe. While international travel from the USA seems far away as I am writing this, I’m hoping that the situation in the country will start to improve by this summer. If not then the recovery won’t probably happen until 2021 (if not 2022). What do you think?

    As for us, we are in a great spot right now, since we are in Taiwan, and as you know the country has been doing extremely well at dealing with the virus. We arrive mid-march with a 3 months visa, and today our visa gets extended by another 30 days for the 3rd time, giving us the ability to enjoy the country until mid-September. We are considering coming back to California to visit Mrs. NN’s parents by mid-September for a month or so and would like to resume some sort to nomadic lifestyle after that. Do you think coming to the USA will get us stuck much longer than going to any country? Since the situation is pretty daring, we are afraid not to be able to travel anywhere else before other people can do so…

    • retirebyforty May 18, 2020, 2:49 pm

      I think the US will struggle until we get a virus. People here are resisting the lockdown.
      Where will you go next after the USA? You should check with that country before you come back.
      Unfortunately, I think the coronavirus situation will worsen in the US.

  • Mr. Tako May 18, 2020, 12:07 am

    I’m with you Joe, this staying at home stuff is starting to get kind of old. I’d love to go on a vacation right now, but it just doesn’t seem feasible. Most attractions are closed, including state parks. Any vacation right now would probably be pretty boring.

    International travel is even more impossible, with many borders closed to non-citizens.

    I guess we just have to wait around until things start to open up again.

    • retirebyforty May 18, 2020, 2:46 pm

      I wanted to go visit Snoqualmie, but that’s out for now. Maybe next year.
      I think we can still go to CA. We’ll wait and see how everything is in July.

  • Financial Freedom Countdown May 17, 2020, 11:47 pm

    I agree that international trips for this year don’t seem like a good idea. I cancelled my trips and am still waiting on refunds from Singapore and United.

    Yosemite is pretty but it would be a long road trip from Oregon. Most of us in California go there at least once every summer but idk if tbis year they would open the park up.

    I have resigned myself to only day trips like Santa Cruz beach or Muir Woods.

    I don’t expect gyms to open as well so I’m ordering gym equipment to workout in my garage. Can you believe most of it is on back order for a month. Never realized so many people like working out :).

    I guess the fact that we are still healthy is one of the blessings I’m thankful

    • retirebyforty May 18, 2020, 2:44 pm

      I hope Yosemite opens back up. At least, they should open the trails. Offices can stay closed.
      Take care.

    • Freddy May 19, 2020, 6:40 am

      Muir is still closed

  • Mr. Grumby May 17, 2020, 11:00 pm

    I hear you. Lockdown has been annoying for us, mostly because we can’t plan any bike trips.
    We are at luckier than most, being FIRE and settled back in Oregon after a couple years of travel. In many ways, lockdown isn’t a whole lot different than retirement for us on a day to day basis. But the inability to go back east to see our mothers is stressful.
    We’re building a house, so our summer will be busy, but we’d like to do something for vacation, but what?

    • retirebyforty May 18, 2020, 2:43 pm

      Building a house will keep you very busy this summer. Good luck!

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