This summer is still going to look very different for all of us while COVID-19 remains. Physical distancing guidelines and travel restrictions have been put in place to keep communities safe and healthy, and they’re encouraging us to think outside the box when it comes to our usual summer plans. While taking precautions to keep yourself and your family physically healthy, it’s also essential to recognize ways to protect your mental and emotional health from the pandemic’s many stressors, especially with kids.
The good news is, you can still experience a fun, fulfilling vacation without leaving your city. Many hotels and resorts across the country are still operating. Booking a staycation is a great way for you to support tourism in your local community and search for properties that have adopted enhanced cleaning procedures. They are even leaving extra time between guests for a comfortable and safe stay. It’s important to remember that each province and territory across Canada has unique measures for levels of reopening, meaning that ‘Level 3’ in one province may not have the same restrictions as in another. This is why it’s so important to check local government guidelines for the most relevant framework.
It’s important to respect all public health and safety guidelines and set your expectations regarding what will be open where you are, as guidance can greatly vary between provinces. This is probably the most important thing when it comes to travel planning nowadays: research and read all local guidelines before booking anything! The Sandpiper Resort is a favourite local staycation for my family and me. It’s just a 45-minute drive away from our home. Sandpiper Resort is home to Sandpiper Golf Course and Rowena’s Inn on the River, located 15-20 minutes from Harrison Hot Springs and offers the luxurious feeling of a vacation for the entire family. The Sandpiper Resort takes COVID-19 regulations very seriously, and you can read their updated regulations here.
Being outside is a cure for mental health. On our first night there, my family and I felt at complete peace framed by the rugged backdrop of the Cheam Mountains. The Sandpiper Golf Course is heralded as one of BC’s most scenic courses, with forest golfing and abundant wildlife in two distinctly different environments: the open fairways alongside the serene waters of the Harrison River and the towering ancient Douglas Firs. At night we all fell asleep to the beautiful sound of rain, and it was the first time in a long time that my brain felt at ease.
The luxurious cabins are aesthetically gorgeous and very well made. The interior is not overwhelming, which is perfect for children. This is a huge factor when travelling with kids—avoiding accommodations that are cluttered. It’s like giving candy to a baby (literally). Chasing your toddler is one of the worst feelings while you’re trying to grab every little decor piece in a rental, hotel, or bed and breakfast. The Sandpiper Resort knows the meaning of Feng Shui.
Since these cabins are brand new, everything from the kitchen, restrooms, and heating/cooling systems were convenient and of the best quality. The gas fireplace added the cozy touch we needed for this fall cabin experience. The living room and bedrooms also came equipped with additional weighted blankets that help with stress and anxiety. The staff are behind plexiglass partitions and are wearing masks. All of them were incredible and helped us with all our questions and needs.
The Clubhouse restaurant on the resort was mouth-watering and accommodated in-cabin dining, an excellent alternative for enjoying your meals inside the comfort of your cabin and bubble. Every meal exceeded all my expectations (as always), and the menu offered delicious and clean choices. Making the most of family vacations can prove to be a battle of compromises, sacrificing sanity for kid-friendly retreats, but the pandemic changed all of that for each of us. We now have lost the opportunity of compromise and the escape of travel for our mental health. I am a firm believer that escaping from your schedule is vital for each of us.
Do your research on local tourism in your city if guidelines and protocols allow you to do so. Support your local tourism within your community if you can because many small businesses and small resorts are taking a heap from this and shutting down, which is heartbreaking. You’re taking care of your mental health while supporting your community. Make sure to respect all protocols and guidelines but have fun and do what works for your family.