Every summer, we inevitably say the same thing, “This year is going to be the best summer yet!” We plan unique day trips with friends, and exciting adventures with family. But, sometimes, even the best laid plans fall apart. Loved ones might fall ill or bad weather might dampen tropical plans.
Cancelled plans can be very disappointing, especially during our all-too-short Canadian summer months. When disaster strikes, you can avoid panic mode by, firstly, purchasing cancellation insurance (which is usually available for everything from cottage rentals to beach vacations), and secondly, having a ready-to-go Plan B.
Whether your destination wedding was null and void, or your family road trip was a no go, here are some choice backup plan ideas when your summer plans fall through.
Scenario 1: Local tropical storm cancels your niece’s destination wedding
Solution: Create your own tropical paradise at home
Hire a cleaning service. Part of the pleasure of vacationing at a hotel is having the bed-making and the dusting being assigned to someone else while you concentrate on, well, nothing. So why not splurge on a cleaning crew for the week while you sit back and relax?
Stay beautifully hydrated. Fill up pitchers of water with various citrus fruits, like lemons, limes and oranges, and place them around strategic places in the house, like on the patio or in your kitchen, as you would have at a luxury resort. As you go about your day, take long, thirst-quenching sips.
Put on a vacation soundtrack. Create a tropical playlist, including everything from salsa to calypso, and leave it playing throughout the weekend. Don’t be afraid to move and groove throughout your day. If you feel inspired, creating an impromptu dance floor on your patio is a great way to connect with your partner and burn some calories!
- Relax by the pool. If you don’t have our own pool, purchase a large-sized kiddie pool at your local hardware store. Grab your favourite beach towel and dip your toes in while you catch up on your summer reading. Or unleash your inner child and engage in on a full-out water fight, complete with squirt guns and water balloons, with your family.
Scenario 2: Your aunt in Chicago fell ill, cancelling your summer plans to the Windy City.
Solution: Plan a vacation locally, or beyond.
Visit a Canadian city. A low loonie makes a trip to the U.S. more expensive than usual, so taking a trip to a Canadian city or province is probably more economical. This summer, Alberta is experiencing record numbers of tourists at Jasper and Lake Louise, so you might want to get in on the action and take in one of the most beautiful landscapes our country has to offer.
Go to London town. If there’s one good thing about Brexit, it’s that visiting London, and the U.K. in general, has just become way more affordable for Canadians than ever before. With the English pound at a 31-year-low, London is definitely calling your name. If anything, purchasing pounds right now is a good idea for a future trip across the pond.
- Hire a personal travel concierge. If you’re panicking because you don’t have the time to plan out your last-minute location change, consider consulting with a travel concierge company, like Zebrano, which will be able to recommend the best site seeing spots and restaurants to suit your needs.
Scenario 3: Your best friend pulls out of the cottage rental you were supposed to share on Labour Day Weekend
Solution: Go camping in your own backyard, or somewhere close to it!
- Borrow or buy a tent. Set up camp within the comforts of your own backyard, or nearest camping ground. Bring sleeping bags or blankets, flashlights, and mosquito repellent. Pack snacks and drinks in coolers and thermoses.
- Forget about your phone. Put your phone in airplane or Do Not Disturb mode. Try your best not to check messages because, after all, you’re in “the wilderness,” so it’s totally acceptable to have a “weak” signal.
- Recite ghost stories or sing songs around a campfire, or make your own fire pit (don’t forget to check local bylaws). If you can’t light a fire, don’t worry! Nothing a few leftover sparklers from Canada Day or some bright flashlights can’t fix.
- Play cottage-type games, like bocce ball, badminton or throw around a Frisbee. Later, hang a hammock for an afternoon snooze, and then at night, don’t forget to bring out binoculars or a telescope to gaze up at the stars.