This Pandemic Has Wreaked Havoc…

It goes without saying how unbelievably thankful we are that despite the circumstances, my family continues to be healthy and happy, having suffered through nothing worse than cabin fever. Working at home has been a challenge with two kids under the age of 4, but being able to stay home at all during this pandemic is a privilege I know not everyone has. And yet, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of disappointment when I think about all the ways 2020 hasn’t quite turned out how we had expected it to. For one, we had been hoping to travel more. 

A lot more.

Our Time Had Finally Come

It seemed like the perfect time. Our family had finally found its footing after the addition of our new baby, and my husband and I had been diligently saving—we had all caught the travel bug.

My older son remembers his trip to Florida a few years ago with great fondness and often asks when he can go back. My sister-in-law, the much-loved aunt to my two little ones, moved out to Nova Scotia last August, and we were ready to start booking tickets when the lockdown began. And to top it all off, my husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, and we thought it would be perfect to go on a little kid-free trip to spend some quality time together. Now, with so many things closed, even having a proper staycation seems like a stretch.

While I’m not the glass-half-full type, I’ve been trying to focus on the positives of being grounded for the time being.

Focusing on the Positive

Accelerated Savings

Here's the Upside to Cancelled Family Travel

Even budget travel costs a lot. And when kids are involved, I’m willing to pay for convenience. Family suite? Check. Roomy rental car? Check. Overpriced food at a tourist trap? If both kids are hangry and melting down, I’ll take it! Needless to say, this adds up. By throwing even a percentage of what we would have spent on travel into our house fund (for you, it might be a new car fund, kitchen reno fund, or even your rainy day fund), it’s bringing us that much closer to finding (and paying for) our forever dream home. 

Elevating the Everyday

Here's the Upside to Cancelled Family Travel

Since travel is off the table for the next little while, we’re looking for small ways to upgrade our day-to-day. I’ve invested in quality kitchenware—good non-stick pans and a dutch oven to make mealtime prep more efficient and enjoyable. I have a newfound willingness to pay for kid-friendly apps when they’re both fun and educational (my preschooler’s on his way to mastering his phonics!). My husband has treated himself to a few video games to enjoy on the quiet evenings when the kids crash early. And on a hot day, I’ll support our local juice bar by asking for an extra-large orange-pineapple to go, so the kids and I can share. 

The Thrill of the Deal

Here's the Upside to Cancelled Family Travel

I’m not quite sure when we’ll be ready to travel again, but I’m excited to take advantage of the various deals and discounts that will be on offer as the tourism industry slowly restarts. I’ve seen advertised sales for hotels, cruises and packaged vacations, and I anticipate it’ll continue this way for a while to come because most people are still a bit skittish about travelling. While there are no international trips planned in our near future, we’re hoping to take a little weekend getaway to a nearby resort town if the fates allow it. 

In the face of cancelled plans, it’s hard to wait — but I’m trying to remember that anticipation is half the fun!

Kimberly Leung hails from Toronto and moonlights as a freelance writer and content creator. She likes her coffee regular, her cereal sugary, and her meals cooked by someone else. She loves her kids but she can’t wait for the day they stop waking up at 5:30 a.m. (and, no, a later bedtime doesn’t work). She lives in a tiny house with her husband, 2 kids and their middle-aged cat.