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Last summer, we took a long weekend family road trip during COVID to Upper Michigan. While our family has been very fortunate in relation to COVID-19 compared to so many, in that we have not been hugely impacted physically or financially, we were still starting to feel some of the emotional toll of staying inside and having limited contact with others.

For a family that has been used to traveling so much, the trip last summer to Michigan was great, and we were starting to feel some of the same feelings, so we decided to go for another trip. Given that it’s winter / spring, we felt like we had fewer options of places to go, but we were also pretty wide open in terms of location since our plans were mostly just to relax.

The Current State of Travel

Ben from One Mile at a Time wrote in a post the other day that “it’s an awkward time to be a travel blogger.” One of his reasons was that there is such a wide gulf of opinions on what you “should” or “should not” do.

On the one hand, you have people who believe that you should never leave your house, and if you do, you’re contributing to the spread of the pandemic. On the other hand, you have people who are “humoring” the pandemic and will (barely) put on masks or social distance when forced, but go around leaving blog comments calling everyone else “sheeple.”

I tend to be more in the middle. I am a believer in the science that COVID-19 is real and I believe that masks and social distancing do help. I also believe that everything is at risk, and it’s up to you to decide what level of risk you’re comfortable with.

I personally have flown twice (with my son out to Portland) and stayed in several different hotels while I was out in Oregon, and I felt fine with the experience. We are not quite ready to fly with all 7 of us right now, so we have been concentrating on things we could do in driving distance. Hence, the family road trip during COVID.

Staying at an Airbnb in Indiana

For this family road trip during COVID, we decided to search for an Airbnb within a few hours of Cincinnati. The one non-negotiable in our search was a hot tub! We ended up finding a cabin in the woods about an hour west of Cincinnati, in rural SE Indiana.

a house with a deck and a fence

The cabin was built as a small cabin for the host’s mother, but when she passed away, they turned it into a vacation rental. Their property is about 10 acres and you are relatively close to the host’s house, but they mostly stay out of the way.

What We Did on Our Family Road Trip During COVID in Indiana

The hosts have a small hobby farm on the property as well, and the host messaged me to ask if my kids would like to help one day gathering eggs and feeding the chickens, which we all enjoyed.

a group of people in a chicken coop

They also have a small pond on the property and have fishing poles to borrow. They have some non-living bait, but we brought our own worms. Most of the kids had a lot of fun fishing, but we only caught one fish. Which, frankly, was about as many as we would have wanted to catch. 🙂

a boy holding a fishing pole in a pond

And … a Lot of Relaxing 🙂

Mostly we just relaxed during our stay there. We only booked a couple of days during the week, and we did a bit of hiking on the trails on their property as well. And as mentioned, the hot tub was a big hit for everyone. It was fairly large and could comfortably fit 4 and uncomfortably fit a few more people.

Since it was March and we were in Indiana for our family road trip during COVID, we also watched the movie Hoosiers. I had seen it before but nobody else had, so we did that on one of our rainy afternoons. We were actually only about 20 minutes from Milan, Indiana, which was the inspiration for Hickory High in the movie, so we drove up to check it out. They have a museum there with different memorabilia from the actual basketball team and the movie. It was closed when we went there and I’m not sure we’d have paid the $5 / person ($35 total) to enter but it was a nice road trip stop.

a glass door of a museum

In Milan, we also stopped to pick up some pizza from a local pizza joint. I was amused by this sign from the lobby.

a chalkboard with text on it

It reminded me of a T-shirt I have that says “Every pizza is a personal pizza if you believe in yourself“. We took the pizza to a park across the street and ate at the picnic shelter.

What’s Next?

This sure has been an interesting year, but you still can take a family road trip during COVID! As vaccines become more widely available, I am hoping that we can keep traveling. We have a few trips from 2020 that were canceled that I’d love to get back on our schedule.

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