Stir-crazy children and exhausted parents-turned-home schoolers are facing the drudgery of yet another holiday in lockdown. Even those in the lucky states can’t travel without the risk of a COVID cancellation.
Compare the Market expert Stephen Zeller said most travel insurers would not cover all losses related to COVID.
“Most policies haven’t provided cover for losses related to COVID and the related travel bans since it became a ‘known event’ early last year,” Mr Zeller said.
“In recent months, some insurers have introduced limited cover for medical expenses if you contract COVID-19 while overseas and limited cover for cancellation costs if you contract COVID before you depart or when you are overseas.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t still reach out to your travel insurer for other cover options, such as lost luggage or other medical expenses. Some insurers might offer partial or full refunds or allow you to amend the dates on your policy if you decide to reschedule.
“In the meantime, make sure anything you book is flexible and check with your accommodation to make sure you can get a refund or reschedule should COVID get in the way of your plans.
“The thought of another holiday in lockdown may be miserable but for some families, it’s a chance to save for an even better vacation next year.”
To help families beat the tears and tedium, Compare the Market has created a list of free or affordable ideas that don’t involve more baking or a Netflix binge.
Try sleeping under the stars in your own backyard with tents as cheap as $50 on Amazon. Grab some torches for a game of spotlight or check local rules and see if it’s safe to have a firepit. The best part? There’s no need to dig a dirt toilet and you can always retreat to bed if you can’t get comfortable.
Carnival of Flowers
Can’t make it to Toowoomba? Host your very own Carnival of Flowers à la Bunnings Warehouse. Punnets of pansies, petunias, daisies, and bloomers can be bought for under $10. Mix and match colours and varieties to create a spectacular display and keep your smartphone handy for tips to keep your plants healthy and thriving year-round.
Street art tour
Immerse yourself in the local art scene and run a street-art tour for the family. You might find art in unexpected places – plastered onto walls, electrical boxes, and poles. Get the kids involved in taking photos of the unique architecture, or add to the fun with a film camera. If you think any of the snaps you take are winners, why not apply for the Australian Photography Awards? Or even the International Landscape Photographer for the Year! Prizes for APA winners include a prize pool of $30,000. The ILPotY will award a cash prize of $5,000 and inclusion in their yearly book.
Spring brings a whole host of migrating birds and animals with adorable babies. Create your own bingo sheet and see which one you can find the most. You don’t need any fancy tech, just your eyes, a camera, or maybe binoculars if you have some. If you’re close to wetlands, venture along the paths and take in the beautiful scenery and native animals.
Household art competition
A visit to the Louvre may be out of the question, but you can still channel your inner DaVinci at home with acrylic paint sets starting from about $6 and canvas paper pads from $19 at Eckersley’s. You could even sculpt your own Venus de Milo out of modelling clay for under $10. Get the whole family involved in a competition and Facetime friends to judge your works of art.
Put your artworks on show by the window and finish the day with a Met Gala style-celebration. Enjoy a glass of wine, or non-alcoholic cuvée for the kids.
Got a bathtub? You’ve got a ticket to Corfu. Order some tealight candles, play some soothing ocean sounds, close your eyes and relax. If you’re feeling crafty, try making your own bath bombs with a few basic household ingredients for less than $20.