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Family holidays look and feel a little different right now – instead of dusting off our passports we’re unfolding local maps, and rather than hitting the airport, most of us are hitting the road.

But just because we can’t jet off overseas, or even, realistically, interstate, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy memorable family holidays in new and exciting places. Just ask Gold Coast travel-mad parenting blogger Eleesha Quinn.

“Family holidays will always be an adventure we continue to look forward to, even if it’s just camping in the backyard!” says Eleesha. “These will be the moments our kids remember forever.”

Since COVID restrictions came into effect, Eleesha, her husband and three daughters have enjoyed a three-night Gold Coast stay-cation and visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – a quick trip, but well worth it, says Eleesha!

“The sanctuary was perfect for the whole family,” says Eleesha. “It felt wonderful supporting these guys as they were such a huge part of the recovery efforts from the recent fires.”

And speaking of the recent fires, Eleesha says that a trip to fire-ravaged towns in Queensland is top of her family’s travel wishlist.

“If our interstate borders stay open I will be heading north to support some of the regional areas affected by the fires – these areas are really struggling and need our help,” says Eleesha. “As borders reopen, I can’t wait to travel to destinations throughout the rest of our country and throw my support behind all of Australia’s local communities.”

For those planning their own family holidays, Eleesha has three key tips to keep in mind.

Social distancing is key

“Definitely try to plan outdoor adventures and attractions that have proper social distancing plans in place,” says Eleesha. “I think it just gives parents such peace of mind to know that the kiddies are enjoying themselves in a safe environment.”

Check cancellation policies

“Make sure you are booking through companies that offer free cancellation or are able to rebook for you if restrictions change,” says Eleesha. “Jetstar has been very helpful during this time, providing customers with the option to move their flight without a fee if they decide to change their travel plans. These are uncertain times and we all need to be smart with how we make future bookings.”

Use common sense, wherever you go

“It’s so important to practice good personal hygiene, so prepare yourself with sanitisers and masks in easy to reach pockets,” says Eleesha. “I’d also recommend taking plastic toys for the kids that can be easily wiped over, and packing your own pre-made snacks.”

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.