Getting the Most from Your Summer Staycation
by Robyn Kehoe
Not everyone likes to travel, and for those of us who do, we don’t always have the time (or budget) to get away. But you can still have a relaxing, refreshing vacation, even if you only go as far as your own backyard. Whether you’re taking a week off or looking for ways to add a vacation feel to summer nights and weekends, here are 6 ideas to amp up your summer staycation fun.
Free, Free, Free
Communities across the country take advantage of longer days and warmer nights to bring people together for outdoor movies, local music, and other activities, often at no cost. Check your town or neighborhood’s website to find out what’s happening near you. Local libraries and community centers also often have special summer programs, many of them geared toward kids/families. Find your local library at http://www.lib-web.org/united-states/public-libraries/ for more info.
Fairs and Festivals
Summer is fair and festival season, from big State Fairs to celebrations of strawberries, arts and crafts, music, and more, there’s bound to be something going on nearby. Search your local area at https://www.everfest.com or https://www.fairsandfestivals.net to find nearby happenings all summer long.
Hike, Bike, Swim, Picnic
If you like the outdoors, getting out to exercise or just enjoy the scenery is another way to break the routine. Let the National Park Service help you find a National Park near you or use https://www.stateparks.org to find a State Park. Your town or county may also have parks or other recreational areas open to the public, so check local websites for more info.
Camping for a night or two in a tent, RV, or cabin can help you disconnect and relax, even close to home. Whether you’re a purist carting everything on your back or glamping’s more your thing, check out https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/how-to-camp.htm, https://www.beyondthetent.com/start-here/, and http://www.uscampgrounds.info for resources and info to get you started.
Read, Rest, Relax
Prefer pursuits that don’t require sunscreen? Check out the American Library Association’s compilation of reading lists to help make your summer list, take a dip into mindfulness/meditation, or learn more about relaxation techniques. Find a good napping spot and lounge away an afternoon!
Whatever else you do for fun this summer, consider making it a “digital holiday” as well. Research shows constantly checking phones and devices can add to feelings of stress, which can impact both physical and emotional health. Start with a few suggestions to cut back on device use and then think of your smartphone or tablet as part of your emergency kit only during your vacation adventures.
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