What often happens when we all reach the much looked-forward to season of the sun is that we find ourselves with nothing to do. We plan and we itch for that special, much deserved vacation time, but when you’re free for three months, it’s actually pretty difficult to fill up. I found myself completely stuck for a week, earlier this June, restless for anything productive to do. The first step is to relax – this is the time to let yourself be unproductive and not to plan and just lounge in the sun. The second step to cure that summer boredom is to read this list and adapt these fun, summer-friendly ideas to your own vacay.
- Beach it up.
The beach is always related to summer for a reason – and that reason is the season. Summer is basically the only time one can truly enjoy the beach and all it has to offer. The heat makes the cool ocean worth it, the sun make the tan possible, and the scorching sand reminds you why you sometimes hate it. It wouldn’t be summer without it. Grab some fruit, sandwiches, and water on the way and you can really make a day of it. Plan a trip, go with a group – or just a few close friends – and make some beach trips happen. ‘Tis the season.
- Read till you can’t read no mo’.
It’s extremely difficult to find time to pleasure read during semesters or busy work times – take it from the English major who basically reads books like it’s her life’s purpose. Summer is the perfect time to finally catch up on all those novels that they’ve already turned into movies. There are no other reading assignments to worry about and all your focus can be placed on crying while reading Me Before You. Or, you know, whatever book you say you won’t be crying over.
- Hit up some concerts.
Summer is the time of concert tours and free outdoor music attractions. The goal is to research, infiltrate, and attend as many free music concerts in your area, as possible. That way, not only did you hear some new tunes, but you took advantage of something being free and nothing feels better than that. Or just buy that Selena Gomez ticket. You’ll love yourself.
- Throw a party.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to host a mini reunion? Finally have some fun with your co-workers, but feel like no one has the time or the money? Summer parties are the loudest, and the most enjoyable, parties of the year. Everyone is relaxed, responsibilities are lessened, and inhibitions are (sometimes) forgotten. And what better way is there to get everyone together without being charged for outrageous club fees? Order some pizza (or make some barbecue), stirrup those fruity cocktails, crank that music, and cut loose (footloose!). Your wallet, and your equally broke college friends, will thank you.
- Road triiiiiip.
Go on a road trip! It’s the cheapest, most entertaining, and most rewarding way to travel. You create memories that you will never forget. And your friends will never let you live down. Summer is the best time to be a tourist, so why just settle for one vacation location? Visit them all! Plus, if you use Airbnb, you won’t just be a tourist staying in a hotel. You’ll have your own little summer houses everywhere you go.
Alright, I advocate making s’mores all year round (me and my mom make them every 4th of July and New Year’s Eve) but they are definitely a summertime requirement. There really is nothing like that graham cracker, melty-gooey goodness on a humid summer night. I mean, “Summer Nights” was written about s’mores, not about Danny and Sandy’s love. Duh. If you don’t live in an area where open fires and camping is a common option, all you really need is a heat source to toast those marshmallows. I use my toaster oven!
This may sound extremely broad, but this is the best time to do all those things you always felt too busy or didn’t allow yourself to be lazy to do. Still broad, but you know what I’m talking about. Walk around those woods you live a mile away from, but always felt like would be a waste of time. Hit up some coffee shops and let yourself be “one of those people.” Spend time in those thrift shops you can finally dedicate to looking through. Do that touristy thing in your town that all the tourists have done, but you haven’t. Let yourself wander and who knows? You could stumble upon some new summer traditions.
- Get pampered.
This definitely goes along with the whole “relaxation” theme of vacation. Get that massage because you’ve worked for it. Get your nails done with your girls because they’ve been waiting for it. Try that weird Lush mask because you deserve it. If you’re not relaxed during summer, is it really summer? Why don’t you get a facial and then answer that?
- Become a movie-goer.
When are movie tickets at their cheapest? When do movie theaters lower their prices? Cue “What Time Is It?” by High School Musical 2. Theaters often lower their prices on weekdays during the summer because their usual customers are traveling, working those summer jobs, or playing the roles of couch potatoes. Catch those summer flicks before everyone else – and for cheaper! Also, I’ve heard from a few friends that watching movies alone, in a theater, is a pretty awesome experience. Try that out – it might beat Netflix.
10. Cook, bake – create.
One of my favorite ways to use up free time is to cook those Pinterest recipes I’ve literally not had the time to do. When you get home from work or class, you just want something quick and simple – especially if you’re starving. Summer vacation is the perfect time to experiment and take the time to create those incredible-looking cookies or pasta dishes. There’s nothing better than knowing you actually MADE that ice cream or successfully baked that tart. Plus, those homemade meals beat rushed-Ramen any day.
Money is obviously a key in a good amount of these activities, but that doesn’t mean they’re not possible or can’t be made affordable. If your food recipes call for pricey ingredients, wing it. Find cheaper alternatives; they might turn out even better. If you can’t afford that massage or that wax, try it at home – buy your own wax kit with friends and try it out together. It’s actually pretty difficult to mess up leg-waxing. If you can’t afford the gas or the hotel, road trip within your own state; there are cool places in all 50. Summer is about relaxing and enjoying on your time, in your way. It’s your vacation; live it up how you see fit!