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In lieu of a vacation

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We all know the feeling.

We can’t seem to focus  or concentrate. We have belated spring fever that just now showed up. We just want to be laying back somewhere on a beach, in a chaise lounge, listening to ocean waves with a really cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other.

We picture this but then we awaken from the nice day dream we were having while sitting at our desks, or maybe standing at the stove cooking, or maybe even throwing the sheets from the washer into the dryer. Reality can sometimes hit hard!

A funny thing I’ve noticed through the years is that perhaps, just perhaps, some of the ones who really need a vacation can’t afford one or don’t have time for one or can’t get a house or pet sitter, or kid sitter maybe. The ones who go on frequent trips aka vacations sometimes are the ones who have low stress levels and plenty of money. Life is not always fair, so we tell ourselves!

Okay, so for those who can’t get away for whatever reason, consider these jolly substitutes for that awesome beach vacation:

  1. Throw a pillow and blanket down in the back yard (watch for ants) and turn on the sprinkler. Apply sunscreen, turn on some music or sounds of sea gulls/ocean waves, wear sunblock shades, maybe even a sun hat, and carve a little time out for yourself to “getaway” for a little while.  Imagine being miles away on a beach somewhere. Breath in and out some deep cleansing breaths. Relax. Soak up the sun and get your Vitamin D boost. You may feel lots better afterwards.
  2. Take a trip to  your local library. Books are a special kind of getaway. You can go almost anywhere by just reading and immersing yourself in the story. Spend some time looking at the shelves or searching the card catalog for the perfect getaway book. Find a comfy chair and read the book/books there at the library or check them out. There is something really special about going on an adventure in a library and finding lots of great books and being able to take them home. Nowadays, there are audiobooks, too, and most libraries have them. If your local library doesn’t have the book you are looking for, you can usually request them to do an interlibrary loan from another library for the book.
  3. Take a movie theater stay-cay. Most theaters have summer specials on ticket prices. Imagine just staying there for hours and watching movies, relaxing and eating hot dogs, popcorn, and gummy bears (of course, in moderation)!!!! Take a friend or family member along. Enjoy laughs together or even tears, depending on the movies your choose.
  4. Host a slumber party or pajama party! Invite family and/or friends. Order pizza delivery, serve watermelon and other fruit.  Make your favorite warm weather drinks (mine are alcohol-free Pina Coladas). Play games, watch a movie, or do a take home craft project. To save on expense, let everyone bring their own craft supplies. Enjoy laughter and good times and make some good memories.
  5. Start a summer book discussion group. You could even give it a name (such as Our Savvy Summer Book Club). Enlist your friends, Facebook friends, neighbors, and/or family to participate. You could read one long novel over the summer or some quick short stories (or nonfiction). Get together over coffee/tea and have some good talks about the books/stories. Wrap it up at the end of the summer by going out to eat to celebrate with your group and offer a book prize or print some keepsake bookmarks (could have them laminated) with your group’s name and date.
  6. Host a summer cookout. Invite friends/family/neighbors and ask everyone to bring their own meat of choice to grill (hamburgers, hot dogs, maybe even veggie kabobs), drinks, and chairs. Make  homemade ice cream. Have photo props for your guests to take silly and fun pictures with.  Set up a badminton net or play croquet. Give your cookout a theme, such as tropical and tell everyone to dress accordingly, with grass skirts or funky shirts with pictures of palm trees, etc. You could even have T-shirts printed saying something about the special event.  Sell them for $5 each or give a few away as door prizes. Hang pretty cafe lights and maybe even have a firepit going to make smores. The possibilities are endless really.
  7. Create a day for doing things you’ve never done before, such as visiting a local Farmer’s Market, a museum, a particular store or restaurant, etc. The whole day would be spent going to places right in your own hometown where you don’t usually go or have never been.
  8. Binge watch beach movies! There are lots of them, even dating back to the 1950’s. Make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks on hand. You could even wear something beachy to create a mood.
  9. Create a beach board on Pinterest. There are so many pins you could pin. Do a search and pin a way!
  10. Finally, if funds are low but you still just absolutely need to get away, you could share trip expenses and invite a family member or friend to go along with you. Share half the gas, eats, lodging, entertainment, and more. Two for the road! You’d be surprised at how cheaply one can travel if on a budget. Search for information on the web about budget travel and look for coupons, too. Many state tourist bureaus/information enters offer coupons for lodging, information on special travel packages, and more.

Going on vacation and getting away is not always possible. Sometimes we have to make the best with what we have at the time and where we are, however with a little imagination, we can still enjoy our summer, make good memories, and maybe even get a little rest and relaxation, too.

Thanks for joining me today!

xoxo Susan

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