School supplies already fill the shelves at my local Walmart. I am not ready to leave summer or even entertain the idea of autumn. I’m enjoying every warm and sunny day, but alas, I realize that August is fast approaching. How the heck are we halfway through July!!!
For those of you, like me, who want to squeeze every bit of fun out of what remains of summer here are some great ideas for a last-minute summer trip.
Although Dave Barry declares that, “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business,” do it anyway. Everyone should go camping at least once in their lifetimes. Without camping trips, we’d have no stories to share about torrential rainstorms, wet firewood, wild animal visitations, cold feet and basic misery. I jest! Camping can be so much fun and an inexpensive way to take a vacation. If camping seems too full of nature for you, pitch a tent in the yard. It’s almost as much fun.
Animal Themed Getaway
Our furry friends are great inspiration for summer getaways or summer outings. Spot, the polka dot leopard in the children’s book Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire, desperately wanted to be put in the zoo. He must have known what a delight it is to visit the zoo. Choose a cooler day, one with clouds or even early evening, if they are open, to avoid the heat. Zoos and wilderness drive-thru safaris are a true delight. Or, head to a trail ride or dude ranch. Channel your inner John Wayne. Hoist yourself onto a saddle and giddy-up. A stay at a dude ranch is on my bucket-list. Have an animal adventure. “No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.”
Travel in Time
Time travel is possible. Visit a historical location for a fresh perspective on history. Too many people and children are not fans of history because they think it is a dull ongoing list of names and dates. History is a living breathing subject filled with intrigue, adventure, courage, cowardice and fascination. Bring history alive to your family by visiting a battlefield, a historical house or a crumbling fort. Imagine the scene at Gettysburg where the blood flowed in rivers. Try to comprehend the task of building the Biltmore in the mountains of rural North Carolina. Mourn at the truth that slaves built Fort Pickens in Pensacola FL, while their owners profited from their labor. Go to a living history museum or reenactment and experience history firsthand. Find out what time period your child will be studying in the coming school year and visit a historical site to prepare them and spark their interest.
CBS has aired 31 seasons of The Amazing Race. Our family binge watches entire seasons of this speed-travel reality show. Create your own mini Amazing Race for your family. Choose some nearby destinations where you can plan challenges and hand out the next clues. Turn a short distance getaway into a challenging race between family members.
Fear Factor Vacation
Take a trip to face your fears. If you hate tight closed-in spaces – go spelunking. Are you afraid of heights, take a tram up a mountainside. This summer could be the summer your fears stop conquering you and you instead conquer them. Attempt ziplining, white water rafting, rock climbing or snorkeling in the ocean. Once you overcome that which seeks to keep you timid, be careful you don’t turn into a wild daredevil.
Take a Literary Journey
A trip to New Zealand would be in order for my literary journey, as the Shire is one of my dream destinations. However, New Zealand most likely won’t make the list of quick places to visit. If you love literature and those who create it, take a pilgrimage to your favorite authors home or stomping grounds. A trip to Key West FL will allow you to visit Ernest Hemingway’s home and museum. Springfield Massachusetts has a museum dedicated to their native author Dr. Seuss. Hannibal, Missouri is the boyhood home and museum for Mark Twain. Stephen King’s distinctive mansion in Bangor Maine is worth checking out. Find the homes and museums of great writers near you and enjoy a trip that may inspire the literary gift that is hiding in you.
Mystery creates wonder. It can make a trip to an unknown destination a vacation that won’t soon be forgotten. Plan a trip for your family and don’t let them know where you’re going. Turn it into a puzzle to solve. Present clues, but only after they have unraveled some riddle. Create suspense by unveiling a new clue every 20 miles. Once you arrive at your destination add more mystery and keep the guessing going. Present clues for every event. You may spark an interest and birth the next Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holms.
Enjoy a Hobby
Take a trip designed to enjoy your hobby. Are model trains your fancy? A model railroad museum would be a great destination to enjoy your miniature hobby. Visit one of largest exhibits in San Diego, Milwaukee, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati or Pittsburg. Are you a photographer or artist? Take a trip to galleries that feature your favorite shutterbug or painter. Be sure to take along your camera or art supplies and indulge in your own need to create once you’ve been inspired. Are you a rock-hound? Be sure to visit one of our nation’s U-dig fossil or gem sites. Spend the day digging and find a Trilobite or a diamond in the rough. Finders are keepers. One of my favorite memories was when I took my three young sons to Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds. We didn’t find a diamond, but I found memories to treasure for life. Just as the amount of different hobbies are limitless, so are the destinations you can visit to enjoy your hobby.
It’s never too late to throw a bag in the car and head off on an adventure. Armed with an imaginative idea for a quick trip your summer can go out with a bang.
Find 75 more ideas to enjoy the remainder of this wonderful season. Down load your FREE copy of SEASONAL PLEASURES – SUMMER
Share your vacation plans with us. We’d love to know where you’ve been and share a photo. Happy traveling!