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Planning My Perfect Summer Vacation

Written by Savannah Marie, Community Blogger | Apr 29, 2014 9:33 AM

“We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.”

– Ray Bradbury

Spring is taking a while to visit us here in central PA. Instead of working on a little tan, I’m digging my umbrella out of the closet and layering up. I’m sure spring isn’t aware that I am a retired southern girl, and I need my sunlight to feel like a functioning human being!  I know that spring will eventually find its way to our little corner of the earth. Until then, I should stop looking for any excuse to turn on my central air unit.  Instead, I shall focus my attention on something productive: planning my summer vacation! Below are my tips to planning the most perfect and memorable summer vacation ever.

Create a Wish List                                                                                                                                                            

In my opinion, the most important part of planning a summer vacation is figuring out where you truly want to go. Many vacation destinations are chosen based on the cheapest flights and accommodations, rather than where you truly want to spend a week or more of your time. Visit Pinterest and make a board dedicated to all the places you’d like to travel and activities you’d like to try. Use that list as a starting point to planning your perfect summer vacation. My current list includes: Ocean City, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana (of course); Santorini, Greece and Barcelona, Spain.

Start Saving Now

Vacation budgets are essential to a successful trip. So whether you decide to travel 2 hours outside of your hometown or halfway around the world, it’s important to start saving your pennies as soon as possible.  Your budget will determine your destination, excursions and daily expenses.

Bring Friends Along

Traveling alone can be a wonderful, life-changing experience. However, I’m a firm believer in traveling with friends – especially for a summer vacation.  Having friends tag along will take some stress off your budget because you all will be sharing some expenses. Traveling together can also strengthen the bonds you have with the people that are vacationing with you 


Spending the afternoon in New Orleans with my sister, Saige.

Volunteer Your Time

To help with expenses and to make the most of your time, consider a working vacation. If you plan to take a trip abroad, there are many programs available that help travelers find teaching or mentoring opportunities during their vacation. If you plan on sticking to the states, Habitat for Humanity allows volunteers for their home building projects.

Don’t Sleep In

Some people consider vacations the time for rest and relaxation; I’m not one of those people. So take this small piece of advice: Don’t sleep on while you’re on vacation!  You aren’t paying to sleep in a comfy bed; you’re paying for an adventure. Wake up at the crack of dawn, go watch the sun rise and bask in the glory of the day! Vacations are made for making memories. So if you come home from your trip well rested, you’ve done it all wrong!

maine kayak.jpg

Kayaking on a lake in Topsham, Maine.

Always Say Yes

Vacations are the perfect time to become a “Yes Man”. Practice saying yes at every opportunity while on vaca. “Want to try some out-of-the-box local cuisine?” Yes. “Want to hike up this mountain even though you’re afraid of heights?” Yes.  “Would you like another margarita?” Yes! Traveling is all about the experience. Don’t limit yourself to the safe and ordinary when on your trip. Open yourself up to every opportunity and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime!

Happy and safe travels, everyone!

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