23 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Summer

ways to get the most out of your summer

I was at Target yesterday, and I noticed that they already have the Back to School stuff out! I can’t believe it; seems like summer just started!

Summer is that idyllic time when memories are made so be sure you are getting the most out of the short-lived season (no pressure, right?), while also not spending a ton to make those memories.

Let’s get out there, and enjoy what we’ve got left of summer!

23 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Summer…

1. Realize the Benefits

You know how they say laughter is the best medicine? Well ‘they’ know what they are talking about. With the hectic lives we lead, a little downtime does the body good. Part of being healthy involves feeling good about yourself and having fun. Summer is the perfect time to let loose a little bit and be proactive about having fun.

2. Mix Scheduling With Spontaneity

For bigger trips and events, make sure to schedule ahead of time to make sure your plans will go through. For the things that do not need to be scheduled in advance, take some time to truly enjoy the spontaneous moments of life. It can be a great stress reliever and return you back to reality as a happier, calmer person.

3. Go Local

You don’t have to hop on an airplane to have a great time. Take a day trip around your local area and check out things you take for granted. Many places offer free newspapers or pamphlets listing free or low-cost events like fairs, carnivals, or even educational opportunities. It’s cost-effective to come home each night after exploring something new all day.

4. Go Back in Time

Consider the things you loved doing as a child. There are so many simple trips that likely have become your best memories. Entertain your own kids by introducing them to your all-time favorite summer activities. Have a water balloon fight, invite the neighbors for backyard volleyball, or set up a tent in your yard and tell ghost stories.

5. Take a Mental Health Day

If you do not have a vacation allowance at work just yet, consider calling in for a mental health break. That one extra day can be used to do absolutely nothing but what you want to do. Watch movies, read a book, just be lazy for a change.

6. Tackle the Big Jobs

A honey-do list may not be the most exciting part of your summer but tackling projects around the house that need your attention can go a long way to easing your everyday stress. Using some time off to get stuff done can also help you save money on major repairs.

7. Learn a Skill

Keep your mind active by learning a new skill this summer. Learn how to kayak or get educated on how to can the vegetables and fruits in your garden. Picking up a new skill can introduce you to new hobbies and make you a well-rounded person. You can also make a buck off your skills too: How to Figure Out Your Skills and Sell Them for Cash.

8. Create New Traditions

The winter holidays are not the only time to consider family traditions. Start a few so your family has something to look forward to in the summer months. Start a nightly family walk, scout out a favorite fishing hole, or host an annual backyard cookout.

9. Get Educated

If you have more free time in the summer, invest in your own education. Take courses online or at the community college to get some credits out-of-the-way. Be sure to check out these 8 Insider Tips to Saving Money on Textbooks.

10. Find a Swimming Hole

Whether your family prefers the public pool or enjoy jumping in the local river, find a fun place to cool off on a hot day. If there aren’t any good swimming locations nearby, invest in a sprinkler and let the hose flow freely for a little while.

11. Ditch the TV

Unless it’s a rainy day, keep the television off as much as possible. Take bored kids to the library or the park. Cancel your cable for the summer to save on your expenses.

12. Make New Friends

There are some cool ways to meet new people so get out there and do it. Join a club that focuses on your interests in books or hiking. Say, “Hi” to new people at church. Attend the community block party and meet all your neighbors.

13. Take a Big Family Trip

If it’s financially viable, plan a big trip for the family vacation. Let everyone in the family have a say about where to go. Get in the habit of planning in advance for the larger trips. Working with a travel agent, you can often ‘layaway’ a trip and make payments on it over the course of a year.

14. Find a Fitness Buddy

In order to stay motivated about being physically fit, find a friend that will hold you accountable for your inactivity. Ask a neighbor to go on a daily walk or find a friend that likes to run. Ask your pal to join a dance class with you. Here are 12 Free Exercises to get you started.

15. Volunteer Your Time

There a number of ways you can lend your time to help someone else. Whether you have one hour or forty to give each week, find something you enjoy doing that in turn helps others. Cook at a soup kitchen, teach a class at the community center for free, walk dogs at the shelter, or help build a new house for those in need.

16. Go Camping

Nothing says summer like the smell of marshmallows roasting over a campfire. Find a place to camp on the cheap at a nearby campground or state park. Even if you lack the necessary equipment for camping, you can rent a cabin and borrow supplies from your friends and family. Family camping is a great way to get everyone to unplug and relax for a weekend.

17. Invite Guests to Stay

If you have some out-of-state friends or family, invite them to visit. It can be a whole different experience seeing your local area through a new set of eyes. If you want to take a family road trip, hit up your out-of-state friends and family about a visit.

18. Get Sporty

You only have a limited time to do outdoor sports and adventures like hiking, boating, and water skiing. Take a family fun day and learn how to do a new water sport you have never tried.

19. Join a Team

Some communities or even your workplace may have established sports teams for summer play. Find out how to sign up for the softball team or get involved in some playground basketball. If nothing is in your area already, start a summer league with your friends.

20. Update Your Resume

Summer time is often a time of reflection and pondering what you’d like to improve in your life may reveal your desire to change jobs. During some time off, you can reorganize your priorities where your career is concerned. Update your resume and check out the online job boards to see what else is out there.

21. Hit Up the Yard Sales

Yard sales are growing in popularity. Get up early and hit some local yard sales to see what is being offered. You may be surprised at what some people want to get rid of at cheap prices. You may also want to hold your own sale to de-clutter your house of unwanted things and make a little summer fun money in the process. (Cough, cough… Minimalist Challenge anyone?)

22. Find a Farmer’s Market

If your goal is eating better, find out where the local farmer’s market is. You can pick up the freshest, summer produce for a low-cost. Invest some time in finding new recipes based on your farmer’s market finds.

23. Get in the Hammock

There is nothing like a lazy day of summer where you get to be lazy. If you happened to find a hammock during your yard sale spree, be sure to take some well-deserved time to lay in it. Recharge your batteries before school starts and summer is just another memory.

 

What are your plans for making the most of this summer? Got any fun trips planned?

13 comments

in Just For Fun, Kids, Practical Solutions, Travel Cheap

13 Comments

  1. Athena // July 7, 2014

    Great list Anna! I love the one about mental health days, those are more important than people realize.

  2. My Alternate Life // July 7, 2014

    What a great list! I really love the idea of doing things you loved as a kid. We used to have so much fun running around, doing nothing!

    • Anna Newell Jones // July 9, 2014

      Seriously! I used to love trying to catch lightning bugs… those were the days!;)

  3. Pieliekamais // July 8, 2014

    Anna! I sold a set of dumbbells as part of the minimalist challenge, and bought some ostrich ice-cream with some of the money :D. At an ostrich farm :D. Coconut and pineapple flavour.

  4. Aoife // July 8, 2014

    love the suggestions. Are mental health days common in the US? I’ve worked in a number of private and public organisations in the UK and I think the request would be met with an appointment with occupational health!

    • Anna Newell Jones // July 9, 2014

      You know, I’ve heard of them here and there but I’ve never used one or even tried to use one. I’d be curious to know how they are viewed by employers…

    • Gretchen // August 25, 2014

      Oh no, you don’t call in for a “mental health day.” That would NOT fly. Employers would either 1. not let you off work and write your name on some list somewhere of problem employees or 2. send you to occupational health and that sounds like the opposite of good for your mental health.

      But do call in for the flu, perhaps a bout of food poisoning. One day. No big deal. Rarely does anyone ask a question.

  5. Noah // July 18, 2014

    These are definitely productive and entertaining ways to spend the remainder of your summer. It’s definitely the ideal time to travel with family and friends as well. But it’s noteworthy to know that places in Europe tend to be more expensive than the Caribbean around this time of the year. So if you are planning to go on a big trip, aim for the ocean. Plus, it’s the summer! We should all enjoy the sun as much as possible.

  6. Emily // July 21, 2014

    These are some great and fun ideas for how to spend your summer.

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