Pack Your Bags for These Last-Minute Summer Vacations
With the end of summer just around the corner, your thoughts may be centered around how to enjoy the last of the warm weather while relaxing on a mini vacation. With an abundance of options that include sightseeing, biking and even staying at home to explore local landmarks, there are a lot of great choices. If you’re ready to take a quick road trip but just need a little help, then keep these ideas in mind.
Hit the Road and Discover New Interests
Fall is on the horizon, so now is a perfect time to hit the road and explore your interests while also taking scenic routes to different destinations. But where should you go? If you want to plan a road trip around a specific interest or two, then take a look at the websites of official state tourism boards. For example, Wisconsin Department of Tourism helps visitors find cheese factories in the state, while New Hampshire’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development provides a foliage tracker for those who love taking in the beautiful fall colors. Whether you plan to splurge on a few purchases or take in the views, a road trip might be a fun and affordable getaway.
Expand Your Knowledge of History
It’s one thing to read books about a specific battle or a historical figure, but it’s another to explore the site in person. History buffs looking for a quick vacation destination can search the National Park Service site for notable parks and landmarks that pique their interest. You can look for a specific landmark or park, or explore the historic landmarks within your own state. These options allow you to plan a multi-day trip where you can visit several parks and landmarks, or plan a day trip where you focus on only one or two destinations. For example, you could spend a weekend in Springfield, Illinois, to visit the Lincoln Home or take a trip to California to see Yosemite National Park, Alcatraz Island and more.
Plan an Outdoor Adventure
From camping, biking and hiking to horseback riding and climbing, late summer is a great time to try a new outdoor activity or spend more time on a hobby you enjoy. Explore what’s available in your area through a travel website like Recreation.gov. Visitors to the website can search by destination or zip code for a perfect spot for outdoor activities. IIf you’re pressed for time, check with your local park district or forest preserve to find where you can enjoy activities like riding your bike or even renting a kayak.
Explore Your Hometown
You don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to explore museums and art galleries. There’s a good chance you can find some great local options for a fun staycation. You can soak up the local culture by checking out a new restaurant, taking in a concert that features local musicians, hearing a lecture in your local library, or browsing shops, all without making travel arrangements or paying for a hotel. Forest preserves, guided walking tours, amusement parks and scenic roads are all options to check out as well. If you’re unsure of what to do in your town on your staycation, consider traveling without using your own vehicle. You can walk, bike or use public transportation to explore places close to home.
Secure Your Home Before You Leave
There’s more to planning a quick trip than booking a perfect hotel. Remember to take time to keep your house as secure regardless of how long you’ll be gone. While you know to keep your vacation plans off social media, there’s more you can do to keep your valuables safe while you’re away. Homeadvisor.com recommends checking that all doors and windows are locked before you leave and using timers on lights throughout your home. Having a trusted friend or neighbor stop by to maintain your lawn may also give your home a lived-in appearance, according to Homeadvisor.com. You can also arrange for the United States Postal Service to hold your mail if you plan to be out-of-town for three or more days.
Planning a quick getaway can be as simple as hitting the local water park or a detailed tour of great historic spots. With a little bit of research, you can plan a fun, last minute adventure.
Originally posted on August 19, 2015.