It’ll be August before we know it. While we’ll be looking towards the new school year, we wonder if one last summer vacation can be fit in. But has the window for memorable travel experiences closed on us? Can we find any options when everyone plans their vacations months in advance? And who has the time, or the cash, to plan a last-minute vacation in August?
OK, yes, a jaunt through Paris probably isn’t in the cards. But you can absolutely plan a weekend adventure filled with quality, family time before school is back in session.
Here are Five Tips on How to Make the Most out of Last-Minute Summer Weekend Travel
Embrace the road trip
If you haven’t taken a road trip, you don’t know what you’re missing. Affordable and fun, road trips are a great way for families to explore and make awesome memories without a ton of resources. Look at a map together and find a new place to explore. Make sure the car is safe for long distances, pack it with snacks and games, and take off! No elaborate itinerary required.
Plan around just one or two activities
If your kids love to swim, stay at a hotel with water amenities or a campground with swimming options. If they love sports, drive to the nearest professional team and catch a game. Locate one amazing hike the family is excited to conquer. Do they love children’s museums, history or art? Explore that passion. The point here is to not overwhelm your vacation (or the kids!) with too much busyness. This ultimately results in less time to bond as a family. Instead, be realistic with your limited time and make the most of it by focusing on one or two super cool activities.
The more the merrier
Short weekend trips are a fun way to explore new relationship without too much of a commitment. Consider inviting new friends or extended family along to join the weekend getaway. Let them know where you’ll be staying and a general idea of your plans. This is an opportunity to make memories as a group, and you can still steal away for moments with just your family. Sometimes, having more people to share memories and experiences with helps to make the most out of life.
Ditch the expectations
Some of the best family vacations we’ve taken are those in which we had minimal expectations. Of course exploring cultures, natural wonders and historical areas is great for a kid, but don’t underestimate the beauty of simplicity and uncomplicated agendas. Our last-minute, beach front rental along the Gulf coast is one my family’s best vacations ever. My son (an early riser) and I would watch the sun rise over the canal and later we’d take our home-cooked meal down to the beach to watch the sun set. Pure bliss, simple and memories I’ll cherish forever.
Unplug to really connect
It’s only one weekend, so why not unplug from the devices and connect with the people in front of you?! Savoring the moments in real time and truly being present will help make your last-minute vacation feel way more elaborate and exciting. Plus, you can always share later once you’re back home.