How would you define your best summer?
For me, it’s a mix of factors that help create the best summer possible.
I think that we begin summer with a list of things that we hope we will experience, some are for nostalgia, some are out of necessity, and others are just because we are claiming that this will be the year that we actually do it!
So what do I need for my best summer?
1. An action plan that is intentional
As much as we want summer to be free-flowing, we still need some plans scheduled for our summer leisure time.
For example, every summer my husband and I say that we are going to take the boys fishing …and then we don’t.
Not because we didn’t want to, but because we didn’t plan to, and we allowed other things to be a priority instead.
That isn’t always a bad thing, but it can be lame if you are just watching hours of tv instead of what you really want to do.
Now don’t me wrong, I love to binge-watch Netflix shows like everyone else, but I also love adventure so I need both.
2. Create a Summer Bucket List with your family
Invite everyone in your family to be involved in suggesting ideas for what they want to do this summer.
It’s nice to have options to cross off when you are looking for things to do.
You can make your own Summer Bucket List from my free printable.
Need Summer Bucket List ideas?
I’ve got 25 Summer Bucket List Ideas to get you started here.
3. Connect with Nature
Whether it’s camping, hiking, staying in a cabin, or just walking on the beach. You can camp locally or camp as a way to save money on an upcoming summer vacation.
We discovered that Winton Woods in Ohio has great local camping.
We also love glamping in cabins too. You can find great cabin options in Hocking Hills, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg.
Ziplining is another great way to spend the day in nature and add a little adventure to your life. You can find lots of ziplining options here.
4. Enjoy the Simple Things
Summer plans don’t have to always be expensive.
There are so many simple elements that make summer great.
Sitting outside in the late evening next to a campfire with your favorite beverage while you listen to kids’ play. Playing lawn games, inviting friends over for a backyard BBQ, or join your kids and create art with sidewalk chalk or blow bubbles.
You can get even more ideas to slow down summer here.
5. Get Your Hair WET!
When you get your hair wet it means that you are fully committed to play.
I interact with my kids differently when I’m trying to preserve my dry hair. You need to take a few moments this summer where “wet hair don’t care.”
6. Make the most of your weekends or days off
You can still create mini-vacations with day trips and mini road trips. A few of our favorite local day trips have been to Columbus- Indiana, Columbus-Ohio, and Red River Gorge.
Find a non-profit that you have a heart and serve a few hours a week. When we serve others we benefit as well. We get perspective and appreciation.
I discovered one of my all-time favorite non-profits while living in Grand Rapids, MI.
8. Be a tourist in your own city
I guarantee that you have not discovered all that is offered in your own town.
I make it my mission to find things in my city and the more that I find, the more I realize that I’m just scratching the surface.
Check out the local tours to see your city from another perspective.
Here are some of my favorite staycation ideas in Cincinnati.
9. Be intentional with your vacation week
You can still find ways to enjoy summer on all budget levels.
Just try to find something to look forward to every day whether you are vacationing far or staycationing close.
10. Do your research
This is critical in so many ways. You will save money and you will be able to determine the best options for your family that fit your needs and leisure desires.
You will plan to fail if you fail to plan!
You can get a full list of 51 Great Ideas for Your Best Family Summer Vacation here.
Disclosure: This conversation was sponsored by Taking the Kids, however, all opinions are my own!