Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Daycation

Are you longing to get away this summer? With the rising price of gasoline, food and... well, just about everything, many people are cutting back or eliminating their big vacation trips this year. Just this morning, I was watching the morning news and one of the larger water parks in the area had a commercial touting the “Daycation”… a vacation for just a day – not a new idea… but definitely a timely one in today’s economy.

We still haven’t planned our vacation for this year – but you can be assured that it will not be one of our two or three week long, road-trip adventures of the past. Those days aren’t over, but they’re definitely on hold until the economy corrects itself.

I started making a mental list of places and activities that could be considered “Daycations” – with a little online research and some creativity, your options could be endless.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks – There are endless locations to have a great time at a place like this. Only drawback, they can be pricey with admission, food and any souveniers or games.

Campgrounds – You don’t have to spend the night to have a great time. Put up a small tent early in the morning, make use of all the campground facitlies (we have one near us that has a fantastic pool!), take a hike, rest in the tent, grill up your meals and, when the day is over – pack up & go home… or stay – it’s your choice!

Hit the Beach – The ocean isn’t a day option unless you live on the coast, but if you do – what a great day! Here in California, this is one of our favorite options when the weather in the valley is scorching, it’s always perfect (or even on the cool side) at the beach! Set up your portable canopy (or even that camping tent) to stay out of the direct sun, and spend the day with a picnic lunch, make some fantastic sandcastles, go wading in the cool water, find some shells or sea glass, grill up some dinner and, if it’s allowed at your beach, have a campfire and make smores! Our favorite beach even offers full bathrooms with showers – and a seaside indoor restaurant in the summer!

Water is always a hit – So, maybe the ocean isn’t an option, but there are lakes, streams and rivers everywhere! Gather up the same supplies as you would for the beach and hit the shore or banks.

Make it a mystery – Go on a mystery trip. Yes, this will entail driving, and is probably not an option if you live in an area that is sparsely populated, but if you live in a place like California, a mystery trip can be so much fun! It’s easy to do – simply grab a stack of 3x5 cards – on each write a direction such as “get off at the next exit”, “take the next highway that ends in an odd number”, “turn right at the next stop sign/light”, “stop in the next town”, "go north"… anything you can think of! Shuffle the deck of cards and put them in a ziplock, wherever they won’t get lost or scattered everywhere.

Pack a picnic lunch if you’d like and fill the cooler with drinks and snacks (it could be a long trip!). Start off by picking a direction to go (north, south, east or west), and drive, every ten minutes (or whatever intereval you choose) draw a card from the pile and do what it says – you never know what great things you’ll find. We’ve gone through towns that we never knew existed, found fantastic little shops and antique stores, eaten in really fun restaurants and just plain had a great time. I like to keep a AAA guidebook for my state (and a map - just in case) in the car, that way when I know we’re coming to a town, I can quickly look to see if there’s anything fun to do there. Just a word of caution though: Use you better judgement when doing this – as sometimes the “cards” may take you to a place that is better left unexplored (you know what I mean) – simply head a different way.

Getting away, leaving the housework, the office, even the telephone and computer behind can be good for your sanity and the soul. If taking a big vacation is out of the question this year, don’t give up on the thought of rest – try a few “daycations”. When people ask you what you did during the summer, you’ll have lots of great stories to tell and you’ll have gotten the downtime you need.

- Liz

Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

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