Three tips for planning your summer vacation

Three tips for planning your summer vacation

This week, Mama Kat has prompted me to write about a memorable summer. I immediately knew which summer that was: 2009. Here are my top three tips for planning a summer vacation:

1) Plan a trip.

2) Host a party.

3) Sign up for a summer sport.

Here' s why:

1) Plan a trip. Our summer trips have changed A LOT over the years. In 2009, we traveled to Southeast Asia (Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand) to visit a friend. That worked for us then. Post-child, our family takes a yearly trip to a friend's lake house in Charlevoix, Michigan. That's what works for us now. I look forward to a trip because:

  • Traveling takes me outside of my comfort zone. I was worried about my homebody husband in Asia. His reaction: "Asia is way better than Europe. Europe is like an old United States. I feel like I'm really somewhere different here."
  • Most of our summer trips include friends. It is way more fun (and way cheaper) to travel con amigos.
  • I escape the daily grind. Not being on my own turf means I can't be bothered with the mail, laundry, or dog (sorry, Sophie).

2) Host a party. My parents turned 60 and 70 in the summer of 2009, and we threw them a huge party. I love hosting parties, and here's what makes them fun:

  • We get to celebrate a milestone. People turn out for milestone events (birthdays, graduations, etc). Especially when there's cake.
  • Everyone gets into the theme. That same summer, I hosted an engagement party for my Sox fan friend and her Cubs fanatic fiancé. You can bet that their respective sides dressed up accordingly.
  • I try to include a memorable novelty. For my parents' party, I focused on where they were born: I flew in crab legs from Maryland (not so cheap) for my dad, and Blue Bunny ice cream (very cheap) for my mom.

3) Sign up for a summer sport. Soccer was our sport of choice for four years. My husband and I would play in a weekly league with our friends. 2009 was the best, because our team also dominated trivia at the local watering hole. Here's why I miss that summer:

  • I exercised, and it was actually fun. I will run, but I kind of really very much hate it. However, running around for a purpose is way okay, a littler better. 
  • We were participating in an activity that couldn't last forever. Obviously, summer weather only lasts for a finite amount of time. And now that we're in the 'burbs, playing soccer with our city friends is just not as easy.
  • Hubby and I had a built-in date night. While we didn't need it pre-child, it was still great to have that day on the calendar. I miss playing a team sport with my guy.

What was your most memorable summer? What tips do you have for planning a summer vacation?

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