Last minute summer vacations to make sure you get the most out of summer break
You know the feeling. The freedom of summer is winding down, but there's still a little time before the kids head back to school. You took a nice vacation last month, but it sure would feel good to get in some last minute summer vacations. Day trips or even an overnight trip can turn the end of summer into a time to make memories.
These last minute summer vacations should spark your imagination. Turn them into something your family will enjoy, or use them to get a jump on your own brainstorming sessions.
9 Last Minute Summer Vacations
1. Be a tourist in your hometown
We often overlook the fun and interesting activities that happen around us. What can you do close to home that you've never done before? Sign up for an architectural or historical walking tour. Go on a guided nature hike and learn about the fauna and flora in your area. There are unusual and unique museums all over the country; have you been to one near you?
2. Cross the border
Many airlines have last minute deals if you're up for an adventure. Toronto is known for its summer festivals, and there's never a bad time to visit the Bahamas.
No passport? No problem. If you live near a regional passport agency, schedule an appointment, and you may be able to get a new passport in less than two weeks. Even if you don't live near an agency, you can still apply for an expedited passport and opt for overnight shipping.
3. Sports getaway
The NFL holds training camps long before the season begins. Take a trip to see your favorite team in action. Most teams have at least a few practices open to the public, and they are usually free to attend.
If baseball is more your speed, minor league games are a true bargain. For instance, tickets for the Kane County Cougars, the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league team, are as low as $7. Or you can sit along the first base line for $15.
Professional soccer is a bit sparser in the U.S., but you can see the Chicago Red Stars for as little as $20 per ticket.
4. Backyard fun
Not all last minute summer vacations involve traveling. You can have a great time in your own backyard. Fire up the grill, invite a few of your best friends over, and have a bean bag toss tournament or even create your own miniature golf course.
Go to the library and get a bird watching book. See how many birds you can identify in your neighborhood. Divide your friends into teams and have a water gun battle. Or, do all of these and top it off with the next idea!
5. Make ice cream
Ice cream is the quintessential summer treat. You could always go on an ice cream road trip or host an ice cream championship, but it's also fun to make homemade ice cream. You don't even need special equipment. Scientific American has a recipe that also explains the science of ice cream. What's better than learning while you make a tasty treat?
6. Go on a road trip
Road trips don't have to be expensive to be fun. There are unique museums, beautiful parks, and swimming spots all over the country. For an inexpensive trip, put together your favorite sandwiches, throw some drinks in the cooler, and head out to your destination of choice. For budget accommodations, campgrounds have all the amenities you need without the big price tag. They do, however, fill up quickly in the summer, so call ahead for reservations.
7. Go on a cruise
While a cruise may not seem like a budget vacation, last minute deals aren't hard to find if you have a flexible schedule. Cruise Direct is a clearing house of special cruise deals with some trips as little as $75 per person per night. You may not even need a passport, as long as your cruise begins and ends at the same port.
8. Host a movie night
While a movie night isn't technically a vacation, it can feel like one if you set it up the right way. If you can, set up a projector and screen in your backyard. Rent a theater-style popcorn popper, invite your friends and neighbors (BYO beach chair!), and settle in for some summer favorites. E.T. is always a family favorite, but monster classics like Dracula or Creature From the Black Lagoon might be fun for older kids.
It's easy to forget that back-to-school preparation isn't so easy for some families. Programs like those supported by the Kids In Need Foundation offer free backpacks and school supplies to kids who may not be able to get them otherwise. Participate in a day or two of volunteering to help fill or distribute supplies to your neighbors and community.
The most important part of last minute summer vacations is to have fun. Whether it's a road trip, a backyard barbecue, or a family movie marathon (order pizza and watch all the Star Wars movies!), end summer by making memories.
Before you hit the road, call your Pekin Insurance agent to make sure you have the best auto insurance policy you can get. That's one thing you won't have to worry about when you're packing the overnight bag.