Submitted Date 07/22/2019

Can you believe we are halfway through summer? In a few weeks, the kids will be going back to school, and it will be time to settle into the school year routine. Bus pickups and dropoffs, after school activities, and fall football games. Still, does this mean you can't take one last-minute vacation? Of course not! You can find plenty of places to go for a last-minute vacation or an awesome staycation.

Ideas for Last Minute Vacations

When I think of last-minute vacations, I think of places you can get to in 6-8 hours, as the states around you, not necessarily jumping on a plane. However, you could if you wanted to.

1. Amusement/Water Parks-If you live near a state with a vast amusement park like Six Flags, or a huge water park, take a trip for one last wet n wild or roller coaster blast.

2. Visit the Capital City in the Next State Over-Take some time and plan a visit to the capital city in the next state over. Plan a mix of historical, educational, and fun activities.

3. The Big City-Take a few days and visit the next most prominent city in the next state over.

4. Museums-Visit the big city and go to a few museums.

5. Theme Parks-If you live close to Disneyland or Disney World you may be able to snag some exclusive deals after the summer rush.

6. National Parks-Take some time to enjoy nature with the family.

7. Stay at a Lodge- Some states have lodges where you can stay in the mountains. If you live near a mountainous state, this may be a relaxing last-minute vacation.

8. Go to the beach-Go to the nearest beach for some end of summer fun in the sun.

9. Rent an RV-Instead of everyone being cramped up in the car or an SUV, rent an RV for your trip. Just make sure you get extra insurance.

10. Outlet Malls-If their are outlet malls close by, gather a group of friends, rent a hotel room and shop until you drop. This is an excellent way to get started on Christmas shopping at a discount.

11. Take a "theme" related trip-If your family is into arcades and video games, hit up the best arcades in the next state over. If you like to bowl, hit up the best bowling alleys. Try going during the day, so it's not as crowded.

12. Package Deals-Look for package deals that include things that you want to do.

13. Go Camping-Pick out a nice campground that you have never been to and go camping.

14. "Foodie" Vacation-If you are a fan of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network see if any of the restaurants featured are near you. Plan a trip to go and eat at several of the restaurants featured.

Ideas for Staycations

What is a staycation? A staycation is a vacation in your town. You enjoy attractions and events around the city and also do fun things at home.

16. Camping in the Backyard-Gather the tent, sleeping bags and bonfire pit. Don't forget the hot dogs, graham crackers, Hershey bars, and marshmallows. Have your kids write some stories to tell around the fire.

17. Go to a fancy restaurant-Save your money and take your spouse or the family out to the most expensive restaurant in town.

18. Stay at a fancy hotel-Save your money and stay at the most expensive hotel in the city.

19. Go to a museum- Spend the day at a museum that either you have never been to or haven't been to in a while.

20. Go to the Farmer's Market-Spend a Saturday morning at the local farmer's market and then make something delicious for dinner that night.

21. Go fishing-Spend the day out on the boat or the riverbank with the family.

22. Travel Abroad-Choose a country you have always wanted to visit and get some books about that country at the library. Read the books and watch videos on YouTube about the country you want to visit. If the ingredients aren't too expensive, prepare a meal from that country for dinner. Some easy ideas are Italian, Chinese, and Mexican dishes.

23. Become a Tourist-Most people that live in a city for an extended period never go to the most popular tourist attractions. Why? They don't make the time. Look up the most popular tourist attractions in your town and visit.

24. Visit a Local Winery-Who says wine has to be expensive? Go and visit your local winery to see what they have to offer. Some wineries have entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer. Buy a few bottles and plan a romantic evening with your spouse soon.

25. Dust off the Board Games-Most of us has board games collecting dust in our closets and basements. Dig them out and have a family game night with your favorite pizza, snacks, drinks, and dessert.

26. Bike or Walk the local trails-Gather the family for some physical activity and bike or walk the trails in your town.

27. Go roller or ice skating together-Head out to your local rink for some fun on blades or wheels.

28. Pick some fruit-Go to your nearest "U-Pick" farm and pick some fresh berries and fruits to freeze and use later on.

29. Go out for dessert-Find the best place to go for your favorite dessert and treat yourself to something tasty.

30. Have a P.J. Party-Cozy up in your pajamas and watch movies together all night.

There are many ways you can have a great last-minute vacation or staycation. Decide what your last summer "bash" is going to be and have a blast with it.


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  • Mary Jaimes-Serrano 1 year, 7 months ago

    Carrie, thank you for sharing these tips and great ideas. My family and I actually just took what we called a mini-vacation to a theme park. We only had time to stay one night and crammed as much as we could into two days, but it was a nice way to get away from the chaos for a bit. I enjoyed reading this, thank you again. Have a great week.