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Hot Tips to Keep Your Summer Vacation Cool (and Calm)

It’s here! It’s finally here! Although Summer Solstice is still a few more days away, Alice Cooper’s famous tune can be heard tumbling from the lips of kids everywhere; you know the one: “School’s out for Summer; School’s out for-EVER!” 

Summer

Even if you don’t get to take the entire summer off anymore, that sense of freedom at the start of summer is more palpable than the humidity (and that’s saying something); schedules are more relaxed, longer days offer more time for fun activities like making s’mores and going out for ice cream, and best of all, that highly anticipated Summer Vacation you’ve been waiting for (for what feels like forever) is finally within reach. 

Summer

Whether you’re headed off on an epic weeks-long tour through Europe, or you’re road-tripping it to your favorite beach destination, you’ve more than likely been planning and looking forward to your Summer Vacation for months, if not even longer. And after all the anticipation, you definitely don’t want to drop the ball now when it comes to last minute preparations and on location success strategies. 

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Don’t worry, because as always, the team at Love of the Magic Vacations has got your back with tried and true tips and tricks to making the most of your Summer Vacation. Here are our…

Hot Tips to Keep Your Summer Vacation Cool (& Calm)

Summer

1. Check and Plan for the Weather in Your Destination

While the words “Summer Vacation” often conjure images of bikinis and tiki drinks, not all destinations offer the same stereotypical “summer” experience (thank goodness, right? Traveling wouldn’t be nearly as fun and interesting if everywhere you went was exactly the same!). Be sure to do some research on the climate of wherever you’re visiting so that your packing choices align with the type of summer weather you’re most likely to experience in your destination. 

Summer

For example, while most of the Southern United States has been super hot for months now, the Northern-most States have only just begun to edge into t-shirt-and-shorts temperatures in June, and most nights (through July and August as well) still require a sweater and/or pants. On the other hand, some travelers may not realize that places like Florida get rain almost every day, so it’s smart to bring along a very lightweight raincoat to stash in a bag for whenever the downpour hits. 

Venice

In addition, because of its climate, much of Europe doesn’t have air conditioning because they historically didn’t need it (even if your hotel does, many sites you probably want to visit during the day may not), but heat waves during European summers have been on the rise, so it’s worth checking the weather and planning for it just in case. And conversely, if you’ll be heading to Alaska during the summer months (when it’s so popular to take a cruise there), you definitely won’t want to forget lots of layers, and maybe even a lightweight packable parka since nights can get down to the 40s, even in summer. 

Summer

One more note about weather: no matter where your Summer Vacation takes you, the one thing most of us don’t picture on our ideal getaway is rain. But unfortunately, it can and sometimes does, rain, maybe not on your parade, but on your vacation can feel just as bad. Therefore, it’s definitely worth having a few rainy day ideas up your sleeve just in case. Museums, aquariums, and even going to the movies are all solid go-to rainy day activities that you can find almost anywhere. 

Summer

2. Pack Strategically 

Most of what you pack will be based on, you guessed it, the climate and predicted weather of your destination. However, your mode of transportation, and your preferred luggage situation will also dictate what you can or cannot pack. The packing strategies for a road trip to the beach versus a European Tour with multiple hotels and little time to unpack and repack are vastly different, as I’m sure you can imagine. 

Summer packing

If you are traveling by plane, you’ll first have to decide whether you’ll be checking your luggage or carrying it on. This is a hotly contested debate among travelers, and many frequent flyers are staunchly either TeamCarryOn or TeamChecked, but if you’re not sure how to decide, check out this guide to help (or take this quiz to guide your choice if you enjoy a fun quiz format!). Checking your luggage will allow you to bring your favorite sunscreen and toiletries, but you should also plan to stash an extra change of clothes in your Carry On just in case your checked bags get delayed. And speaking of stashing extras…

Summer packing

A huge part of packing will be evaluating how much you can conveniently bring with you versus how much you will have to pick up when you arrive at your destination. If you are taking a road trip and have a car full of room with no liquid size or luggage weight restrictions, it might actually be more convenient to just bring along some favorite and preferred items, such as sunscreens and bug sprays (especially if you use organic ones that are difficult to find), boxes of snacks to get you through the week (and the car ride itself, too), and any favorite pool/water toys and floaties! 

Suitcase

On the other hand, if your packing capacity is restricted by airline mandates and the size of your Carry On, “packing strategically” may mean deciding what you can leave home, and what you can purchase from a local grocery store or pharmacy when you get to your destination. Depending where you’re traveling, you might even be able to have a grocery delivery waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive, complete with toiletries, sunscreens, snacks, breakfast food and anything else you weren’t able to pack in your carry on! Your favorite LOTMV Travel Advisor will have some recommended vendors for these types of services if you need!

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3. Hydrate, Apply Sunscreen, Hydrate & Repeat

If you’re going anywhere to have “fun in the sun” on your Summer Vacation, you’ll want to prioritize taking care of your body to make sure your time in the sun stays…fun! While there’s hardly anything better than spending time outdoors and soaking up some natural Vitamin D, being out in the sun for longer than you’re used to can also have a negative effect on your body if you don’t take the necessary precautions. 

Summer

Since we all get a little extra sticky in the warmer summer months, it’s extra important to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Kiddos who are running around will benefit from hydrating snacks like watermelon, cucumbers, ice pops, and coconut water, as will grown ups who might be indulging in celebratory drinks a bit more during their Summer Vacation. Be sure to throw a case of water in your trunk if you’re driving, or order one to arrive at your destination when you get there, or alternatively, bring reusable water bottles to fill throughout your trip!

Summer

And, of course, when you’re out in the sun, don’t forget to apply sunscreen every few hours. You don’t want to get a bad sunburn on your first day that makes the rest of your trip painful and unpleasant (I may or may not be speaking from experience on this one), and you definitely don’t want a hurting sunburnt kiddo, either. It’s worth setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to reapply every few hours; besides, tan lines are definitely out, and healthy, glowing, dewy, hydrated skin is definitely in!

Summer

4. Schedule In Relaxation Time

As tempting as it may be to schedule and plan ALL THE THINGS, try to leave at least half of each day (or every other day if you’re really Type A) free to relax during your Summer Vacation. With the exception of Group Tours, Alaskan Cruises, European Tours and trips of that nature (where you already have your head wrapped around sightseeing as much as possible), a “Summer Vacation” usually evokes images of sitting poolside, or on the beach with your toes in the sand, holding a cold drink in one hand and that book you’ve been waiting to read in the other. 

Summer

Chances are, if you don’t purposefully schedule in some downtime, you’ll run around doing a million things, all of which can be super fun and great experiences, but you likely won’t end your Summer Vacation feeling rested and rejuvenated.

Summer

Of course, relaxation and downtime are completely subjective; “resting” for an extremely active, high-intensity person could be leisurely kayaking across a lake instead of their usual 10K a day run, while that same kayaking could be another person’s activity for the day, and watching the sunset while sipping a glass of wine is their true downtime. To each their own, as always, but whatever your definition of relaxation is, be sure to purposefully schedule it into your itinerary multiple times throughout your trip. 

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Take it from us Travel Advisors, whose literal job it is to plan out everything…if you don’t plan in downtime, you’ll either forget, or run out of time to do something that truly relaxes you, even if that means literally penciling into your itinerary the words “do nothing.” 

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5. Fully Embrace the Summer Vacation Vibe

And speaking of “doing nothing”…that can actually be a pretty tough ask for some people. Not doing anything can sometimes cause more anxiety than relaxation, which is why the above example of kayaking was included, to illustrate how “relaxing” is different for everyone. And Summer Vacations are about so much more than “just relaxing” anyway…

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Growing up, one of my favorite books was Judy Blume’s classic, Summer Sisters (if you’re not familiar, it’s about the lifelong friendship of two girls who spend their summers together on Martha’s Vineyard, and it’s one of the best books ever, you should totally read it…on your Summer Vacation, of course). One of the descriptions that always stood out to me was how everyone morphed into their “Summer Selves” once they arrived on the island. Shoes were optional no matter where you were, bathing suits were the expected daily attire, popsicle stains were the only lipstick anyone wore, no one worried about tracking sand through the house, and obligations were stripped down to the bare minimum. 

beach

The idea of “morphing into a Summer Self” is something I’ve always carried with me; though I started by trying to become the Summer version of myself on Summer Vacations, I’ve definitely gone even further with it by leaning into my Summer Self for the entire season, no matter where I am, on vacation or at home. Although it’s mostly a shift in mindset, the effects of embracing a “Summer Self” are physically palpable, too. 

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If shifting into a Summer Self is something you’ve never thought about before, there’s no time or place more perfect to try it out than on your Summer Vacation. Whatever your Summer Self winds up meaning to you, I think it’s a concept that will enhance your whole Summer Season!

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Ready to Plan?

Now that you have the Hottest Tips to Keep Your Summer Vacation Cool (& Calm), I’d love to hear all about where you’ll be headed this summer (whether we planned together or not). Plus, if you’ve been looking forward to your whirlwind tour this summer, but are also hoping to snag a last minute summer escape for some relaxation time, I’d love to help you plan the perfect summer getaway! Contact me today at gina@lotmv.com to get started! And of course, whether you want a rejuvenating summer experience, or to plan your next vacation for any season, I will work with you to create the unique experience you’re looking for. 

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