On a recent beach vacation, I–the queen of time management–totally lost track of time. It was every bit as wonderful as you are imagining. In the mornings, we would get up before the heat of the day set in and explore one of the area attractions. By noon, we were at the beach or pool. In the evenings, my husband offered to stay with our sleeping toddler while I walked the beach looking for shells. Wash, rinse, repeat. I did not want to come home.
But our 11-hour road trip back home got me to thinking. Who says you can’t hold on to that vacation feeling all summer? I know, I know. You still have things to do and places to be. But what if you could do just a couple of things to make hectic weeks seem more like they’re on island time?
Here’s my list of some simple things I’m doing this summer to make it happen:
- Institute a family happy hour Mix up a pitcher of lemonade and a tray of light snacks. No screens allowed. Just hang out as a family on the patio for an hour as soon as everyone is home.
- Do things on weeknights For us, it’s hiking in the early evening that gets me over the midweek hump. Instead of packing everything into the weekend, why not visit splash pads, see movies or go to playgrounds or museums on a weeknight? Bonus: They’re less crowded!
- Clean less by being outside more I like this rule SO MUCH. Your clean house can’t get messed up if you’re outside.
- Meal plan on Sundays or cook dinner after dinner There are plenty of meal prep plans out there, but I am also a fan of every other night cooking–either make two dinners at once or cook a simple meal after dinner. Bonus points for grilling!
- Turn on the tunes Turn off the tv and turn on feel-good music that reminds you of your favorite times and places. Oldies are always a family-friendly summer favorite!
- Wash and wear I’m a fan of fancy tops and delicate fabrics, which require more care. But on vacation it’s all wash-and-wear. Make summer easier by doing this as much as possible!
- Incorporate sights, smells and flavors Whether it’s a strand of colorful patio lights, burning a scented candle or adding coconut as an ingredient, surround yourself with small inexpensive touches that remind you of good times.
What do you do to keep that vacation feeling all summer long? Tell us in the comments!