After a looong semester filled with tests, projects, internships + on-campus activities, you’re *finally* home for summer vacay — what are you going to do first?! It’s easy to get a little jealous of our friends who are traveling abroad or going on vacation with their families, especially if we’re spending our free time working a 9-5 Monday through Friday. If your schedule or finances don’t allow you to go very far this summer, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of fun things you can do, right in your own hometown! Make the most of your *staycation* —
1] LEARN ITS HISTORY
Sure, you’ve either grown up in this area your whole life, or called it home for long enough to consider yourself a local — but what do you really know about it? Do you know why the city was founded? Have you had the chance to visit all of its historic monuments? Enjoy the thrill of exploring in your own backyard by booking a hop-on hop-off bus tour [if ya live in the city] or by visiting a nearby museum // gallery. Being a tourist in your own town helps you appreciate the everyday things you might normally take for granted.
2] GO TECH-FREE
If you were vacationing on a tropical island or visiting European cities, your cell phone data would most likely be turned off. Why not treat yourself to the same privacy without having to leave home? Spend a day [or two] taking a break from reality, by turning off your phone + blocking out all emails, social media updates, + group chat messages. Get in touch with nature by revisiting your favorite hiking trail, or grab a CHAARGie + try out a new one. You’ll thank yourself once you’re able to exist fully in the moment without any added distractions.
3] BOOK A ROOM
You know that fancy bed + breakfast you’ve driven by everyday + always dreamed of staying at? Set the mood for unwinding by fully indulging in the out-of-town experience. Maybe you’ll enjoy breakfast in bed, a relaxing spa treatment, or find a cozy corner to settle into a good book. Then, take a walk down your town’s Main Street or window shop in the local shops. Not every vacation has to be wild and exciting, + your staycation can be the perfect time to #reCHAARG for the busy weeks ahead.
4] SAY *CHEESE*
Drive around to all the local tourist hot-spots + stop to take a #selfie at each of ‘em. Even if you’ve seen that graffiti wall, city park, or the statue in town-square a million times, you can still make each moment your own + something to remember your city by. Keep it old-school by grabbing a disposable or an instant polaroid camera — that way, you won’t be able to worry about making sure that each image comes out perfect. One day, you may not call this place your home anymore, + you might just be thankful for these images to remember it by.
5] DO YO’ RESEARCH
Are you the type of person who likes to plan out their trips, down to the minute? Give your staycation with the same level of thought + organization by checking out online blogs, travel sites, + picking up a few pamphlets from your town’s Welcome Center. Browsing through the local events page on Facebook is a great way to find out about concerts, food + drink festivals, parades, ++ other fun local events you never thought of going to.
You don’t need to hop on a plane or wear a fanny pack in public in order to have fun this summer. Give yourself the break that you deserve — make the most of these longer, sunnier days by staying right where you are.
+Alyssa (amatts_inchaarg) // UConn CHAARG