5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Summer Vacation

Photo of 5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Summer Vacation by Jeremy Sutter

Taking a vacation is one of the quickest ways to spice up your life and get a break from your ordinary routine. It allows you to recharge your batteries and come back to your everyday life refreshed and ready to tackle the next hurdle.

However, it's easy to fall into the trap of always planning the same kinds of vacations. While this isn't necessarily a problem, variety is always good. Here are five ways you can inject some new thrills into your time away.

1. Plan for the Journey, Not the Destination

A road trip is perhaps the classic American vacation. The freedom of the open highway has beckoned travelers for decades, but it is less popular today as other forms of travel have become faster, more accessible, and more affordable.

You can plan a road trip in a few different ways. You might decide to drive the length of a particular highway – Route 20 goes all the way across the U.S., for example, and it's not a major interstate, allowing you the freedom to explore little towns along the way – or you might pick a destination, but decide you won't take any highways to get there. It makes the trip longer, for sure, but the chance to really see the country and experience small towns is not to be missed.

2. Set Yourself a Photography Challenge

With social media ever-present, sharing the perfect shot of your adventure is always at the back of your mind. Rather than focusing on getting the absolute best photo of every moment, set yourself a photography challenge to test your skills. Think about shooting with film, all in black-and-white, or only in square formatting. You'll come out with beautiful pictures as well as stronger skills.

3. Spend Some Time in Nature

Even if your idea of a perfect vacation is relaxing on the beach at an all-inclusive resort, take some time to experience the great outdoors. This is the perfect time to get to know the wilderness like never before. As the world becomes more and more interconnected and interdependent on screens and technology, taking even a day or two to fully unplug can have startlingly positive effects. Connecting through wilderness therapy can be a excellent way to, get to know each other better, uncover truths about yourself, and energize yourself in a lasting way.

4. Carry a Notebook

It might sound counterintuitive to carry a notebook with you when you're trying to unplug on vacation, but it's actually not. People who are artists are used to carrying around little notebooks in order to record inspiration they find, but this technique can be extremely beneficial to everyone.

With a small, pocket-sized notebook, you can record little things you notice, tips on where to eat, short diary entries about your travels, sketches of memorable places, and more. By taking the time to actually write – rather than type on a phone – you'll actually remember your trip better. Plus, you'll have a little travel notebook as a personal, intimate souvenir of your adventures.

5. Once a Day, Unplug

At least once a day, make the conscious choice to unplug from your devices. Whether you're visiting an exciting destination, enjoying a delicious meal, or simply walking through unfamiliar streets, take some time each day to relax and experience the world around you. You're outside of your ordinary life when you travel, so leave the Internet at home.

This is a great chance to find a comfortable spot and settle in with a snack or a drink for some people-watching. You can learn a great deal about a place by simple focusing on being present in it, and it has a way of making the rest of your vacation experience that much more special. This is also a great time to set aside to write or take some photos – as long as you're not using your phone!

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