Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! Today couldn’t have come fast enough for me!
It’s been a busy and, admittedly- pretty stressful week at work- with a lot of overtime, late nights, and earlier-than-I-care-to-think-about mornings. I’m excited to have a half day at my office today, and am rather looking forward to getting a proper night’s sleep over the course of this weekend. I really, really need it!
I hate to say it, but Summer is coming to an end- and in a couple of weeks we’re going to be into September, Labor Day, and the beginning of all things Fall. Although it’s my favorite season and I have plenty planned around New England to savor every moment of it- I’m a little sad to be saying farewell to the Summertime. I’m going to miss long days, late nights at the beach, bonfires and BBQs.
Of course, the pressure is on to squeeze as much last-minute Summertime fun into the schedule as possible- which can cause some serious stress and FOMO to those, like me- who work a lot- so I’ve compiled a handy little guide that has benefited me over the past few years when it comes time to put the flip flops away and start shopping for cute boots and sweaters again.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR VACATION TIME/PTO
If you’re itching to take a few days off from work, plan a trip, etc. and you know you’ve got earned (and owed!) vacation time left to use up at your job- ask for a print-out or a written record of how many hours/days/weeks you have for your personal file and reference- and go from there!
In my case, I have about 3 weeks of unused time at my company that I can take- whenever I want- before the end of the year, and although I’d been saving a good chunk of that time for October and Halloween-related festivities- I plan on using a couple of days within the next 2-3 weeks for some stress-free beach days and pool lounging.
Once you have a better idea of how much time you have at your disposal, making plans is a *lot* easier!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE LATE SUMMER FARES
With students heading back to school and classes starting up shortly (if they haven’t done so already!) many popular tourist destinations and vacation hot spots are going to be a lot less crowded than they were throughout June and July. If you’re thinking of taking a day trip, a weekend away- or a full-blown vacation- now is the time!
And when it comes to saving some money for booking flights or hotels- you’re in luck- because September is typically when fares are at the lowest (especially for those trying to book trips around the holidays!) so keep an eye out for weekly sales- they typically go into effect on Tuesdays and run through Thursdays- to compare prices and save some serious cash.
MAKE A LIST- AND CHECK IT TWICE
No, not the type of list where you’re keeping track of nice and naughty kids- I’m talking about a list of the places/things/activities you want to do before the end of the Summer. I use my notepad app on my phone to help me out when I’m planning day trips. I list what I want to do/see- ranked from what I absolutely and 100% have to get done before Fall arrives to what I can wait to do ’til next Summer- and where each of these places/things are located.
Then, when I’m on the road of planning my day off adventures- I can check the list, see what’s left, and go from there! For example, the other night while traveling to Easthampton- I crossed “get a milkshake at Cindy’s Drive-In” off my list. It’s a little roadside 50s style food stand that remains open throughout the Spring and Summertime only- and I had been dying to go since passing by it last month!
I had one of their German Chocolate Milkshakes- and it was awesome.
GET A HEAD START ON THE FALL DE-CLUTTER
I’m not saying you have to pack up your swimsuits and put your shorts in storage right this minute- but now is the perfect time to begin easing your way into your Fall wardrobe and/or makeup as painlessly as possible.
Those wedge sandals you wore to your cousin’s wedding last month but haven’t touched since? Those can be packed up. The Patriotic tee you tossed on for the 4th of July festivities? Into the closet it can go. How about the aqua eyeliner you’ve been wearing every day since Memorial Day that has been worn down to nearly nothing? Yeah, that can get tossed until you buy a new one next Summer.
As you wear your late Summer outfits- ask yourself when you plan to wear them again before the Fall. If there’s no definitive answer- wash them or have them dry-cleaned and pack them away ’til next year!
This doesn’t just apply to clothing/makeup, either. Every year around this time, I go through my e-mail inbox to unsubscribe from mailing lists and advertisements from companies/businesses I haven’t bought anything from/visited in a long time. That restaurant I made an online reservation with back in June but haven’t returned to since? That clothing company I bought a couple of sundresses from for backyard BBQs and who have been e-mailing me 5 times a day ever since? Yeah. No thanks.
As I get the alerts- I’ll go in, so who the e-mail is from- and if it’s not anything I’m interested in, I unsubscribe. If a company/business is persistent, even after I’ve requested they cease e-mailing me promotions- the trusty block feature works wonders!
This sort of de-cluttering is especially helpful leading up to the holidays, when e-mail advertisements go into hyperactive mode. I like to get it done early!
STAY HYDRATED AND WEAR SPF.
I think this one goes without saying. Summer might be ending- but that doesn’t mean the hotter days are going to be over and done with anytime soon. Remember to drink lots of water and wear lots of sunscreen.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU DON’T ACCOMPLISH ALL YOUR PLANS
So that camping trip in the mountains didn’t pan out as expected and you didn’t get around to signing up for those surfing lessons you swore you’d try way back in the Spring. Relax. Life happens and not everything we want to do or plan to do can go right 100% of the time. We may have the best intentions- but that doesn’t mean work or family or personal matters are going to just go along with those intentions.
If you didn’t accomplish everything on your Summer ’18 “To-Do” list- it’s okay. A lot of outdoor activities are just as much fun in the Fall (maybe even moreso since it won’t be so hot out and there won’t be as many bugs!) and worst case scenario? You add it to the top of your list for Summer 2019! It’s not the end of the world.
Just grab a final scoop of ice cream before it’s gone and enjoy the last of these long, late and lazy days!
Those are just some of my tips/tricks to making the most out of these final days of Summer. As always, if you have tips of your own- feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment and share what you do to wind down for the end of the Summer!
But that does it for me this week. I’m going to wrap up a few things at my office and then head out to hit the town- and the coast!
Enjoy your Friday, everyone- and have a safe and wonderful weekend! I’ll see you all on Monday!
– Ashley –