South of Metro | With summer quickly approaching, many of us are indulging the fantasy of lounging on a tropical beach with yummy cocktails or taking a long-awaited road trip. As exciting as those things sound, the fantasy is often dashed when reality hits: these things cost money.
Summer is the prime season for the Fear of Missing out, also known as FOMO — when we’re tempted to join friends and family for exciting trips even though funds are low and we can’t afford to take the time off. But summer can still be a blast without jet-setting to the nearest island. Here are a few options to enjoy yourself this summer without draining your bank account.
Be a Tourist in Your Own City
It’s nice to take a vacay to an exotic location, but more often than not, we tend to overlook all the fun things to do in our own backyards. Create a list of all the things in the city that you always say you want to do, but never have the time to get around to, and make a commitment to finally try them.
Game Night/BBQ with Friends
Two of my favorite things are good food and spending time with good people. Summer is the best time to enjoy both of these! The year gets busy, but summer seems to be the time when we all would rather be outside in warm weather instead of an office.
Coordinate a summer get-together at your or a friend’s house for everyone to catch up. Have each person bring a favorite game, snack, or drink, and fire up the grill. If you really want to give the ultimate summer vibes, set up tropical-themed decorations. It’s a great way to have some laughs, delicious barbecue, and make new memories with friends — and that’s really what summer is all about, right?
Throw a Private Pool Party
Some friends of mine recently came up with the idea to rent out a fun space with a pool to celebrate summer, as well as everyone’s work accomplishments this year. If you want to indulge in a modern, luxurious atmosphere for a few hours with friends, Peerspace is a unique online marketplace that gives you the opportunity to book short-term spaces for fun events. With hourly rates for all price ranges, you and your friends can chip in to have your own private pool party for way less than the cost of a tropical vacation!
Have a Summer-Themed Photo Shoot
Whether you’re a pro with the camera or a novice, take advantage of the sunshine for a fun photo shoot. This can be done with your partner or a group of friends, or even solo.
If the photo shoot is with a group, everyone can pick out their favorite summer outfits, go to a scenic location and take turns indulging their inner supermodel. Bonus points if you get some good shots and make a little summer cash selling them to stock photo websites.
Indulge in a Getaway
If you hardly ever take trips throughout the year, all the staycations in the world won’t make up for the experience of a new destination. In that case, it probably makes sense to plan some time away to reset and refresh.
Still, the key is to have an experience that reasonably fits your budget. Unless you’ve been stashing away stacks of cash before summer rolls around, you may not be able to swing two weeks at a luxury resort in Maui.
What’s that you say? Just put it on a credit card? Not on my frugal watch! Kidding… kind of. While you should definitely enjoy life, you also don’t want to spend the next year or more paying interest on a vacation you really couldn’t afford to begin with.
Maui might be out of the question, but there are plenty of other desirable options that won’t leave you financially drained. New Orleans, Las Vegas, Austin, and Chicago are just a few places that have fairly cheap airfare year-round, and plenty of entertainment to satisfy nearly every type of traveler.
Summer is a season that comes and goes like all the others. Those tropical beaches and yummy cocktails will still be around next summer, so it’s not a done deal if you have to skip some festivities this year.
You might get hit with a wave of FOMO if you see photos on social media of your friends while you’re still at work. If it’s too much, you’re not a terrible person should you decide to mute certain threads or take a social media break for a little while. It might even be the best way to make time for all of the other cool activities you’ll be doing in the meantime!