12 things you must do before summer’s over
With autumn looming in the distance and limited time left of the summer’s sun, the great outdoors needs to be fully seized and enjoyed before it is too late! Road trips, camping trips, hikes, bike rides; all these things must be done before the miserable winter sets in and you regret your missed sunny opportunities. Don’t let that happen and don’t resign yourself to mere daydreams of the faraway exotic and hot locations when there’s still time! Get planning and get on board with any trips that you’ve been ‘umm’ing and ‘ahhh’ing about.
Do you need a little inspiration to get your ass in gear? Well, here’s a little list that is chock-a-block with ‘Must Do’s’ for you to get on with the last of the dying summers sun. And look at all the fun you could miss out on… you owe it to yourself. You owe it to summer.
1. Get a Good Crew Together
Now if this isn’t a perfect excuse to gather your buddies and have some hardcore bonding times, then I don’t know what is. Short trips guarantee laughter and fun, while long trips will allow you to learn (and love) so much more about your friends. More than you would realise! Sharing a small confined space of a car or a tent will bring out all aspects of their personalities, and even when you’ve seen them at their worst I’m sure you’ll love them even more! Nothing beats being on the road with your mates. Fully expect those memorable moments.
2. Eat delicious things over an open fire
Whether it’s BBQ or marshmallows over an open fire, it has to be done now! I for one am not a fire starting pro, but once a good roaring fire is going the possibilities are endless. My personal favourite (and super easy) would be Popcorn satchels. All you need is popcorn kernals, oil, salt and aluminium foil. Shake over the fire and get popping. Want to get a bit more gourmet? Then check out all the delicious things that are possible over a camp fire. My personal favourite are the peanut butter cookie s’mores. YUM.
3. Get Lost
Depending on iPhones and Sat Navs is a trustworthy way of getting from A to B, but whatever happened to the good ole maps? O right, they’d usually end up in confusion and accidental detours. Also known as getting lost. But hell, getting there is most of the fun! It’s all about the journey, not all about the destination, right? And who knows what you’ll find if you deviate from that path you thought was pretty straight forward and simple? You might never have found that strawberry farm with amazing berry milkshakes, or that calm river swimming spot. So even if you’re embarking on a little day trip or a week long road trip, turn that GPS off for a few hours and see what happens!
4. Find Secret Camping Spots
There are certain parks and areas that are definitely off limits for campers, but there are hoards of secret spots around that aren’t designated camps, and do the job fine. If not better! Get immersed in the woods, drive until no more street lights stain the night-sky, pull-up and get a camping chair out. Camp spot: done. Ignore the creepy feeling when you know you have your back to pure nothingness and dark wild countryside, crack open a beer and enjoy the knowledge that this spot is your spot.
5. Become one with nature
Ok, so I don’t mean run away in the woods and terrorize the poor napping creatures, but get involved with zoos while the weathers going good! Cruise on down to the top zoos, such as England’s Longleat, London Zoo or Cotswold Wildlife Park, where you can drive through lion dens and elephant watering holes. Make sure all windows are up when entering the monkey grounds or be prepared to be molested. Avoid that and you’re guaranteed a wholesome day with nature!
Or just head to your nearest children’s farm for a day and enjoy a wholesome day in the fresh air with docile cute animals. Embrace your inner child and check out Avon Valley Country Park if you’re ever in the South west of England where there’s animals galore, plus trampolines and go-karts.
6. Bathe in the Sea
When sleeping rough and on the road, showers and bathrooms aren’t at every corner. In fact you’ll be lucky to have a proper scrub down when road tripping around, but that’s all part of the experience! So what better way to get clean than jumping straight into the salty sea and letting nature cleanse your dusty skin. The sea in England will be a tad chilly but it’ll definitely wipe the cobwebs of that hangover away and wake you up with the ferocity of three espresso shots! Jumping over and under waves is pretty much the same as a bath, right? And then you have the perfect salt-encrusted beach bum hair that no hair products can mimic.
7. Treat Yourself for a Night
The joys of camping and sleeping/bathing rough can take its toll, so don’t beat yourself up about dreaming of your soft bed at home or your power shower all those miles away. We all love a touch of pampering (who doesn’t?) so why deny yourself a one night treat while on an epic trip? After two weeks of roughing it, one night in a plush hotel or a lovely location can save your soul and replenish your traveling drive. Check out Airbnb’s wishlist for a pick of some beautiful spots to tuck in for the night. And also, with any crappy weather that is sometimes inevitable, it would be nice to chill out somewhere where the rain isn’t trapping you in the confines of a campervan or canvas tent walls. Plenty of unique spa packages are usually available on such sites like Groupon which would make the perfect little treat to round off a holiday.
8. DIY Cocktails
Hmmm, OK so I knew these aren’t strictly for summer, but my favourite memories of my last hot summers road trip involved making awesome cocktails with minimal but tasty ingredients. My top choice is Sanchez: tequila, dried chilli seeds, ginger ale, real ginger pieces. Muddle the chilli and chopped pieces of ginger together with the tequila, pour over iced ginger ale and voila! Mojitos (white rum, brown sugar, mint and soda) is also a super easy one to create easily, and don’t forget Pimms . It is the ultimate cocktail that is pretty much English summer time in a glass. All the fruit that goes into it is pretty much a few portions of your recommended fruit intake…right?
Whether you’re in your home city or somewhere new, what better way to enjoy the last of the warm nights than go for a little walk with a loved one? Whether it’s friend or someone who’s a little more, take off under the stars and just walk. The further away from big city light pollution, the better as you’ll then get to fully enjoy the light show of nature and all the stars. Uber romantic, right? And why not (like Simone suggested in her favourite date idea) grab a thermos of hot toddy and sip under the moon.
10. Rooftop Cinemas
The outdoor cinemas are all beginning to close their doors for the season, but there are still some great ones going till the end of September! Attend the Rooftop Film Club at Bussey Building (Southwark, London) where not only will you be able to watch a great film, you’ll get panoramic views of London with Mexican street food and Caribbean BBQ. The Rooftop Film Club is also running at Queen of Hoxton (Shoreditch, London) where you can snuggle down with cosy blankets and wireless headphones.
Not in London? Screen your own alfresco movies. Get hold of a large white sheet, string it tauntly in your yard and get your mitts on a projector that you can hook up to your laptop. Why not whip up some of that bonfire popcorn to accompany the movie?
11. Discover New Music
When getting together a group of mates around any music playing device, there are bound to be a wide spread of tastes and preference. On road trips, get everyone to get together their own playlists and embark on a trip where you can fully shuffle the tunes. Weird, wonderful, interesting and appalling ones may plague your ears, but variety is the taste of life, right? It’ll give you the opportunity to add to your music library and explore new music courtesy of your friends. But fingers crossed you don’t get trapped in a van for 7 hours straight listening to rock death metal. If so, jump out the window.
12. Get Snap Happy
Take as many photos as you can! You’ll need something to look at when the depths of winter is freezing your soul and you’re mourning the loss of summer holidays.