Last Licks of Summer: A Labor Day Vacation Without the Traffic or Expense

If you don’t believe that the grass is always greener on the other side of town, consider this: Most Americans don’t know what’s in their own backyards. People often pile into cars to go “away” while cars piled with other vacationers are pulling into the very town they’re leaving.

Tourists often know more about the local attractions than the locals, probably because tourists did some research while the locals were researching where to go for vacation.

Because it’s considered the last weekend of the summer, Labor Day might mean a last fling to a resort within driving distance. But with hefty hotel bills and Labor Day traffic, do you really need to go away in order to enjoy a long weekend?

Of course, sometimes you do need to get away from it all. But there might be an easier way to do that than by traveling 400 miles. You could just turn off your cell phone, pile your family into the car and travel 20 miles instead.

For starters, invest in a tourist guide and then read it! If you live in or near a city, there may be dozens of museums, historical places, stores, restaurants, and children’s attractions that you’ve never visited … and they’re all located right in your hometown.

If you don’t live in a city, there’s usually a city nearby. In any case, the country also has its own attractions. Take advantage of the still beautiful weather. Visit a park. Host a family barbecue or reunion. Stop at one of the quaint historical places dotting the countryside. If you have a lake nearby, take your friends or family boating or fishing. Find a nearby roller-skating or indoor ice-skating rink. Go to the beach. The boardwalk. Go out to lunch. You don’t have to sleep in a hotel to be on vacation.

Think of the benefits. You’ll spend the last delicious days of summer with your family doing something fun, instead of spending hours in the car. You’ll make the most of all your vacation days instead of spending two days traveling. You’ll avoid Labor Day traffic. You won’t pay hotel fees. You’ll sleep in your own comfortable bed. You’ll have a wonderful, relaxing time. You won’t spend a fortune on gas, and you might even start a new trend or family tradition.