7 Mini-Cations To Take With Your Friends This Summer

7 Mini-Cations To Take With Your Friends This Summer

Your guide to budget-friendly summer fun.
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Summer used to be everyone's favorite part of the year. We had three long, sun-filled months off of school to enjoy without a care in the world. Somewhere along the road to adulthood, however, those days by the pool turned into days at a summer job. Three-page summer math packets turned into actual summer classes, and family vacations got pushed aside in favor of summer internships or student loan payments. But just because you're being forced to grow up doesn't mean that you can't still make your own adventures. Grab your friends and take some time out of your busy schedules to go on a mini-vacation! Try out one (or all) of these budget-friendly ideas:

1. Trade the beach for a lake

Don't let proximity to the ocean stop you from having some waterside fun! While everyone may not be within driving distance of an ocean, most of us are within driving distance of a lake.The possibilities for water-related fun at a lake are endless. If your lake is on the larger side, give jet skiing, water skiing, or tubing a try. If you lake is on the smaller side, try paddleboarding, kayaking, or a water trampoline.

2. Outdoors adventure

Looking to get away from it all? If you're more of the outdoorsy, adventurous type, head to a state park! Each state has a multitude of natural parks, so there's bound to be one within a few hours of where you live. Many of them are free to visitors and offer a wide range of things to do, from biking trails to outdoor sports. If you're short on time, take a day trip with friends and go hiking. If you're up for a challenge, try camping for a few days. It will be a great way to unwind and bond with your friends without distractions.

3. Big city getaway

If nature really isn't your thing, a big city getaway might be just what you need. But don't go to the same city you always visit -- shake it up and head somewhere new. Even if it's a few extra hours of travel, it will be worth it to discover somewhere different. Going to the city doesn't have to be expensive, either. If you're short on cash, but want to stay for more than a day trip, try staying in a hostel. It's the budget-friendly alternative to a fancy hotel, and will serve your needs for a place to sleep.

4. Throw a party

Just because your childhood is over doesn't mean you can't bring it back. Invite all of your friends over for a pool party! It's a cheap, but fun way to have everyone in one place, just like the good ole days. Bring out the pool floaties, the radio, and the lemonade for a day of fun in the sun. Throw in some hot dogs and late night s'mores, and you've got yourself a real party.

5. Get wet

When it's too to hot be outside in anything other than a swimsuit, grab the crew for some water park fun. Search online sites like Groupon to get a deal on tickets for small or large groups. If you want to kick it up a notch, make a challenge list for the day. Which one of your friends is brave enough to go down the tallest slide? Which one will be the first to get a hot lifeguard's number? How many times can you make it around the lazy river?

6. For the thrill-seekers

If you're the kind of person that loves a thrill, why not visit your nearest amusement park? You can't go wrong with roller coasters and cotton candy. Again, make sure you check online for deals and discounts before you buy your tickets! If you can get the time off, try to go during the week so the lines will be shorter.

7. Just relax

Take a break from your hectic life and treat yourself with an at-home spa day! Save some money and have fun at the same time by having a DIY spa day. From face masks to hair treatments, there are plenty of spa day necessities you can make with household items. A relaxing day with your friends will leave you recharged, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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9 Things To Do In Nashville If You Have No Idea What To Do

Trust me, I was just as lost as you are.

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Nashville is a great place packed full of lots of really cool smaller great places that all offer their own unique take on the city. If you're like me, though, and have a hard time ~planning ahead~, then this list is exactly what you need. I went around and got lost and tried all the coolest hidden gems in Nashville so you don't have to. Here are some of my faves.

1. Milk & Honey Nashville

Located in the Gulch, Milk & Honey is the coffee shop/cafe from my dreams. It's decorated perfectly for any cute insta story and y'all when I say their coffee is amazing I mean it. Try it. It's so worth it, and pretty easy to find, too! You can browse their menus here.

2. Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop

While we're on the topic of coffee shops, Frothy Monkey is a MUST try. Trust me, I've drunk A LOT of coffee in my lifetime, and theirs is up in the top 10 of the best. They have other good things too, but if you're a coffee person like me, this place is heaven, I promise. It's right off 12th Avenue and within walking distance of lots of other funky little shops.

3. Two Old Hippies

This is the coolest little shop you will ever go into. Tucked away in the Gulch, it's within walking distance of Milk & Honey, so stop by after you grab a coffee and browse. They have everything from handmade clothes to cool books to refrigerator magnets. This is one of my all time favorites and I know you'll love it too.

4. Baked on 8th

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I fell in love the second I saw the cute sign. Baked on 8th has a great atmosphere and even better little pastries, cookies, and cakes. Their cookies were so good it took every ounce of self-control I had to not go back and order 2 dozen. 12/10 would recommend if you're into Instagrammable locations and bomb sugar-filled desserts.

5. Burger Republic

I get it, you've gotta eat more than just cookies and coffee. As far as restaurants go, this place is home to the best burger I've ever eaten, plus the atmosphere is pretty laid back and great, and it's an awesome place to go and watch pretty much any sporting event happening anywhere relatively close to Nashville. Browse the menu so you can know exactly what to order before you even get there here.

6. Fido

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a HUGE fan of coffee shops and cafes. Fido was the most perfect little spot. It boasts about its gourmet coffee and great food, and rightfully so. It's also got the coolest funky vibe that makes you just want to sit and stay all day, and it's in a great location and decently close to Vanderbilt.

7. Go see some murals

Nashville is FULL of these bad boys. I know y'all have all seen the countless pictures of those people with big butterfly wings. Well, there's more and they're all around the city and on the side of pretty much every building. It's cliche, but tbh it's also kind of a must do while you're there.

8. Walk around Centennial Park and the Parthenon

This is a really nice place to visit if you're looking to spend a couple of hours away from the concrete of the city, and the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Greece.

9. Ride one of those little scooters around and explore

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I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I did not ride the scooters. They seem kind of dangerous and I know without a doubt that if I tried to get on one it would not end well for me, the scooter, or anyone within a 3-mile radius. With that being said, though, I did see a lot of people riding them and it looked pretty fun, plus it's a great way to see the city without walking too much. So if you just want to explore, hop on one of these bad boys and pray.

Nashville is a great city full of tons of tourist attractions and amazing musical history, but if you find yourself stuck with nothing to do for a couple of hours before your next walking tour, you're sure to find something on this list that you'll love. So, you're welcome.

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