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How to save the summer

What are your plans for the summer? Most people have their vacation plans down to a science by now, and you probably do too. Locations have been mapped out, rooms booked, and the flight tickets are ready to go. But sometimes things just don’t work out. Unforeseen circumstances, changed plans, and last-minute cancellations can throw everything off.

Here’s how to save the summer if things are looking a little grim:

1. Your plans fell through

You had your holiday all figured out. You scored a great deal on flights, the hotel looks like something out of a movie, and you have your schedule mapped out in detail. But it all comes to a screeching halt at the last minute when something falls through – your buddy cancels, you get ill last minute or your finances take an unexpected hit just before you take off.

How to fix it: Know your rights and always have a back up plan. If you have to cancel flights or hotel reservations last minute, what happens? Do you have travel insurance that covers them in case you fall ill or did you book a cancelable room? Figure out what’s covered and what you can claim back. Also have a Plan B. It’s a lot easier to salvage your summer by having some great alternative plans in place. Perhaps you can book yourself on some cheaper last minute flights to another destination, or maybe you can go on a road trip to a nearby destination instead. Remain flexible in your plans and you’ll have a fantastic summer no matter what.

2. There are gaps in your plans

Life has its ups and downs and sometimes there are awkward, potentially quiet gaps in your summer plans – maybe your friends are off doing their own thing and bingeing on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Master of None just doesn’t seem like it will cut it. It’s time to think outside the box.

How to fix it: If you’ve got downtime or huge gaps in plans that you don’t know how to fill, why not fill up the time with something that will be useful for you later on? Take this down time and make something out of it by going on a smart vacation and picking up some new skills while having fun in a new city and getting to know some new people.

3. You haven’t made a plan to begin with

Ideally, you know to plan your summer vacation in advance but sometimes your schedule opens up and you find yourself with the perfect window of opportunity for some summer travel. You’ve decided at the last minute that you want to take a trip, but given that it’s peak travel time, what do you do?

How to fix it: Spend the high season back home on a ‘staycation’ and book post-high season instead. Although this depends on what kind of budget you have for travel and on when school/work starts again, it can be smart to travel when everyone else isn’t. Across Europe and in many other corners of the world things start to slow down around mid-to-late August; flights become more reasonable, accommodations clear out a bit more and you’re typically able to avoid the rush or tourism common during the early summer months.

4. You’re only doing things you’ve done before

Old favorites are there for a reason. There’s nothing wrong with traveling to the places you’ve been before and only doing your favorite activities while you’re there. But sometimes what sounded like a comfortable favorite when you booked it in January can give you second thoughts as you approach the departure date. The summer is there for exploring and experiencing new things, isn’t it?

How to fix it: Just change your plans. A quick way to do that is to change the activities you’re doing, but if you still have the time to redo your plans, go explore a part of the world you’ve been genuinely curious about. Whether it’s Paris or Playa Tamarindo, even a week could be enough to make incredible memories. You’ll get a lot more out of your break if you spend it enjoying new cuisine, scenery, and hearing a new language everyday.

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