It’s Time to Summerize

After a cool and wet spring, warm weather is set to blanket most regions of the country this week. But you’ll want to keep that hot air outside by #summerizing your home, if you haven’t already. Summerizing is just like winterizing, says doityourself, except that some of the appliances are different. Clean the air conditioning units and replace filters. Fix any missing or faulty caulk and weatherstripping. Put a towel underneath doors to prevent cool air form escaping. And finally, make sure that ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise to direct cooler air downward.

Summer Gardening Starts Now

Are you planning to plant a vegetable or flower garden this summer? The time to start is now! Depending on your location, much of what you’ll want to do at this point in the year involves “hardscaping” — ensuring that your fences, walkways, trellises and beds are ready for the growing season. Then, a general cleanup is in order: Pull weeds, rake up debris that has collected over the winter, remove dead branches, etc. You’ll also want to sharpen and clean your garden tools, Rural Sprout says, and start any vegetable seeds indoors. In a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to prepare your soil.

Start Planning Your Summer Travel Now

With spring in the air and #COVID at least temporarily on the retreat, many people are looking forward to a #summer vacation. Most haven’t traveled as far as often over the last two years, and the urge to get away is widespread.

In fact, summer 2022 is predicted to be “the busiest summer travel season ever,” Expedia CEO Peter Kern recently told Fortune magazine. And while prices are likely to go up, “I think people are willing to pay whatever the hell it takes to get away,” he says.

But there will still be ways to keep costs down whether you’re jetting off to  far-flung, exotic locale or visiting family and friends in familiar location. And with everyone eager for a change of scenery, the first strategy is to start planning now if you haven’t already.

“In terms of summer travel, it’s essential to book now as the demand for travel is high and availability is tightening,” travel consultant Jill Fischbarg told Fodor’s last week.

To economize on airfares, visit sites like Google Flights or Kayak to find out where and when you might be able to go without spending a lot. Or maybe you have a stockpile of frequent-flyer miles that you’ve been hoarding for the last 24 months.

Two years in, rental cars are still scarce, and gasoline prices are going up fast due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If you want to keep things cheap, pick a destination where walking, biking or public transit will be your main conveyance — a big city, for example, or an all-inclusive resort.

As for lodging, book now to get the best variety of options. Inexpensive hotel rooms and vacation rentals are already getting scarce in many popular locations; target off-peak and midweek nights to save money — or find an excuse to visit those friends with the beach house and boat.

The good news? Most providers relaxed or eliminated their change and cancellation fees during the pandemic, so if you do book now, the odds are excellent that you can get your money back if something disrupts your summer plans.

With a little forethought, the odds are even better that you’ll finally be able to take that trip you’ve been putting off since 2020. Keep your passport and proof of vaccination at the ready, and bon voyage!

Use the Longest Days to Declutter and Donate

Use the longest days of the year to volunteer for a cause that’s close to your heart, GoodNet suggests. “Volunteering brings with it a deep appreciation of all that you have in life, and helping those in need is a firm reminder of what really matters,” the blog says. One easy way to help veterans in need is to use a few of those extra daylight hours to weed out your unused clothing, small appliances and other household junk and make a donation to ClothingDonations.org. We’ll pick up your donation and resell your castoff goods to fund valuable veterans’ programs.

Set Goals on the Longest Day of the Year

You’ll cast the year’s smallest noontime shadow when the summer solstice arrives at 11:54 EDT on Friday, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make big plans. Use the sun’s extended presence to get recalibrate yourself toward life goals, Vogue suggests. “Energetically, it’s a great time for a check-in,” says healer Emily Mikaelah. “Take the time to ask yourself, ‘What progress has been made on my dreams?’ and ‘Have I been doing my part to make them come into fruition?’ The fruit is ripening soon, and we want to pick it off the branch when it’s at its peak.”