Get Your Home Ready for Outdoor Living

One critical part of #summerizing a home is to make sure all of your outdoor spaces are inviting. Wash your outdoor furniture and deep-clean the grill, says Show Me Home. Wash the windows and sweep up leaves, branches and debris. Trim bushes and set your lawnmower’s blades to three inches or higher to encourage root growth and avoid a scorched lawn. Mulch the garden beds to help them retain moisture and inhibit weeds and insects. Add a few herbs or annuals to bare spots to lend color and foliage. “And finally, park yourself a lawn chair, grab a cold beverage and call it a day.”

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!

Celebrate Your Achievements With a Day Off

Conceived by union labor movements, Labor Day is “an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Celebrated since 1882 with parades and picnics, it marks the ceremonial end of summer, and offers a brief respite from the typical workweek to shop, travel and relax. Whether you decide to road-trip or venture no further than your own back yard, make the most of Labor Day by shutting down your screens and trying one of 23 suggestions from Country Living.

Never Leave Kids, Pets in the Car

Acting like miniature greenhouses, car interiors heat up fast in the #summer sun. Never leave children, elderly relatives or pets inside a hot car; all are extremely vulnerable to heatstroke and serious trauma or death can occur within minutes — even if the windows are cracked or it doesn’t seem “that” hot. Keep a bottle of cool water on hand to spritz yourself and your kids on hot summer days, The New York Times suggests, or have them run through a sprinkler or splash — fully supervised — in a pool. #SummerSafetyTips

Summer Safety Still Includes Masks

It almost goes without saying that summertime safety now includes taking precautions against #COVID-19. Mask up if you are not yet #vaccinated or immunocompromised; the Delta variant spreads more quickly and is just as deadly as the original. Fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to worry as much about mask, the Washington Post says, but if you are vaccinated and travel to an area with low vaccination rates, you might want to consider masking anyway. And again, outdoor activities tend to be safer. #SummerSafetyTips