9 Easy Actions To Prepare Yourself For The Best Summer Ever

Illustration by Richard Chance.
As kids, summer vacation meant three months of total liberation: pool parties with our friends, sleeping in until lunchtime, and lemonade stands that could barely turn a profit. But in adulthood, three months of PTO is out of the question. Instead, we’re forced to cram trips to Europe and last-minute beach days around our 40-hour workweeks — and that doesn't exactly scream "vacay!," does it?
It's time to change things up and make sure summer is stress-free from the get-go. In partnership with Halo Top®, we’re rounding up nine easy actions to get you ready for the season. From acing a weekend getaway to planning an adult ice-cream social, the following activities will make you feel like it's a relaxing childhood summer all over again (even if a lemonade stand isn't in the picture).
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Reserve your car rental and hotel stay for a weekend getaway.

This time of the year, three-day weekends mean only one thing: road trips. Save yourself from the last-minute panic by booking everything as far in advance as possible. Start by reserving your car (make sure to get one with extra room in the trunk for luggage), then research the best hotel suited to your needs. Some might offer waved fees, free nights, and free breakfast if you book ahead of time (who doesn't want to ball out on those little boxes of cereal?).
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Plant an herb garden in the kitchen for fresh ingredients all summer long.

Picture this: It's taco Tuesday. You're sipping a fresh lemonade while making a batch of homemade guacamole. You reach for the cilantro, but it's totally past its prime. With a DIY mini herb garden in your kitchen, you can always have fresh cilantro, basil, mint, and rosemary within a hand's reach. For optimal growth, separate your plants in jars and account for drainage.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Plan a grown-up ice-cream social.

Take things back in time by planning a mid-summer ice-cream social — with an adult revamp. Start now, by mailing handwritten invites (to lean into the old-school theme and make sure the date is secured on your friends' busy schedules). On the day of the event, grab a few pints of Halo Top®’s New-Fashioned Ice Cream™ (our go-to is Birthday Cake). Then, take things to the next level with make-your-own affogatos, cocktail floats, and a toppings bar filled with unexpected flavors like candied ginger, dried lavender, pistachios, and cocoa nibs.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Clean or switch out your apartment’s AC filter.

In the list of things we probably should be cleaning but never do, this one falls right under sweeping under the refrigerator (does anyone do that?). Before your AC unit coughs up dust particles and stops functioning in the middle of a 10-day-long heat wave, make sure to clean or replace the filter. You'll be breathing in clean, cool air in no time.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Secure your season passes or memberships early.

What’s the point of summer if there’s nothing fun to do? Buy seasonal passes to your favorite parks and museums online, and take advantage of early-bird pricing, special bundles, or group rates. Some qualified organizations, like art museums and zoos, are even tax deductible, so keep your receipt and you might be able to get some of your money back. Remember: The sooner you buy your passes, the more use you'll be able to get out of them.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Compile a summer capsule wardrobe, so you can grab the essentials on your way out the door.

Who wants to waste time rummaging through their closet for a sunhat when the pool is only open for two more hours? Take all your summer must-haves — beach bags, swimsuits, espadrilles, you name it — and organize them in one place. Get inspired by R29's own Lucie Fink and her capsule wardrobe challenge: Build a base of neutral colors, and then get creative with colorful accessories. Just like that, you can grab and go.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Research summer concerts and festivals in your area, and snatch up tickets before they sell out.

Tired of waiting until the last minute to buy a concert ticket and having to settle for a seat behind a random pillar? This summer, put away the binoculars, and get your tickets NOW. If you book your ticket far enough in advance, you might be able to watch that R&B duo on the the actual stage instead of the jumbotron.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Stock up on beach reads that will last through all the summer Fridays.

There's something about the sound of crashing waves and the feeling of soft sand that makes beach reading so melodious. So much so that we usually breeze through novels and find ourselves out of book options by mid-July. To ensure you won't be stuck reading that wizard book for the fifth time, head to a local bookstore, charity shop, or library and dig through the stacks for a variety of options that'll keep you stocked through the summer.
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Illustration by Richard Chance.
Refresh your sunscreen stash (and toss everything expired).

As you're packing up your beach bag with on-the-go essentials, be sure to double check the labels on your sunscreen. Anything expired could do more harm than good, including: less UV protection, less water-resistance, and potential skin irritation. Swing by the drugstore, and grab everything you'll need from head to toe — yes, including your face and lips.

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