Planning a fun daycation

Published 3:02 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer is more than half over. By now I have seen enough Facebook posts of other people’s vacations to fill an album. But what about you? Have you had your vacay yet? Have you gone somewhere fun in order to refresh, restore and renew your spirit?  Perhaps you have already used up the bulk of your personal days and there isn’t time for a week away. You could still take a “daycation.” It takes some planning, but “done in a day” vacations can be surprisingly satisfying.
To start, ask the same questions you’d consider before any trip. What would you like to do and where would you like to do it?  For me, nothing is as invigorating as sitting with my toes in the sand while waves break over them again and again. It doesn’t matter whether that gritty soaking comes via the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean.  Covered with sun screen with an umbrella over my head, a book in my lap and a drink in my hand, I am one happy camper. Corona, anyone?
It’s a hard concept for me to process, but I’ve been told that not everyone adores the beach. My neighbors, for instance, prefer fresh water. They just returned from a hike to a nearby creek. Their whole family made the trek. Grandpa agreed with the rest of the clan. It made for a wonderful day trip. If the only creeks near you are cracked and dry, pools and water parks can also do the trick.
That is, unless you have already soaked up enough sun this summer to power a small generator. In that case, let’s talk indoor activities. Now I’m thinking about libraries, museums and aquariums. According to the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s website, Hall of Ancient Egypt is currently showing in the Bayou City. Coincidentally, an action packed television miniseries about the famous pharaoh  Tutenkamen has been airing for the past three nights. My husband and I have been glued to the tube, unable to tear ourselves away. Watching King Tut’s life come alive makes this exhibit all the more tempting. Did you know that “the boy king” only lived to be 19?
And speaking of teenagers, the requirements of your day trip will be more complicated if you plan to bring one of them. I can’t help but think of the Griswold offspring in National Lampoon’s European Vacation who did their best to ruin the family trip abroad. Sweeten the pot by letting your teen bring his or her “bestie” along. Renting segways or scooters in a well developed area with plenty of stores and restaurants will keep everyone smiling. Even the teens.
In my case, the kids are grown and the grandkids are still very young. It’s so much easier to entertain children before they learn to talk back. Shepherd and I spent the afternoon yesterday splashing around in a water wonderland created simply by blowing up a plastic pool. That’s all it took to rock his world. That and a giant bottle of soap bubbles.
So now we’ve pondered vacays for couples and families. What about singles? Women are the easiest people to please when faced with the prospect of recharging themselves. Do you live within driving distance of a spa? Of course, you do. Booking oneself for a day’s worth of treatments is as simple as handing over one’s credit card. The hardest part is choosing from the list of services. How does a deep tissue massage with warmed river rocks and detoxifying Moor mud sound?  I can almost hear those Tibetan bowls singing.
There are so many different types of “daycations.” I could go on and on. As with all things, attitude makes a lot of difference. The destination, accommodations and even activities are not as crucial to success as the positive outlook maintained by vacationers. One sour apple really can spoil the barrel. Take a tip from the Griswolds, don’t bring anyone who doesn’t really want to be there.
Now let’s get out there and play. Or relax or shop or discover. It’s amazing what can be crammed into 24 hours, especially with a little planning.
Donia Caspersen Crouch was raised in Southeast Texas and lives in Austin. Want more?  Donia’s  Stories of Hope and Humor can be ordered at

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