Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

July 9, 2018

Having a Great Summer When You Can't Take a Vacation.

     Getting real in today's blog post! Both in my choice of outfit (this is a more casual look than I usually wear on the blog), and in the topic of today's post. Can't wait to hear y'all's thoughts about this topic! 

How to enjoy summer without a vacation

Striped t-shirt outfit

Charlottesville VA Downtown Mall

Summer casual outfit LOFT

Enjoying summer without vacation

Photography by Meredith Sledge

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    Outfit talk up first: definitely keeping things very casual for today's look! This is a perfect example of the type of outfit that I'd wear on a summer weekend in Charlottesville. I picked up this cute striped t-shirt over Memorial Day Weekend, and I love all of the bright colors in it. These shorts have been some of my very favorites for a few years now- I love them so much that I re-purchased an identical pair this season since my previous pair was looking a little worn from years of love. To make this casual look seem a bit more put-together, I added a fun statement necklace, bright pink sunglasses, and a favorite pink crossbody purse.

     Now let's get to today's other topic: how to avoid FOMO and stay positive during the summer if you're not able to take a vacation this season. There's lots of reasons why some of us can't take vacations certain years. I actually haven't had a summer vacation since 2015, so I am hopefully much overdue for one in 2019! In 2016 I had just started broadcasting school, in 2017 I was still too new at my first job to use PTO, and this year, 2018, it's the same situation as last year! Radio is an industry that isn't famous for its PTO or benefits, and I have to wait until I've been employed six months at my new job for my time off to start. Of course, these are just a couple examples of reasons why you might not be able to take a summer vacation. There are tons: lack of PTO from work, being in school during the summer, family needs, illness, not having the funds, etc etc.

     It can be hard to stay positive about staying in your town or city all summer when friends are jetsetting all over the country and world (social media unfortunately makes the travel FOMO all the more real!). I wanted to share some tips in today's post to help with still having an amazing summer, even if you can't visit anywhere exotic or new.

      *Remember that social media is a highlight reel: We're all guilty of getting caught up in the downsides of social media sometimes. When you keep seeing perfect Instagram picture after perfect Instagram picture from people's summer travels, it can be easy to get into a negative mindset and throw a pity party. It's good to take a step back and constantly remind yourself that Instagram and other social media is people's *highlight reels.* 99% of the time, you're seeing only the highs, and not the lows that we all deal with. If the comparison game is really getting you down this summer, try to spend less time on social media!

      *Use the summer to reevaluate the reasons that you can't travel at this time: There's probably a major reason why you can't travel this summer. If you're staying close to home this month and next, take that time to remember your reason for not being able to go anywhere, and think about how you can fix that by summer 2019! For example, my reason for this summer is that I don't have PTO yet at my new job. When I start to feel down about not having any vacations coming up, I remember all the reasons that I moved to Virginia to take this new job, and how much I love my job, which makes it worth it for me. I also have started brainstorming a list of travel destinations I'd like to visit next year, which gets me excited about the future! If finances are the major reason you can't travel right now, I challenge you to save as much money as possible this month and next, and start a separate savings account for future adventures.

      *Plan a weekend overnight trip within a two hour radius: Y'all- never underestimate the power of an overnight getaway! Simply getting out of your home for a night and heading to a close by new city or town (or staying in your city for a staycation at a hotel) can do wonders! I had an absolute blast during my weekend trip to Richmond,VA last month (Richmond is just over an hour from Charlottesville). Weekend trips are generally affordable, and they can "hold you over" until you're able to go on a longer trip! Plus, I'm sure there's tons of places within a 1-2 hour radius of you that you're not familiar with yet.

      *Make a summer bucket list of local activities: I shared my summer bucket list on the blog last month- and I'm so glad I made one! The one I made has kept me motivated with trying new things in Charlottesville and Central Virginia this summer. If you're feeling especially financially thrifty, I challenge you to make a bucket list of only free activities in your local area!

      *Keep your social calendar full: Staying busy with friends is a great way to enjoy your summer and local area! Although I was bummed I can't travel this summer, I have been viewing it as a blessing in disguise because I've been able to devote a ton of time to fostering new friendships and meeting people in Charlottesville. If I was on-the-go all summer long, that probably wouldn't be the case! It was really hard for me to make friends in Vermont last year for the first few months (last summer), so summer 2017 felt so long and boring to me. I've had a much different experience making friends in Virginia, so summer has been awesome so far! I have different social things to look forward to each week, and it's all been a total blast.

      *Become involved with a summer activity in your local community: If you're staying put for the summer, it can be a great time to get involved with a summer specific activity or local project! I joined a summer bible study group at my church, and it's been a way to meet new friends at church, learn more about topics in the bible that I hadn't previously studied, and it also gives me something to look forward to each week! Other options include getting involved in a volunteer opportunity, joining a sports league, signing up for a fun class at community college or your parks and rec department, or even picking up a new side hustle.


     Are you traveling a lot this summer, or also staying grounded this year like I am? I'd love to hear in the comments!

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese



  1. I am going to Croatia for holidays in August and I've been already a little worried how am I going to cope with all the blog works and keep posting on my Instagram. FOMO is very real, I have to seriously think about it and what you wrote.

  2. We aren't going on our typical summer vacation this year, so I've been spending a lot of time making our home a summer destination! Lots of happy hours on our porch and spending time in the yard. It's not quite the same as vacation, but it's helping!

  3. Hi Annaliese- Long time reader, first time commenter :) I just wanted to say I love this topic and your perspective on what can be a frustrating situation. I agree 100% about how social media is especially dangerous when one can't travel. For me, having a specific trip in mind, even before it's "on the books" is helpful. Just bc you don't have tickets yet doesn't mean you can't plan!

    Also, I went to UVA, and am glad you can see that extra time in Cville in the summer is a blessing in disguise :) I miss that place!


    1. Awww thank you for commenting, Barbara!! Yes- Cville in summer is AMAZING!

  4. I'm all about the casual girl so I love your outfit! I love all of these ideas too!!

  5. First off, love the shades + stripped tee!!! So cute!!! Secondly, great tips!!! I just moved too and cannot take time off for a long vacation this summer. You're so right about social media being the highlight reel - mine is slap full of summer vacation pics!!! It's easy to fall into the FOMO trap! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. We had a few years without a vacation between new jobs at different times for my husband and me. It's hard, but worth it too!

  7. These are great points! I actually love to travel in the winter because I love the summertime in the PNW. I also like to travel in the off season because it's way less crowded. I hope you get to go on a trip soon!

  8. That shirt and those glasses are so fun!

  9. love this! I always struggle with taking a vacation in summer actually. It tough since I live in a beach town where most people come for vacation and I really just don't know where to go lol sometimes we do an overnight nearby or find local activities happening and it def helps make it feel even more like a vacation

  10. Oof, it sounds like you really are due a vacation! Honestly, I think doing a beach trip nearby is just as fun as going farther away!
    Also, I'm really digging that cute striped tee!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  11. I feel like summer is always a letdown! This is my first year teaching so I have the whole summer off. I think I've read too many "beach reads" because I pictured my summer being full of the beach, homemade blueberry pie, seafood, outdoor concerts. But we're doing home repairs and my husband works 1pm-1am so he's never awake during the day.
    Being a grownup during the summer stinks haha!

  12. Those pink sunnies are super cute! Personally I'm staying at home this summer. Moving back from FL to NYC, and paying off debt in the process of saving, so I'm pinching pennies!

  13. Love the casual look! You look so comfy but chic!


  14. I've done a little travel this summer, but mostly I'll be staying put. I love the idea of doing a weekend trip somewhere close! Also I love this casual look on you!

    The Classic Brunette

  15. looove all these tips!!! i feel like even if you could take a summer vacation you should still do these! :)

  16. Great tips and ways to stay busy! Love that striped tee!

  17. Over night trips are the best! It's fun to escape for a little while.


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