As summer quickly approaches (only 19 days left in the semester for me!  But who is counting, right?), many of us are preparing for summer.  Here are some ideas for how to spend the glorious summer months before yet another school year begins:

Plan a Trip

Whether you plan a weekend road trip with friends, a trip to visit family, or a backpacking trip through Europe (jealous!), a little time away from home is a great way to spend summer.

Road trips can be a great economical way to travel depending on the destination, the car you drive, and how many people are going.  There is no better way to bond than over a few hours on the open highway with everyone singing Journey songs.  Everyone can split the cost of gas and hotel rooms.  Save money on food by bringing your own cooler full of drinks and snacks.  Don’t forget the camera so you can record the moment you stop in front of the House on the Rock or the World’s Largest Hockey Stick and Puck.

However you plan to take your trip, have fun.  Summer never seems to last as long as it should.

Work

Earning a little extra cash, whether it be for living/school expenses, saving up for a big treat (say, a new laptop or car), or just looking to get a bit of experience in your future field, can be a great way to spend the summer.  With the job market the way it is, it is important to spruce up your resume (spell check and then spell check again) and get in the game earlier.  Spend time now looking for that job.  This is also a great time to do some work in your field, gathering a few skills and network.

Volunteer

What better way to spend your summer than helping others while exploring your passion and/or gaining some new skills?  Whether you enjoy hanging out with animals, are handy with a hammer, or have some sports knowledge to share with kids, there is something you can contribute.  Have a knack for animals?  Consider volunteering at a local shelter and walking the dogs and giving some love to the cats.  Great with a hammer?  Habitat for Humanity could use your skills.  Got some mad soccer skills?  Volunteer with a child soccer team.  It is even more fun when you have a group of friends together.  And don’t forget to use this as a networking opportunity.

How many more days until your summer starts?  Any summer plans?

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Klearchos Kapoutsis used with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License]