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Posted: May 16, 2013 8:00 a.m.

One Tank Trips

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The kids are almost done with school, and you know what that means. It’s time for vacations! But vacations take time and usually lots of money since you always have to go into those awful souvenir shops at the beach and take a picture standing in front of the giant shark mouth.

You’ll buy a hermit crab with a soccer ball painted on its shell, which will promptly die on the way home, and you’ll eat too much, get too much sun and someone will cry – it might be you… Summer vacations are way overrated! So that’s why one tank trips are ingenious. No, they seriously are, just keep reading.

Say you have to work during the week like most folks, but your kids are out of school and demanding vacations and rubbing it in that their friend posted pictures of the beach on Instagram or whatever. Eventually that nagging starts to sound like a dozen demanding Cuckoos, forcing you to act or lose your mind.

Put the kids in the car and pick a place close by. All it costs is a tank of gas, maybe some lunch, but you can make anything into an adventure! My kid is still young enough to believe that if we take a shortcut it’s an adventure, so I’m luckier than you. But here’s the thing – it CAN be, you just have to have the right outlook.

So you have your standard places, like Stone Mountain, but what if you’ve been there and no one wants to go again? Then leave Georgia! You can. It’s just a couple hours to get outside the state and then the sky is the limit, because travel really is the only thing you buy that makes you richer (except for winning stocks and companies, but the high rollers who can buy those aren’t worried about issues like ours). It’s not a quote on 50 motivational posters on Pinterest for nothing, people.

You can get to Chattanooga on a tank of gas. Get up early and drive to Tennessee or to Cherokee in North Carolina. Stay in the state and go to Helen – make sure to bring a change of clothes so you can go tubing, because Helen without tubing is like Oktoberfest without German beer.

You can still go to Stone Mountain and spend the whole day, capping it off with the laser show, or check out all the things local state parks have to offer. You can go to Indian Springs in Jackson, which is only about 30 minutes away, and check out Dauset Trails while you’re in the neighborhood (which is free), then play on the “beach,” do a little miniature golfing and have a picnic. 

And there’s no rules that say if you don’t have kids at home – or if you just need a break from those precious angel babies – that you can’t go with your significant other or friends.

So make this the summer that you stop just existing and start really living. No better way to start it off than with an adventure!

 

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