10 Best Summer Vacation Ideas

We've got the best list of summer vacation ideas for you to add to this year's bucket list. Whether you want to stay home or travel abroad, there is guaranteed to be something perfect for you!

You’ve survived winter and now it’s time to reward yourself with a fun-filled summer vacation. So, what are you going to do? Summer is the BEST time to get outside and the make the most of the sunshine whether you’re planning on staying right at home or need an excuse to book a holiday. Here are 10 of the best summer vacation ideas from all around the world with plenty of activities for you to enjoy solo or with friends. Keep this list handy because even if it’s winter where you are now, it’s always summer somewhere!

10.) Take a Road Trip

Summer Vacation Ideas Road Trip

Summer Road Trip!

A summer vacation is the best time to get a road trip through almost any part of the world. If you don’t feel like traveling overseas, take a few different short road trips over weekends. Grab a few mates together, share a car and split the cost. Whether you feel like going on a long road trip or a short one, there is nothing that bonds people together more than long drives, karaoke in the car and putting up with that backseat driver.

If you’re keen on a European road trip, consider Iceland’s Ring Road which will take you through plenty of epic natural landscapes (all free). In summer, the sun only sets for a few hours so you basically always have light!

Stuck state side? Try visiting every waterfall in New England. There’s more than you imagined.

9.) Go on a Camping trip

Summer Vacation Ideas Camping

You definitely want to make sure that the summer isn’t going to be too hot for camping but this is the perfect opportunity to get your mates, your partner or your family out for an awesome weekend of camping. Pick a spot near the ocean or river for cooler nights and to cool off during the heat of the day.

New Zealand is an easy country to road trip and camp and an added bonus is that wild camping is FREE! Make sure you check out our camping tips for a successful trip.

8.) Go Hiking

Summer Vacation Ideas Hiking

Hiking through mountains in summer is the best opportunity to escape the city and reconnect with nature. With comfortable temperatures in the mountains, you can take a few days (or more) to hike through some stunning countries like Norway or Canada.

If you’re in the US and can’t leave, why not check out some of these best hikes in the US?

7.) Visit National Parks

Summer Vacation Ideas Arches National Park

Grab an annual parks pass and start making the most of what beautiful nature surrounds you. Make sure you pick a national park with plenty of shade and look at the different hikes you can do through them. If you need on hiking in the day, how about a park where you can enjoy some stargazing like Arches National Park?

6.) Go Island Hopping 

Summer Vacation Ideas Island Hopping Boat

Island Hopping

Island hopping is one of the best summer vacation ideas that will whisk you to a tropical paradise. You could sail through the San Blas Islands of Panama, travel through the famous islands and beaches in Thailand or head to the Philippines where there are over 7,5000 islands!

Island hopping adventures in these places are affordable and with this kind of variety, you are sure to find islands without the summer crowds. If you’re stuck to American soil, check out Prudence Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Cuttyhunk Island, Nantucket and Block Island off the coast of southern New England.

5.) Enjoy Some Downtime on The Beach

Summer VacationIdeas Beautiful Beach

Imagine this — white sand, blue water and an isolated beach to yourself. If you’ve been working hard and need to de-stress, summer is the ideal time to book an Airbnb, grab that novel you’ve been meaning to read, sit at the beach and just get some you time.

If you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere with epic beaches and need an excuse to get away, how about booking a holiday to Croatia or Spain and enjoying the sea-life there?

4.) Go Scuba Diving 

Summer Vacation Ideas Scuba Diving

If you’ve never been Scuba Diving before, summer is the best time to learn. With warmer waters and different species that migrate around the world, you are guaranteed to be delighted with the underwater world. There are also liveaboard options so you can spend a week or two on a boat out on the water and dive all day.

Did you know you can swim with sharks off the coast of Block Island? A tiny little island off the coast of Rhode Island offers a wide variety of amazing summer water sports: swimming with sharks, spear fishing, charter fishing and more.

The best thing about diving is that there is likely a cheap destination pretty close to wherever you are now. If you’re in Europe or Africa, consider diving in the Red Sea in Egypt where food, accommodation and diving are all very affordable. If you’re in the Americas, head to Honduras to dive in the warm Caribbean Sea. If you’re in the Pacific, check out dive sites around the Philippines, Indonesia Malaysia.

3.) Take Surfing Lessons

Summer Vacation Ideas Surfing

If you need an excuse to book a holiday somewhere, why not pick somewhere with a surf camp? Summer means the sun is up early which it makes it easy to get up for the best waves. Many places also offer yoga and surf camps together so you can spend a week getting zen and mastering your skills out on the water. Some great destinations for surf camps include Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Australia and Bali.

Can’t make it off American soil? Check out surf lessons at Blue Diamond on Block Island. You can stay at the 1661 Inn and take yoga classes in the exotic animal farm!

2.) Chase Waterfalls 

Summer Vacation Ideas Waterfall

I don’t think there is a single person who could ever get enough of waterfalls. Add some of these best waterfalls around the world to your bucket list and use this summer to start checking one or two off. This could be a summer vacation idea that you do every year! The greatest reward is getting to the end and jumping into the refreshing pool at the end – the ideal way to enjoy summer.

If you’re stuck to the USA, check out the Bingham falls in Stowe, Vermont.

1.) Travel!

If you don’t want to stick to a specific summer vacation or activity, why not just pack a bag and head off somewhere for a few months? Summer attracts a lot of tourists to the northern hemisphere. Use the opportunity to travel in low season in the southern hemisphere of Europe where the weather is cooler. If you want to stick to the warm weather, head to Italy, Croatia, Spain or the Greek Islands for plenty on sunshine.