The Ultimate Anti-FOMO End-of-Summer Checklist

Don’t fret — it’s not too late to squeeze the most fun out of the end of the season.

Image: Shutterstock; Illustrations: Mia Coleman

When summer first rolls around, it feels endless and full of possibilities. By the end of August, however, FOMO starts to set in. Perhaps your plan to summit a mountain got scrapped in favor of staying home in front of the AC, or maybe your travel plans got derailed. Don’t fret — it’s not too late to squeeze the most fun out of the end of the season. We’ve compiled a checklist of everything you need to do before fall rolls around, so you don’t feel like summer passed you by. Here’s our guide to avoiding FOMO and maximizing your remaining summer days, plus tips on how to make them memorable:

Catch a concert

Concerts are back, and they’ve returned just in time for you to catch a few outdoor shows before we’re forced back inside. The first step will be figuring out mask and/or proof-of-vaccination rules in your area, since some concert promoters are getting strict. After that, though, it’s all about finding the best events you can. Stalk your favorite bands to see when they’re back on tour, or just show up at the right venue and see what’s happening. Be sure to pack some earplugs — you’ll want to give yourself some time to readjust to the noise levels.

Learn a new skill or hobby

Know someone who emerged from lockdown with a fully-crocheted wardrobe or an award-winning screenplay? Well, maybe that wasn’t you. But it’s not too late to pick something up! If you’re in the mood to get outdoors and finally summit that mountain, we’ve got you covered with lots of ideas. Or perhaps you’re up for doing some experimenting in the kitchen, in which case you should check out our Weekend Project hub for inspiration. Whatever it is you choose, commit hard and you’ll be a master by the time fall is in full swing.

Take a last-minute vacation

Many employers, realizing that travel in 2020 wasn’t such a great idea, let their employees roll over vacation days into 2021. That might be you, in which case you’re staring at a surplus of PTO just as August rolls around. First things first: check for cheap flights. (If you’re more of a train nerd, that’s cool, too.) This is the perfect time to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while, whether they’re near or far.

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See a summer blockbuster

Huge fights and CGI are properly experienced on the biggest screen you can find. Once you have your list of must-see movies, find a theater that’s back in business. Our tip: find a drive-in. They’re retro, often cheap, and social-distance friendly.

Swim in the nearest body of water

Sooner than you think, that secret swimming hole could be frozen over, so break out the sunnies and take a trip. Of course, we have plenty of guides to local spots, whether you live in PortlandDCMassachusettsNOLA... the list goes on and on. Or perhaps you feel like making this a longer trip, in which case you might want to visit one of the best beaches in America. It’s easy to be tricked by the late-summer breezy temperatures, but the UV rays are as strong as ever, so don’t forget the sunscreen.

Get out into nature

Camping, hiking, and general outdoor adventure-ing can be enjoyed all year round, but it’s a lot simpler in the summertime. If you’re new to camping, we have a guide to get you started. If not, then it’s all about finding the right new gear or new favorite spot. Get out somewhere with no cell service and you’ll make more memories than ever.

Image: Shutterstock; Illustrations: Mia Coleman

Throw an all-out picnic or barbecue

If you’re like us, you’ve been saving picnic hacks and barbecue recipes all summer, and it’s time to put them to good use. It’s time for a farewell-to-summer cookout that counts. Check out some grilling guides and recipes (like fried oyster tacos or these must-try sides) for inspiration. Make sure you’re getting the right gear and setting the vibe. After that, it’s all about grilling and chilling.

Host a bonfire

Telling ghost stories, cooking s’mores, and just generally kicking back are best done around a bonfire. If you have a backyard or even a rooftop, you can pick up one of these fire pits and make it simple. Or, find a local beach or campsite that allows for fires — just check your local laws to make sure you’re not risking the nearby ecosystems. Once you’re in place, learn the tips for perfecting a s’more.

Watch a sunrise or sunset

You probably already covered this if you’ve checked off the camping or beach day items on the list, but watching the sunset is the ideal celebration of the season. And sunrise viewing will make you feel like taking on the world. Catching a sunset with a beverage doesn’t hurt, either.