Whether you got to jet-set around the world or had to entertain yourself in suburbia for a few weeks, summer vacation was a magical time in the 1990s. Even before smartphones and tablets were a thing, there were loads of ways to relax and unwind during your brief hiatus from school. In fact, the things every ‘90s cool girl did on vacation still sound pretty fun today. I could definitely watch a block of music videos and forget all my troubles for a while.
You could catch up on your reading, reconnect with friends over the dial-up internet connection, and experiment with looks that were too "edgy" for school. (The spiked bracelet that almost got you suspended could finally be brought out of retirement). You had time for frequent trips to the movies for films that are classics now. You and your friends even had time to rehearse with your band — and all the adults thought the Spice Girls were a bad influence.
Summer vacation gave you a chance to relax and explore interests outside of school. Sports, crafts, and even experimental fashions were all at your disposal. (For the record: fanny packs have their uses.) Feeling nostalgic yet? Take a look at the things
1. Experimented With Sun-In
Back when tanning was still a thing, you probably doused your hair with Sun-In, attempting to get those must-have chunky highlights. Although the product predates the '90s, trying it out for at least one summer was a rite of passage.
2. Watched 'Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation'
Even if you were a bit too cool for cartoons, this movie always had a spot on your rotation. The jokes about the reality of visiting an amusement park really spoke to your heart.
3. Shopped dELiA*s Catalogue
Before there was Pinterest, you had this catalogue and a pen. And you circled the hell out of those fly chunky sandals.
4. Tried Out Edgy Jewelry
So during the school year, you probably had to adhere to some rather strict dress code rules. But over the summer, you could bust out that tattoo choker, rave pacifier, and peace sign toe ring.
5. Read Whatever You Wanted
Maybe you were in the library's summer reading program and traded book reports in exchange for free pizza coupons. Or maybe you were just happy to have a break from school work so you could catch up with The Baby-Sitters Club. Summer reading was the best.
You finally had time to catch up on making macrame lanyards and friendship bracelets. Chances are, a few of those summer crafts are still lurking in the back of a jewelry box somewhere.
7. Watched Music Videos
Depending on your household's rules, you might have enjoyed MTV from time to time. But even the slightest exposure to Gwen Stefani's awesome getups still informs your sense of style today.
8. Started A Band
Sure, maybe you and your bandmates only had a year's worth of piano lessons among the four of you. But you could pull off a pretty mean cover of Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much."
9. Played Sports
Whether you were on an official softball team or just goofed off in a pool with your friends, the summer was made for outdoors fun. Or maybe you channeled Monica Seles and challenged your friends to a little tennis.
10. Watched Summer Blockbusters
Jurassic Park, Speed, Men in Black, The Lion King — you saw them all in the theater. It's something to tell the grandkids about one day. Sure, there were plenty of stinkers in the mix, but it's better to focus on the awesome films.
11. Caught Up With Friends
Whether you talked on the phone all evening or used America Online Instant Messenger (AIM), staying in touch with your friends was crucial. TTYL!
12. Rocked A Fanny Pack
Hey — if you were spending the day at an amusement park, it was by far the most useful way to stash your sunglasses and lip balm. You felt like the bomb with your fanny pack on.
13. Drank Questionable Drinks
Back in the day, cool girls quenched their thirst with Surge, Sunny D, and Fruitopia. What was in those drinks? I am afraid to even look up the nutritional information. But at the time, they were delicious.