Does your generic local
multiplex get you down? Are you pining for a little movie action under the
stars, snack bar included? A legit drive-in theater is hard to come by these
days, but if you’re anywhere near Cape Cod this summer, point your wheels
toward Wellfleet, where a vintage al fresco theater is showing double features
all season. To make the nostalgia even tastier, order up a vanilla shake at the
Dairy Bar & Grill between flicks.

Given the struggling economy,
many potential tourists today are fantasizing about their pre-recession lives.
We’re talking about going further back than, say, 2007. A stressed-out populace
is waxing nostalgic for much simpler times. Call it comfort travel: taking a
trip into the warm and safe memories of a bygone era.

And with old-timey options
available across the country, even the most cost-conscious traveler can find a
retro retreat a short distance away. Maybe a spin around a 1930s dance hall
will put you back in the swing of things. Or perhaps a 1980s-era roller-derby
match at L.A. Derby Dolls will help get out some of that AIG-related

Seeking comfort in the past can
be quite beneficial, according to psychologist Wendy Kaufman, founder of the
health-and-wellness company Balancing Life’s Issues. Kaufman has been leading
employee de-stressing seminars for nearly 19 years, and one of her strategies
is to encourage people to find a “comfort place”: “I tell them to take the time
to sit back and pick out those personal memories,” she says. “So many people
end up saying, 'I forgot how much I loved...,’ whatever the case may be for

Comfort places aren’t
necessarily tied to a particular geographic location. If the amusement park was
your favorite childhood spot in Virginia, going to the Santa Cruz boardwalk
rides in California will probably be a scream as well. Pining for the
cherry-red MG you had in your hot-rodding days? The 200 retro cars at the Keels
& Wheels show in Seabrook, TX, will bring back the fond memories—without
the maintenance costs.

For those who find it hard to
pinpoint an ideal, stress-free moment to revisit, Kaufman prescribes a bit of
research. “I suggest revisiting photo albums,” she says. “I encourage people to
talk to their moms and dads, aunts and uncles, people who have lived through
worse recessions—and find out what they did during those times to have fun.”

Get ready to relive a little
history—and to take your mind off the problems of the present—with these
vintage vacation ideas.


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