Barack Obama and his family are about to set off on a 10-day holiday in Martha’s Vineyard, an island hideaway favoured by the rich and well-connected, before returning to a busy autumn election season.
As they did this time last year, Mr Obama, his wife Michelle and their daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, nine, are leaving Washington for the coast of Massachusetts.
“The president is definitely going to spend a little time recharging his batteries,” said Bill Burton, the deputy White House press secretary.
No public events are planned and like last year, Mr Obama will work to perfect his swing at one of the island’s golf courses, Mr Burton said.
“There will be some hiking, some time at the beach, some time at the ice cream store – all the sort of things you do when you’re at Martha’s Vineyard. You enjoy the people and the good food,” he said.
But presidential holidays remain at the mercy of unexpected events: last Christmas, a young Nigerian under the sway of Al-Qaeda tried to bring down a US passenger plane, disrupting Mr Obama’s holiday in his native Hawaii.
Leaving nothing to chance this time, Mr Obama is bringing along his anti-terrorism adviser John Brennan, Mr Burton said. Two other close aides, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, also will be on the trip.
The Obamas were criticised last year for having chosen, in the middle of a severe recession, to vacation on an island where houses cost millions of dollars.
In an attempt to avoid headlines this year comparing Massachusetts’s immaculate beaches to those of the spill-sullied Gulf of Mexico, Mr Obama took his family to Florida last weekend and exhorted his fellow Americans to follow suit.
The first family will return from their trip on Aug 29.