Five Ideas to Maximize Your Summer Day Trip
As skies clear and the weather warms up, you may find yourself itching to spend some time outside; shelter-in-place orders can drive even the biggest homebodies a little stir-crazy. A quick and easy solution to that antsy feeling of being indoors is to plan a summer day trip. Day trips are a great low-budget option to getting out, exploring, and finding hidden gems in your area that you may otherwise never get a chance to visit. Best of all, you'll get to sleep in your own bed that night. Here are five ways to make the most out of your summer day trip.
While the national parks tend to get most of the buzz, there are plenty of state and municipal forests, reserves, and greenbelts that are worth exploring. Whether you're a kayak enthusiast, hiker, birdwatcher, or mountain biker, you'll find plenty of outdoor recreation activities you can do while maintaining safe social distancing measures. For this kind of trip, you'll want to do some preparation ahead of time. Read up about parks in your area to see what kind of permits they require, and what they offer. Some parks get crowded quickly, others have limited parking. You'll also want to pack a light jacket, water, food, a camera, and whatever else you may need.
Get to Know Your Town
Every place has a unique wealth of history and culture, that often residents aren't aware of. Think of your town like a tourist would. Your local Conventions and Visitors Bureau or your state's tourism site is a great place to start. These sources can give you inspiration on local museums, zoos, historic sites, wine tastings, and architectural wonders that you might not know about. Take a cooking class, go salsa dancing, or try skydiving. The opportunities are endless- you just have to find them.
Stick to Your Budget
The best part of a day trip is that it's budget friendly- but to make the most of that, you need a budget. Think about attractions where tickets are required, gas money, food, drinks, and permits. You can save money by turning a dining experience into a picnic with home-cooked food, or getting permits that let you have access to cheaper parking. This kind of preparation can help you save money in the long run. It'll also make you feel good- you enjoyed wonderful experiences and made new memories without emptying your wallet. That way, you'll be able to easily save up to do it again.
The Drive is the Destination
Sometimes, just sitting in your car with the windows down and your favorite music playing is the best part of a day trip. Make the most of your drive with a rocking music playlist, your favorite snacks, and a general idea of great places to stop on the way. Keep an eye out for scenic lookouts, small roadside diners, and gas stations and enjoy the freedom of just driving with no end in sight. The money that you save on attractions you can funnel right into your gas tank and see where the road takes you.
Treat it Like a Vacation
To maximize the mental benefits of a day trip, treat it like a vacation. Take lots of pictures. Don't check your work email. You may be close to home, but you're taking a much deserved break- enjoy it. Day trips are fantastic to relax and reset, so make sure you take full advantage of that. And just like a vacation, make sure your home is safe while you are away.
These tips will take your day trips to the next level, and you'll enjoy a summer filled with little getaways and local discovery.