4 helpful tips for making memorable day trips this summer
The post-pandemic travel scene can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your vacation altogether. There’s a safe and fun middle ground between staying home all summer (again) and venturing out to somewhere distant and busy: taking day trips.
Day trips to cities near your home might have seemed a little lackluster when you had the option to go anywhere in the world, but this past year’s events may have shifted your perspective. If you aren’t ready to brave the airport or stay overnight in a hotel just yet, a day trip can allow your family to get out and have fun while offering the flexibility to return home whenever you’d like.
Keep reading for a few tips that will help you plan some fun day trips that you and your family will remember forever.
1. Find unexpected attractions
If you’ve lived in your area for a while, chances are you’ve already visited the surrounding cities and seen what they have to offer. If you choose to go there as a vacation, it may not feel like you’re doing anything particularly new or exciting.
To switch things up a bit, try seeking out smaller areas with unique attractions. Maybe there are nature trails that you’ve yet to explore or a buzzworthy restaurant that you haven’t gotten to try yet. While many travelers are attracted to larger cities with a lot of entertainment options, choosing to visit a small town with a rich history could be even more rewarding and educational.
If you choose a new and unusual spot as the key destination, you can focus even more on adding fun stops to your route to fill out the whole day with fun.
2. Make some stops (planned or not)
Although you may be tempted to rush to your destination to make sure that you spend enough time there, make sure that you enjoy the ride as well. Once you have a location in mind, look up some interesting places to stop along the way there and back.
Maybe there’s an ice cream shop that your kids would like or an interesting natural sight that you’d like to snap some pictures of. These stops certainly don’t have to be planned, either–you can stop at any point if something catches your eye from the road.
3. Pack your own food
A great way to make your day trip memorable is to pack your own food for lunch and have an impromptu picnic at a park or rest stop along the road. You could stop into your go-to fast food joint any time, but making something fun to bring with you will make the day seem even more special.
In addition to being fun and different, packing a lunch is a practical way to save money on the road. If you bring your own food for this meal, you can plan to have dinner at your destination without worrying about surpassing your day’s budget.
4. Prepare your vehicle
To get the most out of your day and avoid any hiccups, make sure that your car is up for the drive. If possible, get your car serviced before making a long drive and ensure that you have proper insurance coverage. When you take a road trip of any length, it’s always best to anticipate potential problems and try to resolve them so you don’t lose time on the road due to car maintenance issues.
You’ll also want to pack your car with all of the day trip necessities: snacks, water, extra clothes, a first aid kit, and any sporting equipment you might want to use at your destination. Since you’ll be out for the whole day, you won’t want to leave any of your stuff behind.
With these tips in mind, you can fill your summer vacation with fun and unique day trips that offer more variety and fun than a single big, expensive trip ever could.