Day trips can be a great way to enjoy an escape when you can’t get away for a weekend or longer vacation. You’ll still be able to break your routine enough to relax and recharge, but it will be easier to get right back to the daily grind afterward. Plus, you’ll still be able to sleep in your own comfortable bed, and it won’t be nearly as expensive, something that can make a big difference if you’ve just made a big purchase, perhaps buying one of the Alexandria houses for sale.
No wonder day trips are especially popular among families – one survey found that over three-quarters of respondents said they’d taken day trips with their kids, as compared to just 22 percent who noted they’d gone on a multi-day international vacation.
Whether you’re going solo, as a couple, or as a family, here’s how you can plan a day trip that’s unforgettable.
Pick the Destination
The most difficult decision is where to go. You may have a long list of options, but the first way to narrow them down is to consider how long it will take to get there. Ideally, it should be no more than two or three hours away, so you won’t have to spend most of your day driving. Of course, in some cases, like a fall trip, driving may be part of the fun, taking in the spectacular scenery from the comfort of your vehicle.
If you aren’t sure where you want to go, start thinking like a tourist, doing some research on Google to discover options you might not have known about yet are still within fairly easy reach.
Consider what you want to do or see in each destination and whether you’ll have enough time to do it. If you can leave early in the morning, you’ll have a longer day for farther trips, or just to enjoy all you hope to take in.
Find the Best Route
There may be multiple routes to your destination, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to compare the options, thinking about whether you want to stop along the way to dine out or picnic, take in the scenery or just get there as quickly as possible. Google Maps can get a great tool for figuring out the best stops on your drive.
Check the Weather Conditions
Knowing what the weather is likely to be is an important part of the planning process. Do you mind searing heat, rain, or snow? And if so, are you ready for all of the above? If you’re willing to put up with less than perfect conditions, that could mean fewer crowds, but you don’t want to sacrifice safety or comfort either.
Be Sure Your Car is Ready
Speaking of weather conditions, you’ll want to be sure your car is ready. If you plan on winter driving, for example, you’ll need to be sure you have the proper provisions. No matter when you go, you’ll want to be armed with a flat tire fix like a jack and spare and jumper cables. If it’s been a while since your vehicle has been professionally inspected, it would be a good idea to bring it to a mechanic before you go. Either way, carry a number for roadside assistance with you just in case.
Bring Drinks and Snacks
If you want to save money, and avoid stopping multiple times, pack a cooler with snacks and drinks. By doing it right, you might even avoid dining out altogether so that you can have more time to spend enjoying the attractions in your chosen destination.
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This is a contributed post.