Get away from it all, even if you just have a day. With an hour or two of planning, you can prepare for a perfect day trip, well one that’s as perfect as can be — lots of fun with a minimal amount of headaches.
The Perfect Distance
Before you can hit the road, you’ll need to decide exactly where you are going on your day trip. You’ll want something within reasonable driving distance, but far enough away that you actually get out of town. Look for a driving distance between about a half hour and three hours.
Where To Go
Find a place with enough going on to occupy you and your travel-mates for several hours. And of course, look for things that interest you. Good bets are decent sized towns or cities, areas with specific draws such as a number of antiques shops, a robust historic site — such as a hands-on museum, a big festival or event, an amusement park or a state or national park. Check maps, tourism sites and guide books to find the perfect day trip location for you. Don’t forget about cost considerations. Depending on what you decide to do, your trip can set you back as little as a half tank of gas or as much as a couple hundred dollars.
When To Go
Pick a day you can devote to the trip. If you need to be back in your hometown at 4:30 p.m. for a dentist appointment, you’ll spend your day trip checking your watch instead of enjoying the sites.
Making a Plan
Next, you’ll need to plan out the nuts and bolts of your day trip. Get good directions, set a budget, research parking and plan out what you want to see and do. Check a guide book out from the library or purchase one at a bookstore. Guide books package lots of information — from restaurants to kid friendly attractions — conveniently. Additionally they’ll give you some honest insight into what’s worth your time and whats overrated. For older guidebooks you’ll want to double check hours and admission times, as they may have changed.
Making a Backup Plan
Prepare for wrinkles in the plan. If your day trip travel date isn’t flexible, you’ll need an alternate plan for any outdoor activities in case of rain. Write down some extra things to do in case you are left with a surplus of time or you find an attraction is closed. Also, look up a few coffee shops, they’re great places to take a break, sit down and recharge. Finally, don’t forget to pack snacks, water, extra camera batteries, sunscreen, an umbrella, a jacket, a charged cell phone and cash.