Create the Best Day Trips

Create the Best Day Trips

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Although I know we miss big vacations, a lot of us are staying close to home this summer. Luckily, it’s fun and easy to plan a nearby day trip. If you are looking for day trip tips or how to create the best day trips, I’ve got you covered.

Finding new stores and murals is always fun on day trips.
You never know what you’ll find on your next day trip!

Where to go on your day trip

Obviously, if it’s a day trip, it needs to be fairly close to home. The easiest way to do this is to use my Circle Your Hometown solution and see what’s in that radius. For a day trip, I’d limit myself to a drive that’s no more than two hours away. An hour is ideal as it will give you plenty of time to explore while you are away from home, and it will easily be a one-tank trip!

If there isn’t a town or area of interest within your circle, how about creating a driving tour and checking out several small towns? This can be a lot of fun too as you never know what you’ll find.

One town might have a beautiful courthouse, another a delicious spot for lunch, and if you are lucky you’ll stumble across a local ice cream shop. A multi-town trip like this can be an enjoyable day – especially if the weather is gorgeous. Pop on some great music, grab a drink, and see what you can discover.

Discover beautiful courthouses when you create the best day trips.

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What to do on your day trip

Well, what do you like to do? Make a list of all the things you enjoy and do a little research to see if any of them available are within your chosen location. Need some ideas? Here are some of our favorite day trip activities:

We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy all of these activities on our local day trips! It’s surprisingly easy to find interesting things to do and places to see with just a little research and an open mind.

Delicious finds at a local winery on a recent day trip.
Often local wineries have delicious snacks to go along with their wine!

Looking for ideas for what a day trip could look like? Check out our recent trips to Rush County or Spencer, Indiana to see how we created the best day trips. If we could find so many interesting things in these tiny Indiana towns, I’m sure you can come up with an exciting day trip too!

Top day trip tips

Now that you know where you are going and what you’d like to do, take advantage of these extra day trip tips to make the most of your day:

  • Make sure you have a full gas tank. Even if you are planning a one-tank trip, you don’t want to start off empty and find yourself unable to find a gas station. Definitely, a stressful way to start the day.
  • Pack a cooler. Not only is it nice to have cold drinks for the drive, but it’s also terrific if you find yourself with leftovers from lunch or discover some mouth-watering chocolates or local cheese that you’d like to safely bring home to enjoy later.
  • Check the weather. You can still have a great time if it’s raining (we enjoyed our day in Danville on a crazy rainy day), but it’s smart to know what’s coming so you can be prepared (umbrellas) AND not be disappointed.
  • Go with the flow. Sometimes attractions are closed or small towns are not as cool as you imagined they would be. Instead of concentrating on what went wrong, try to find a way to turn the day around. Be willing to give up on your “perfectly planned” day and enjoy what’s around you. I bet a day exploring is still better than a day at work!
Drive a fun car for your day trip
If the weather is nice, we enjoy taking the Jeep on our day trips!

👉 Get your FREE copy of 5 Fun Family Experiences and start planning fun with the family!

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Ready to create the best day trips? Use these tried and true day trip tips to make sure you have the most enjoyable day possible when planning a day trip near you! Make your one-tank trip terrific! #daytrips #ouradventureiseverywhere #localtravel
Ready to create the best day trips? Use these tried and true day trip tips to make sure you have the most enjoyable day possible when planning a day trip near you! Make your one-tank trip terrific! #daytrips #ouradventureiseverywhere #localtravel

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  1. We love taking day trips too – and although we’re all craving a long vacation this summer, as we all know, it just may not happen. Thanks for the tips!

      1. Thank you for the winery tip! My husband and I are trying to think of some day trip options and you helped me come up with a fun plan since we would be passing wineries along the way. So excited!!

        1. Perfect! Don’t forget to pack a deck of cards or Yahtzee! It’s so much fun to sit outside, sip a glass of local wine, and play a game or two.

  2. I love day trips and especially love the Circle Your Hometown! Great tip! Gonna link to that post in my series of day trips in Minnesota.

  3. When I was younger we loved to take day trips with the kids. It got them out of the house but they could still come home to their beds. Great tips!

  4. Great tips! We usually do a big trip, and then we do smaller trips during the summer. I’m not sure what we’ll do this summer. I have been looking around at some possibilities though!

  5. I love your idea of packing a cooler but be open to new things so you might find a new restaurant to try. Keep your options open – the perfect sentiment for any adventure!

  6. We have started mapping out all the day trips we want to do this summer. It will be fun to mark them off the list as we go! Keeping our options open as you suggested!

  7. We enjoy stopping at local food places and getting a sense of what the locals like to do. We will be taking a lot of day trips this summer. It’s the perfect time to be exploring our own state.

  8. This is exactly what my husband and I are doing this summer, day trips within 100 miles from home. So excited to plan the first one. And we definitely learned to start with a full tank of gas! We almost ran out in the middle of a prairie last year, with nothing in sight but grasses…and no cell phone coverage! Unbelievably, a UPS driver pulled up beside us and helped us out. Then he drove off and disappeared in minutes.

  9. Great ideas! We love day trips. We haven’t been able to do any recently, but we love to do day trips to San Diego, LA, Palm Springs, and to wineries and mountain towns.

  10. Even if you have lived in the same place your whole life, I bet you will find hidden gems! I know we did and still have so much more to discover. I love the day trip idea. It’s something almost everyone can do.

  11. Thank you for the great tips! I will definitely be trying out the circle your hometown idea to see what’s near us. A few day trips would be a great way to spend the rest of summer!

    1. Thanks – happy to help! I’d love to hear where you decide to go – please come back and share or share on social media.

  12. We love taking day trips in the summer in my Jeep, too! I think driving with the top down in the sunshine or under the stars are some of the best feelings. Great planning suggestions, too!

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