Don’t have time for a full vacation? Or even a weekend getaway? Then let me help you plan the perfect day trip.
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.
👉 Not sure where to start? How about finding a tour on Viator? Just input your city and see what comes up!
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 technique 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.
👉 Make sure to wear the BEST walking shoes around if you plan on spending time walking on your day trip. My favorites are the Tree Skippers from Allbird – they are comfortable AND super cute! Click here for $15 off your first purchase!
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:
- Hiking or exploring a new trail
- Walking through a small downtown and checking out the shops
- Finding a local brewery or winery
- Spending a few hours at a state park
- Poking around a museum
- Enjoying lunch at the local hot spot
- Discovering local history on a walking or driving tour
- Visiting a farmer’s market or roadside farm stand
- Have fun on a local food tour – like this one in Indianapolis
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.
💥 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 Huntington Beach even though it was pouring!), 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!
👉 Get your FREE copy of 5 Fun Family Experiences and start planning fun with the family!