Don’t have time to take a full vacation, or even a long weekend? A day trip is a great option! It allows you to get a little vacation time, even if you only have 24 hours.
But only having one day to explore a new place comes with its own challenges. How can you maximize the 24 hours you have?
Here are five things to keep in mind the next time you plan a day trip.
Pack Your Bags Carefully
If your day trip is sandwiched in between a longer vacation, it’s extremely important to pack your bags carefully. Especially if you’re spending the day in a large city. You don’t want to get stuck dragging your luggage around with you all day.
For example, making the most of a single day in New York should include dropping your bags off at a luggage storage location. Or, you might skip the wheeled suitcases altogether and opt for a backpack-style carryon that isn’t a burden to carry around.
You will still want to pack a bag carefully if you’re taking a day trip near where you live. When you’re away from home or your hotel all day, you might want to carry a small bag with you that contains items like:
- Wet wipes for messes
- Hand sanitizer
- Phone charger
Getting organized means packing your bag carefully, but if you’re day-tripping on a larger trip, you have to take organization to a whole new level.
For example, it’s common for travelers to mosey through Europe one city at a time. It’s a great way to see multiple countries during your trip, but you have to make sure you have exactly what you need, when you need it.
Make sure your ID or passport is safe and always within reach. You will want to organize any coupons and tickets you have for concerts, museums, and other activities by date.
Most importantly, you’ll want to organize information for hotels, car rentals, tours, and other contacts by date too. That way, the morning of, you can quickly and easily locate everything you need for the day.
Plan to Do One Thing
Most of us try to do and see as much as we possibly can while we’re on vacation. That’s especially true if you only have one day in a location.
Although you may be tempted to plan every minute of your day, it’s actually better to stop planning your vacation so closely. Your vacation will seem longer and it will be a lot less stressful if you don’t over-plan every detail.
That doesn’t mean you can’t plan anything at all! Come up with one thing you want to make sure you do on your day trip. Then, let the rest of the day unfold naturally. It gives you the freedom to stop into a café or do a little shopping instead of whizzing by so you can squeeze in a quick tour before your dinner reservation.
Don’t plan too much, but don’t rush either. Hurry sickness can leave you feeling drained instead of energized by your day trip. Not to mention, it will leave you feeling anxious, stressed, and worried, which are the opposite of what you’re supposed to feel when you take a quick vacation.
Not rushing is especially good advice for families that are day-tripping with young children. There’s no need to rush everyone out the door or hurry up the little ones in the bathroom. Take a deep breath, slow down, and allow yourself to live in the moment to make the most of your day.
Schedule Time to Recharge
Even if you don’t overplan or rush, only having a single day at your destination can leave you feeling drained. Prevent the feeling of needing a vacation after your vacation by scheduling time to recharge.
That might mean finding an hour in the afternoon to grab a coffee and sit in a café or heading back to your car for a power nap.
It could also mean clearing your schedule the day after your trip. That way you have a chance to sleep in and recharge before heading back to work.
Having fun on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take the whole week off! You can have fun with just one day to spare. You just have to plan ahead so you can make the most of the 24 hours you have.