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A good day trip can be an incredible vacation. We cherish those week-long trips into nature, on the beach, or palling around a big city – but that’s not always something you have the time for. When a big, long-term vacation isn’t possible then a day trip can provide a little taste of what you’re working for. So if you have a free weekend coming, put your energies into planning out the perfect day trip.

Plan the Route

Having a free-wheeling adventure is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s also not the most efficient use of time. To have the perfect day trip, you should at least have the major destinations planned out – do you want to reach the peak of a nearby mountain? See a certain exhibit at the zoo? Having at least one major goal will help keep you moving and excited about what your trip will bring.

Don’t Sleep in

Making the most of your day trip requires having as much time as is possible. While it’s tempting to take those extra hours of sleep, you’ll only have so much time for the trip. This is particularly important when you’ll be trekking a distance to reach your destination.

Be Prepared to Travel

Related to the above point, you shouldn’t shy away from a good amount of travel. The best day trips, especially with good friends or family, are marked by those hours in the car. Car-conversations are among the best for discussions, catching up, and talking about life in general. Making the most of a day trip doesn’t have to be all about the destination – the journey is just as important.

Lunch and Dinner – Plan for Both

Among the most important ways to maximize your day trip plans is the food. The daytime hours are the most important for your enjoyment of the destination you’ve chosen. To minimize the waiting time and maximize your enjoyment, pack a lunch. On the other hand, a nice dinner can be an excellent way to unwind, talk about the day, and cool down before (or after) your return journey.

There are other facets of day trips which might be important to you – sharing it with someone special, watching for pop-up opportunities, and more. But the important thing to remember is that the simpler the plan, the more personalization it has. This is your day trip, make it your own, make it the best, and make it when you can.