How To Make A Day Trip Feel Like A Mini Vacation

How To Make A Day Trip Feel Like A Mini Vacation

We all daydream about being somewhere else while we’re at work: Mondays we're pinning pictures of beautiful places in Australia. Wednesdays we see how much it is to rent a van and adventure through all of the National Parks. Fridays we look up the best places to backpack. And then Saturday and Sunday are gone before we even get a chance to load up the car for an adventure. While we don’t always have enough time to go on a full vacation, we can almost always make time for a day trip.

A well-planned day trip can be the perfect getaway from the everyday hustle without the long plane rides, time-off of work, or crazy expenses. Here’s how to turn your next day-off into a full-blown adventure!


Head to a place you've never been to before 

Push your comfort level and go somewhere you’ve never been. Scroll through your favorites on AllTrails and choose a hike or ask a friend their favorite day trip destination. Exploring a new place not only makes the day feel longer, but also gets you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. New adventure jitters anyone?!

Photo by Mecca Ray-Rouse

Photo by Mecca Ray-Rouse

Know What You Want To Do on your trip

Just like any vacation, plan what you want to do or see before heading out. Some people prefer trips to places like Hawaii to snorkel and lay on the beach. Others prefer trips to a place like Banff to hike snow-covered mountains. For day trips, it’s the same. Want to relax? Spend the day by a lake or soaking in a hot spring. Ready to hike? Find a trail up a mountainside or to a waterfall.


always Get an early start

Nothing ruins a good day trip like getting a late start. Depending on where you decide to go you may be traveling an hour or two in your car. Be sure and get on the road early in the morning. Getting to the trailhead/lake/mountain (wherever you’re going) early gives you enough time to experience the area—and get a good parking spot.

Click the photo to shop

Click the photo to shop

Pack The Essentials, Plus A Little Something Extra

Aside from the everyday essentials for a day trip, bring a little something extra to enjoy. A six-pack of your favorite beer, a dark chocolate bar, or a good book to read while snuggled up in your favorite blanket or nestled in a tree hammock. Bring that extra something that will put a smile on your face and make you say, "this is just what I needed."


Plan Out Every Hour

There are only so many hours in the day and making one day feel like a vacation takes every hour possible. If you know your hike isn’t going to take all day, plan to hit up another trailhead or find somewhere nearby to explore. You could bring firewood and roast s’mores as the sun goes down to make the evening just as memorable as the day will be. Planning out every hour may seem extreme, but it will keep you on track, push you to do everything that you planned to do, and make your trip feel so much longer than just one day.


Make It Count

Day trips can be exhausting if you don’t give yourself time to breathe. It’s all too easy to get back from a day of driving and exploring and feel like you didn’t actually have a day off. Give yourself time while you’re laying in the hammock, hiking up to a beautiful waterfall, or swimming in the lake, to soak it all in. You’ve worked hard all week and planned out an epic 24-hour getaway, so enjoy it. Come Monday, you’ll be planning your next day trip instead of googling plane tickets.