Going on a day trip nearby is one of the best ways to get out of your home during the pandemic. Here’s how you can plan it with ease and discover places nearby.
Do you often find yourself reminiscing on past trips, or flipping through travel pictures online, wondering when you’ll be able to go on your next vacation?
The prevalence of travel blogs has inspired many people to want to explore the treasures of the world, both near and far. While a nice long vacation halfway across the world, or even across the country sounds amazing, during these uncertain times, the COVID-19 pandemic has created certain restrictions and limited the desire of people to travel .
If you look, there are interesting places all around you to visit and explore. This holds true even if you’ve lived in the same town your entire life, there might be a hidden park, lake, or landmark you haven’t visited.
“Traveling in your backyard” is an expression that refers to living like a tourist in your local surroundings. A lot of people can associate a relaxing vacation with a spa retreat, delightful getaway in an exotic location, time with loved ones at a favorite destination, and more. But if you look closer to home, you just may find that your city and its surroundings pack a treasure trove of equally enjoyable attractions. Plus, you may even be able to reach these places in a couple of hours and come back the same day.
Using your car will help to maintain it during the pandemic, and ensure that it remains in top condition. For more on how to care for your car during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit How to Care for Your Car During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The best part about traveling locally is that you can do it spontaneously. You don’t have to pack heavy suitcases or plan daily itineraries. Instead, you can take a step back, relax in your car, and let the journey unfold on its own. It is ideal when the travel bug suddenly bites you and you feel an overwhelming urge to hit the road.
When you explore local attractions and order takeout from nearby eateries, you also contribute to the local economy. This can go a long way to help local business and tourism flourish in your area. It also reduces your ecological footprint. Moreover, it’s an enriching cultural experience that compels you to perceive your surroundings in a new light.
Now that you’re yearning to explore your backyard, here are a few useful tips:
1. Act Like a Tourist
If you’ve been living in the same city for a few years, your perception of the place may be different from that of a tourist. Things that you consider mundane would excite someone who’s visiting the city for the first time. That’s why it is important to look at your surroundings from the viewpoint of a tourist. Think about the places they’d visit, the activities they’d try, and the food they’d eat.
You can get started by checking your state’s tourism websites or information centers. Look for outdoor monuments and other historical attractions, arboretums, state or local parks, or even drive through safaris if available and nearby.
2. Go for a Scenic Walk
How many times have you passed by a lake and resolved to spend an afternoon there? Or is there a garden or park nearby that you’ve always wanted to explore? There are likely many such places you’ve bookmarked for a later day, but haven’t since gone.
So, for your next weekend or weekday adventure, walk around a nearby lake or hike through a state park with your camera. Even if you’ve been there before, pointing your camera at the landscape will help you notice minute details. You can even search the internet to find hidden trails or scenic routes for your next walking adventure
3. Pack a Picnic
Where did you go for your last family outing? It was likely to a shopping mall, movie theater, or a nearby restaurant. For the next outing with the current climate, head to a local park or lakeside for a picnic. Bring along some board games or outdoor activities, swim in the lake or go fishing if safe and permitted, or sit back and relax with a good book, or to watch the sunset. You can also bring along a camera or use your smartphone to host a mini photo shoot to make the experience more memorable.
4. Interact with Other Locals
Even if you’ve lived in a town for a decade, there are likely places you haven’t heard of. By talking to the locals you can gather intel as to where to witness the most gorgeous sunrise or sunsets, or get the best takeout in town. This can be accomplished by using social media to gather insider tips about the best aspects of a town.
5. Try New Outdoor Activities
Depending on the city/town you live in, you can try your hands at plenty of adventure activities like golfing, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, fishing, etc. Search the internet to find locations where you can enjoy these activities, and try a new one whenever you can.
Another great idea is to go camping for a night in the woods, or even your own backyard. Scour the internet and social media to find safe campsites near your city. You can also get in touch with the local tourism or wildlife department to get more information.
You can also take yourself on a local scavenger hunt using your GPS-enabled device to hide or seek containers or geocaches at a specific hidden location. To start finding hidden around you, visit https://www.geocaching.com/play.
6. Go on an Impromptu Drive
Traveling isn’t always about the destination. Sometimes, you can enjoy the journey without having a destination in mind. Head out early in the morning and drive to the outskirts of your city or town. Enjoy a breakfast on the go or your favorite road trip snacks from your local DK or Alon store. And, if you’re not in a rush, drive further to the countryside for a refreshing experience.
7. Enjoy a Staycation
Every city has its share of hotels, homestays, and rental properties. Book one of these places for a weekend and indulge in a relaxing staycation sans household chores and errands.
8. Visit a Nearby City
If you need a quick escape from your daily routine, a trip to a new city or town will feel like a breath of fresh air. All you have to do is check your state’s tourism website for cities that can be reached in an hour or two. You can visit important outdoor landmarks to learn about local history, or take a scenic walk around the town. During your visit, you can try the local cuisine with a takeout picnic or shop the outdoor farmer’s market.
9. Revisit Old Places
As a local, you may have been to or heard about the outdoor tourist attractions in your city or town. If you haven’t been, you can easily visit to experience them, or if you have been, see new additions since your last visit. A second visit to these places could open your eyes to new details and experiences you might’ve missed from a previous time.
Are you all set to go on a day trip in and around your city? Here are a few more tips to plan an awesome day trip:
- Set a distance limit – Put a realistic cap on how far you’re willing to travel. The to and from distance should be short enough to be covered in a day.
- Pack wisely – Don’t forget to pack essentials such as a phone charger or power bank, snacks or light meals, a change of clothes and appropriate travel gear, etc.
- Check your car – Make sure your car is functioning properly and has sufficient fuel.
- Check the weather – The last thing you want is to get stranded in severe weather. Check the weather forecast and plan your trip only if the conditions permit.