If money is tight, it can be tough to even think about taking a vacation or getaway. That’s why things like staycations and day trips have become so popular over the past few years as more people became concerned about their personal finances.
In this week’s episode of the podcast, we covered a few different ideas you can use to enjoy your city or small town, one of which was taking a day trip to explore your area.
Day trips are a great way to getaway without much expense since you won’t be paying to stay overnight in a hotel or other accommodation. If you are thinking about taking some day trips to explore your area, here are some of our best tips for making the most of them.
Estimate how much your day trip will cost ahead of time by planning out what you will do and considering all the expensive that will be associated with your outing. Consider the cost of parking and fuel if you’re driving, public transportation if you are going to rely on it, food and snacks, the entry price to certain events and facilities and so on.
It’s important to have a realistic idea of how much you plan to spend and how much your activities for the day will cost you so you can brainstorm ways to save and cut those expenses. I get paid twice a month and I always try to set aside enough money for any travel plans or activities I have (even if it’s just a day drip) at least a few weeks ahead of time. An easy way to save once you know what your expenses are is to eat well before you leave or bring a lunch with you in a cooler so you won’t spend money on pricey food. You can also invite friends or family to come with you to split the cost of transportation.
Have an Itinerary
Having a rough idea of how you want to spend the day will also help you budget. You might think, “It’s just one day, why plan anything?” but you’d be surprised at how many options you might have, depending on where you’re going.
I recently decided to take a day trip to San Antonio, TX, but after looking around at what was in the city, I was overwhelmed. There was so much to do, and of course, some things are more expensive than others.
In the end, I decided to go to a state park not far from the city center. But there was one problem: there were at least 10 different things to do in the park alone! There’s a zoo, a train ride, a Japanese Tea Garden, a museum, trails for hiking, golfing, and the list goes on.
I narrowed it down to the zoo and tea garden, along with getting food and coffee in the city afterward. If I had just gone to the city with no plan, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to budget properly, and I probably would have missed out on a few things or spent an hour deciding what to see.
No matter where I’m traveling or for how long, I always make sure to have some sort of itinerary so I have some knowledge about the spot beforehand.
Clear Your Schedule For The Day After
Sometimes my day trips turn into marathon-like days. Since the area I live in is so rural, if I take a day trip to the nearest city, I have to drive about 3 hours one-way. This means getting up and leaving bright and early, sometimes as early as 6 a.m., and getting back really late.
While I always enjoy my day trips to the city, I’m always exhausted the next day. This is why I try to keep my schedule for the day after my trips light so I can have some extra down time for resting and recuperating instead of planning to have another busy day.
If you don’t make sure you have down time after long day trips, you likely won’t enjoy them and want to take more to explore your area in the future.
Do you take day trips very often? How do you make the most of your day trips?