Most of the time travelers will tell you to plan, plan, plan. This is understandable, in most cases we would agree, but what happens when it’s Friday and you want to actually do something with your weekend other than clean or Netflix? Well it’s not too late to find out! To be honest, we plan last minute trips all the time! Just for a day or maybe an overnight it’s up to you. First place to start is where to go. Pick a spot that’s drivable in only a few hours. Remember you will have to drive back only a day later and then head back into work on Monday, seriously don’t overdo it! I would recommend nothing longer than 3 hours’ drive. That also means it might be an adventure in your very own state or just over the border. Some helpful destination options are cute rustic towns or state parks. Most states have a few state parks that might have some interesting scenery. If you have a chance to go to another state, check out museums that you might not normally get to see or take a local tour. The possibilities are almost endless as to what you can find to do. If you plan to stay overnight pick a location you could stay with a friend or use Airbnb to find a room and stay local. I always recommend this option as it gives you a more personal look into the local feel, plus you just need a simple room for a night.
As children, our parents would get us up and say wear something warm or grab your flip flops. We would pack a lunch and snacks in the cooler and hit the road. We saw small towns and covered bridges, beaches and lighthouses, art festivals and universities. We just simply went. A lot of this was with a paper map… we’re not showing our age at all. Sorry map, but now you are just there for an emergency, thank you google! If you don’t want to spend the night or the money, just switch drivers. 2 or 3 hours back in a day is a long day, but totally doable. Ellen and I have done much longer but we’re accustomed to it after so many years.
My favorite example was when we drove up to Ludington Michigan. We got up one morning and said “let’s go” we tossed some snacks and water in a backpack and tossed on a few layers. Layers are key to not packing a ton of stuff while having flexible clothing for ranging temps and weather. The drive is about 5 hrs. up to near Luddington, but since we were making excellent time Ellen wanted to go horseback riding. A quick google search and she found a local spot and head over as they opened. Being early definitely helps, but most of the time it’s not necessary. We were given a private ride and it happened to be one of the most fun horseback riding tours we have done and we have done a few (whenever we go somewhere Ellen wants to go horseback riding). It’s fun so why not! After our ride, we head into town for some walking the cute shops and lunch. As we prepared to head into the state park for our hike to the lighthouse we got some sandwiches from a local shop and tossed them in our backpack. In our case Ellen hiked with the water and food and I hiked with the camera gear. She also had a blanket and her hula hoop. Ellen brings her hula hoop on our photo trips so she can practice while I work. It’s light and doesn’t usually get in the way so why not! We chill in front of the lighthouse and eat our sandwiches until the sun starts to set and I start shooting. After the sun is long gone we hike back in the dark, queue our headlamps, another item we love packing for hikes. When we get in the car we debate about finding somewhere to stay and decide to drive all the way home instead. Yeah, 10 hours of driving in one day for one trip, told you we’re crazy road warriors! Sunday, we slept I, but we had a hell of a time. Moral of the story, just go, let it be an adventure!