Travel Guide: How to Plan a 24 Hour Trip

Whenever anyone comments on how much Adam and I travel, I always remind them that the majority of the trips we take are just little one or two night getaways. It may seem like we’re always on the go, but generally we’re just fitting in a quick trip whenever we have a free weekend. Something super easy, super close, and super affordable.

A 24 hour getaway is the perfect way to reset and get a new perspective. You get out of your routine, lay your head down somewhere else, and get all the benefits of a vacation without the major investment in time, cost, and travel. There’s seriously nothing better.

FIND THE TIME TO ESCAPE

Finding the time to plan a 24 hour getaway is surprisingly easy and that’s why I love the quick one day getaway. No, you may not have an entire weekend you can dedicate to a trip, but I guarantee you can find one night that’s free. Leave on a Saturday afternoon and come back Sunday mid-morning. Clear the calendar for 24 hours. You can do it, I promise. Nobody is that busy that they can’t find one free afternoon/evening and morning.

CHOOSING A LOCATION

 

You’ll probably want choose a spot that’s within an hour and half driving distance from your home, max two hours. Remember, you’re just getting away for one night, so you don’t want to spend half that time on the road.

 

Feeling a bit more adventerous? You can even look for a cheap, short flight somewhere. If I happened to find a direct flight to Charleston for under $100, you can bet I’d be on there in no time to get one night away in my favorite city.

 

If you’re in the DC area, some of my favorite one night away destinations include:

 

  • Frederick, Maryland: I love this city so much that I dedicated three blog posts to it on my first trip! I’m headed back next month for a night and am so excited to get back to this historic, charming town full of craft beer and shopping.
  • Richmond, Virginia: My hometown is a great stop for the hipsters among us. With lots of art, breweries, and a booming restaurant scene, you can’t go wrong. Stay at The Jefferson if you want to splurge, Quirk if you’re feeling super artsy, or the Graduate to stay in the heart of the city.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A great choice if you want an urban weekend away. Try out an authentic Philly cheese steak, explore Reading Market, admire the Magic Gardens, and check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • Annapolis, Maryland: When the weather’s nice, nothing can beat sitting on the water in Annapolis and picking crabs (or eating crab cakes because picking crabs is a pain). Stroll around town, breathe in the salt water, and enjoy this historic town.

 

PLANNING AN ITINERARY

 

As tempting as it might be to pack in as much as possible into 24 hours, don’t. Leave some downtime for those impromptu adventures that may come up while traveling. However, there are some things I like to make sure I schedule into my quick getaways to make sure I get the most out of the trip.

 

  • Check out restaurant recommendations ahead of time and make reservations. You don’t want to get caught either with no idea where to eat or finding an amazing restaurant that’s totally booked. Check out Yelp before you get there, search the Instagram accounts of local food blogs, and see where the locals go. Then, make a reservation.
  • Add in some culture. When I’m traveling, I love to eat and explore local boutiques and vintage stores. However, I can do that anywhere. What makes a new to you city unique is its history and culture. I like to add in at least one cultural activity. Whether it’s a tour of a historic site or a museum, it’s a wonderful way to see the identity of a city.
  • This should be obvious, but steer clear of restaurants and shops that you could find in your own city! My favorite way to shop while traveling is to check out vintage stores because they’re so different from place to place and you can find the most original pieces.

HOW TO PACK FOR ONE DAY AWAY

 

Don’t overpack! This is a trip that should take you ten minutes to pack for. You’re only going to be away for one day, so you don’t need to bring much with you. Bring the outfit you plan on wearing that evening, pajamas, and a travel outfit for the next day. That’s it. This isn’t the time to bring three extra top, “just in case.” Bring two pairs of shoes – the ones you’re wearing for day and one pair for evening – max.

 

When it comes to toiletries, bring the bare minimum. Only bring the makeup you always wear and the face creams and potions that you absolutely need. The less you bring with you, the more this keeps in theme with easy getaway. Part of it being a quick trip means quick packing and quick unpacking.

 

MAKING THE MOST OF 24 HOURS

 

Remember when you’re planning you’re 24 hour getaway, that a big part of the enjoyment of a trip comes from the planning and anticipation. The excitement of getting away is almost as good as the getaway itself – seriously, there are studies that prove it! So, make sure you savor every bit of the planning.

Also, if you want to make the most of your quick escape, make sure to space out your trips! You may get overwhelmed if you try to squeeze in getaways back to back, so maybe try to plan for one a month rather than doing three in June or two in May. So, space them out to enjoy every minute of those 24 hours away.

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