Summer allows us many opportunities to get out of the house for many adventures including a day trip a few days a week. These simple trips can be to a park that is 30-45 minutes way to meet up with friends we haven’t seen all school year or to a beach or amusement park within 2 hours of our house.
Keeping things prepared ahead of time makes things less stressful on the day of the trip. Here’s what I do to prepare for a Summer Day Trip.
Check Details of Location of Day Trip
Make sure to check location, hours, and cost of any places that might have changed from previous years. You don’t want to load everyone up and drive an hour or two to discover the attraction is closed due to construction. Some attractions have shorter hours during the week or may be closed Sunday and Monday. Always double check or call the day before for any last minute details.
Print Your Map for the Day Trip
While yes we have a smartphone experience has shown that a printed map could save the day on a cloudy day where phone reception isn’t the best. I actually keep a list of local parks to visit and directions to museums, state parks, and zoos in a 3-ring binder in the van. I call it our Summer Planning Binder.
Pick out Clothes the Night Before the Day Trip
We make sure to check the weather and pick out clothes the night before. If we are going someplace that includes water play either a beach or creek stomping then we make sure beach towels and water shoes are packed. We’ve used drawstring backpacks for each person to carry swimsuits, water shoes, and a plastic bag for wet clothes after playing.
Prepare Drinks and Snacks the Week Before Your Day Trip
We try to keep stocked with fruit snacks, water bottles, juice pouches, dried fruit, jerky, cheese sticks, and nuts for healthy snacks. Keeping kids filled with a healthy treat keeps their energy up and bellies happy and saves our budget from impromptu drive-thru visits. We freeze juice pouches as our cooler packs so that the kids can drink them once they thaw out and we can throw the pouches away before we head home.
Place Dinner in the Crockpot
You don’t need to plan anything super fancy but something delicious makes all the difference after a long day away. If you are going to be away all day long then consider taking a small crockpot of chicken with you in the car along with a bag of buns and BBQ sauce. Be sure that your auxiliary outlet in your car works properly and that you have an outlet adapter! Plop in some frozen chicken thighs or chicken breasts, grab a bag of chips, grapes and carrots and you will have a decent meal at the end of the day!