Overnight trips made easy

WITH so many interesting destinations a few hours’ drive away, overnight trips have become more and more appealing: travel to a point of interest, stay overnight at some cozy place, drive back the following day. Since these trips are usually made on short notice, if not on a whim, not everything goes on as planned. That doesn’t have to spoil your trip, though. So here are five easy steps to enjoy your staycation to the fullest.

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Do not plan to the last detail. Nothing spoils a trip more than going obsessive-compulsive with travel plans. Don’t penny-pinch when comparing accommodation rates since the difference might be too minimal and not worth it. But bring extra cash.

Keep it light. You won’t be crossing water and won’t be away for a week, so don’t overpack, especially with clothes and other essentials. You’ll save fuel and energy from not carrying heavy stuff.

Try a bit of spontaneity. Ditch the on-the-dot schedules and stops to make travel more exciting. Caught a glimpse of a nice view while driving? Then stop and enjoy the scenery. Spotted an interesting roadside eatery? Then pull over and have a bite or two.

Talk to the locals. No one knows the place more than the locals, so if you want good information like interesting side trips, talk to them. Of course, verify this with the staff back at the place where you’re staying and inform them if you’re heading somewhere off the beaten track.

Be reasonable. This applies mainly to expectations. You get what you pay for, so don’t expect five-star treatment when you’re on a budget trip.

Lowering expectations also helps, especially when the trip turns out more spectacular than you thought it would be.

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