The Value of Small Travel

When most of us think about travel, we tend to think about those awesome adventures to far away, exotic places. But travel doesn’t always have to be big every time. The day trip and the weekend trip seem to be overshadowed by those BIG trips….the ones requiring a passport and a plane ticket. 

Yet we can introduce more travel into our lives by exploring the world in our own backyards. This could be city-wide, state-wide or regional locations. Let’s call it “small travel.” Small travel is the kind of journey that only requires an overnight bag, think day trip or weekend getaways. 

So what’s the best way to approach small travel when you have a small budget? 

Consider the following planning tips: 

Use Google maps to see what’s around your area: You may have more options that you realized. Let’s say I want to stay within 2-hours driving distance. Since I’m in Atlanta that gives me a lot of local options and plus places in surrounding states. 

Find a city or town that looks interesting: Once you have your city, do a search for “Things To Do In (name of city).” You may discover that a town near by is hosting a festival, has a quirky claim to fame or the panoramic country view (and air) you desperately need for a day or two. 

Driving time: How much will it cost in gas and time roundtrip? How long do you want to be on the road? Remember: the more time driving, the less time you’ll have to enjoy your destination. It’s a delicate balance. 

Traffic: Once you figured out where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, the next step is to figure out when to go. Want to avoid traffic? Hit the road in the early in the morning or late at night. I don’t like driving late at night so I always opt for a pre-dawn start. There’s something magical about being on behind the wheel while the sun comes up. 

If more travel is one of your 2016 resolutions, remember that the value of small travel is that it gives you the opportunity to get away more often while you save for the big trips.