If you’re still working and don’t have a lot of time for a longer vacation right now, even a “daycation” (or two) is all you really need to recharge your happiness battery and have some fun. In fact, autumn can be the perfect time for over-50 age people to do some local traveling and exploring. Kids have gone back to school and parks and other public places are far-less crowded and more serene. As such, here are 5 fun and inexpensive-to-slightly-higher costing things you can to in one day or with an overnight stay.
1. Map a nearby bike trip. Using your nearby jumping on point of your local bike trail, map out a destination to ride to – a nearby town, park, etc. Have lunch or dinner when you get there, tour around, see what’s to do there, and then return home. Make sure you calculate enough time to, from, time for lunch/dinner break and exploring, and leave early enough in the day so you’re not riding home in the dark. One-day bike trips can be a blast to discover nearby little towns that you usually just pass through in your car. And, they’re solo-friendly in case you can’t find anyone to go with you or would just rather explore on your own. Be sure to take a fully-charged cell phone, water, a little cash, debit/credit card, your driver’s license and emergency contact numbers.
2. Free fruit harvesting. Grab a few fruit-picking baskets and head out for not-too-far away free fruit harvesting sites. These are places all over the country where fruit trees, bushes, vines grow publicly and you’re allowed to pick as much fruit as you want – for free! Combine your efforts with lunch or dinner in a nearby town and go home with a pile of free, fresh fruit. To find free fruit harvesting sites near you, contact www.fallingfruit.org.
3. Restaurant rating. Do you like Coney Islands, donut shops, cider mills, diners, fine food restaurants, or other specialty theme eateries? Once a week, find one you haven’t been to in a city that’s within a couple hours drive to/from and check it out. Bring a friend, or go solo, hop in the car and head out on the highway. You can even create your own rating system: How was the food? Was the service good? Was the place clean? Was it fun? What was unique about it? Would you go back again? Use your imagination.
4. Nature walks/visits. Similarly, you can check out your state’s, or county’s parks, that you’ve never been to before, either locally, or within a few hours drive to and back, or plan an overnight. You can get a lot of information from the state’s website under Parks and Recreations section. You can find driving directions to them as well. Leave early enough in the day to get there in time to walk their bike/walkers trail, or take special nature tours they may offer, as well as the local scene. You might want to bring your bike too if you’d rather ride than walk. If it’s a state park where camping is allowed, you may want to bring a tent and camp for the night, or rent a small cabin on site and return home the next day.
5. Go on a boat tour. If you live near water, or a large lake, or river that is within driving distance look for boat tours that may be offered. These can range from fine dining on a yacht as it cruises destination points on a river or lake, or an educational/historical/landmark tour of a certain area on a tugboat, ferry, paddlewheel, yacht, speedboat, pontoon, large sailboat, etc. You might even take a theme cruise – like fall colors, wine tasting, casino gambling, certain music types (jazz, blues, folk, country) you’re fond of. If you’re able to go for a little longer, many boat tours even have rooms available on board for an overnight experience. A good place to find a cruise in a destination you want is www.usarivercruises.com.
Once you get going exploring the ideas of daycations, you can come up with a ton of fun ideas on your own. Warning though, daycations are so easy and fun to do, and take so little time out of your life, or $$$ out of your pocket, that they can become addicting!