We all know that feeling: At the last second, you and your family have a lucky day off, and you want to make the most of it. So, you’re getting ready to travel. It’s 9:00 am, and you’re downing a cup of coffee, scouring maps and google search results for activities to keep the family occupied on the day that seemed to come out of nowhere. So, what’s the best course of action? What can you do to maximize your fun on a last-minute excursion?
Don’t worry. It may seem stressful, but there are a ton of things that you can do to ensure you have a fantastic family day. Here’s a checklist of what to pull together.
Last-minute excursions – Answer this question
What works best for you and your family: Filling an entire day with one activity and hoping for the best? Or recognizing that the family might need more stimulation, more activities, and therefore more locations?
Answering the above can be challenging. The answer is dependent upon a variety of factors, including the energy level of your family, the needs of the individual family members, or the time frame at your disposal.
Here’s our advice: Start simple. Pick one thing that everyone (or nearly everyone!) can agree on. Is this a trip to the lake? A quick road trip to a scenic location? A stop at the ice cream shop down the road? Find out that one thing that everyone agrees on and plan your day around that activity. It’s something that the family can look forward to, and the other activities will fall into place.
Of course, even these questions may get frustrating. As such, ask yourself this: What are the easy activities you can do that are likely near you but may still fit a new, unique, and fun niche. For example:
- Have a pool day: Whether you’re known for being that go-getter outdoorsman or would rather kick back indoors, getting out into the sun (or rain on occasion!) will give you a heightened sense of accomplishment while releasing endorphins. With COVID slowly becoming a thing of the past, families are eager to be outdoors after spending so much time inside, and for a good reason. Getting time in the sun will boost endorphins, increase positivity, and keep morale running high, especially during the summer months.
- Wine tour: Honestly, does it get better than chilling at a local winery, relaxing, and enjoying everything they offer? Probably not. If you want a nice glass of wine, check out your local vineyards or see if there is a wine tour nearby. Stoney Creek locations like Galena IL are well known for their wine culture, and boast a wide variety of wine selections from multiple local vineyards less than 20 minutes away from the hotel!
- A new amusement park: One of many people’s favorite things to spend the day at an incredible amusement park. If you are looking for fun to do, go online or ask our front desk about parks nearby that you can go to, making a potential perfect stop for you and your family.
Looking for a new hangout but not sure where to go? Here’s an important question: Is there a resort nearby that you can enjoy? There’s a reason this matters: If there’s a thriving resort nearby, the odds are good that there are fun things to do either at the resort or nearby. In most cases, resorts are only successful if they are completely self-contained or if they have a bunch of cool things nearby. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. So, find what you can do, and have a great time!
Remember, if you are looking for advice, call ahead of time. Find out what activities the resort has nearby, or check out their website. For example, all Stoney Creek Hotels have nearby amenities and information about what you can do. They’re also usually near excellent hiking trails, giving you a perfect opportunity to rest and relax.
What stuff do you have – or will you need?
Sometimes, you want to go somewhere, but you hit a wall: Are you going to need a ton of stuff? Check that out before looking for something to do.
Alternatively, ask yourself this question: What stuff do you HAVE. Do you already have flippers and a snorkel? A fishing rod? If you have the equipment for something, the odds are good that you will enjoy that activity, and it may make the perfect last-second excursion for you and your loved ones.
Can you make a day trip an all-day/next-day trip?
One-day trips are great. Overnights are even better. It’s as simple as this: When you do overnight, you can kick back and relax. Get tired? Go to the hotel. Need to change? Hotel. Want to actually take time and rest? Hotel. Then, you can double your trip value at a fraction of the price: You get to wake up refreshed in the morning, start with a hot meal, and ask the expert staff for advice on where to go and what to do. Indeed, these are things that we’re proud to offer at all of our Stoney Creek Hotels: Great amenities, a solid breakfast, and staff that knows the area and is able to give you the expert advice and local insight that you need.
Get the most out of your last-minute excursion! Check out our various properties at our website, and learn more about how we can help you have the best family vacation ever!