4 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Summer Day Trip

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Summer Day Trip This is has been a busy summer for us. We're in the middle of a pretty epic move (saying goodbye to NYC is never easy!), Mark has been touring non-stop, my private practice has picked up (yay!) leading to a very busy summer.

Originally, we had intended to take a big trip, but with everything going on, that has to be pushed back until the fall. Instead, we've gone on a series of mini-trips (overnights and weekends) that have left us rejuvenated and feeling summery.

When taking mini-trips. it's easy to do something predictable and safe, but you can get so much more out of a quick trip if you throw in a new or exciting experience or two. It makes all the difference. Your mini adventures instantly go from- "that was nice!" to "SOOOO AWESOME!"

If you're ready to make the most out your your mini break, here are 4 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Summer Day Trip:

1) Seek out an experience you can't find where you live!

Don't just remove yourself from your environment, seek out unique experiences you don't have access to at home.

If you call the city home, head to the country or to the ocean, but don't stop there, do something you can't do while at home in the city. This is the key to a truly memorable experience.

On a recent trip upstate to Westchester to visit some friends for a relaxing pool side barbeque, we stopped to visit a horse farm. It was so lovely to interact with horses up close. We hardly ever get to see horses in Brooklyn. Even though we only spent an hour or so with the horses, it added a wonderful memorable layer to our day trip.

2) Interact with nature in a way you can't at home!

We live in Northern Brooklyn and are lucky enough to have access to parks and beautiful green spaces. Whereas we see plenty of green, we don't see mountain vistas or hear the lull of waves. When I plan day trips, I make sure to leave space to experience the nature in a way I can't at home. Being so acutely present is invigorating.

On a recent trip to the beach, I made time to dig in the sand, collect shells, listen to and splash in the waves. Things I don't have the opportunity to do at home. I could have simply laid on the beach with a novel and my earplugs, but I would have been robbing myself of the chance to really connect with the experience.

On a trip to Roanoke, we found ourselves in a maze of breathtaking mountains. The point was not to over-schedule ourselves (not really a problem in Roanoke) and to take the time to simply be silent and look. We went to the top of the mountains, ventured close to the winding edges, sat in stillness, the kids collected sticks. It was in many ways uneventful, but it was exactly the opposite of our experience as Brooklynites and as such, it was one of the most eventful and dynamic experiences we've had in a while.

3) Seek out destinations that appeal to multiple generations!

Even if you're not a traveling family  like we are, there's nothing like engaging your inner child or your inner old lady (or man) while on a day trip. Give yourself permission to step outside of yourself.

If you are a traveling family, a destination that appeals to both children, parents and even grandparents is a win. Parents are of course all smiles when they see their kids happy, but we're all smiles and relaxed and energized when we find or connect to something in a location that makes us happy too.

We recently visited the National Harbor in Maryland with some extended family and friends of all ages. There was something for everyone! My one year old was happy on the carousel, my three year old loved exploring the playground and the carousel, my husband and his friends got a kick out of the live music, I loved walking the boardwalk and taking in the scenic views, the grand-parents loved the world class restaurants. Actually, we all did, dinner was such a win!

4) Visit a historic landmark and learn something new!

We escaped to Montauk on Long Island for a few hours one afternoon. We could easily have spent the entire day shopping and laying on the beach, but in addition to doing that, we took the time to visit the historic lighthouse and learned so much!

I was fascinated by the stories of haunted apparitions and the fact that the slave ship Amastad once docked there.

My toddler, was captivated by the idea that there was a brilliant light at the top of the lighthouse and to this day, delights in drawing light houses with crayons and paper.

It was a small act, visiting the Montauk Lighthouse and Museum but it was such a memorable one. I was so much more connected to my experience there than if I would have skipped over it and spent that hour laying in the sand.

What do you do to get the most out of your mini-trips?