I’ve had a lot of people asking me about my “daytrips” recently, so I figured I’d share a little bit about what I do and why I do it.
Hopeless and alone in Chicago, I needed something to perk me up. Of course you all know I’m kidding about being hopeless, but indeed I was (and still am) living alone here in the Windy City as my husband finishes up school in Minnesota.
OK, back to the story.
Earlier this year, I got the incredible urge to fly (what else is new?) so I started perusing my favorite website, Google Flights, to find the cheapest flight to… anywhere. In my search, I set my departure city to Chicago (all area airports) and left my destination blank. I set my search to roundtrip, with both the departing and returning flights on the same day.
And just like that… I was a daaaaaaytripper, roundtrip ticket YEAH!
Anywho, I found a basic economy fare on American Airlines for $87 roundtrip. My destination for the day? Atlanta. Fun fact, I was actually BORN there.
My flights had me arriving into Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport mid-morning, and leaving that night. First things first, you have to understand that my number one priority in booking this was to get my butt up into the clouds for a few hours, so anything above and beyond the two flights themselves I considered to be a bonus.
Going into the trip, I knew I had roughly eight hours between the time I would land and the time I needed to get back to the airport for my return flight. I had done some research on the city and found a bakery I wanted to visit, a particularly awesome-sounding museum I wanted to spend time at (THE DELTA FLIGHT MUSEUM… duh!) and last, but not least, I of course wanted to do some plane spotting.
Another priority was to keep costs low, so I took public transit (MARTA) to the bakery, which was on the Georgia Tech Campus—setting me back only a couple bucks each way. Lucky for me, everything else I wanted to do was in and around the airport itself (a perk of being an AV geek). Between transportation and snacks, I spent roughly $50 throughout the day… add that to the nearly $90 I spent on roundtrip airfare and my total trip cost was about $150.
I was amazed, proud and completely and 100 percent satisfied.
Trust me, I knew after just one of these daytrips that it wasn’t smart OR sustainable to do this often. However, Scott and I only have about a year-and-a-half of living apart to get through, so I know and accept that I won’t be doing this once we’re back together. Heck, living in the same city, much less the same apartment as him is a million times better than any daytrip could ever be anyways. These adventures serve as something for me to look forward to (and enjoy) in the interim… not just to fly, but to explore a new place and experience new things.
Following Atlanta, I visited Tampa, Boston, and Denver over the course of roughly three months.
Then, lucky for me, Scott found an internship here in Chicago for the summer, so Annie the daytripper took a little vacation from the… vacations, with one exception: as a birthday present to me, Scott agreed to tag along on one of these crazy jaunts. Our destination? The Big Easy. That trip to New Orleans marked my fifth (and most fun) daytrip. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite city, but sharing it with my favorite person gave it a certain edge.
Sadly, just last week Scott moved back home to Minnesota for his final year of school, so I (naturally) booked my sixth daytrip two days later. This time, I was headed to Baltimore. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Maryland’s largest city… I took in everything from the Inner Harbor to Camden Yards, and even made the trek up to Roosevelt Park and Johns Hopkins University—it was historic, it was beautiful and I already want to return.
So folks… I’ll leave you with a piece of advice:
If you’re adventurous, fearless, curious and have the freedom to “pick-up-and-go,” I’d highly recommend trying one of these day trips. I am happy to answer any questions you might have, or provide any advice on destinations, airlines, when to book, etc. I’m already wondering where I’ll go next, and when. Honestly, daytripping is dangerously addictive… but don’t let that deter you. If you do it right, it’s worth the time and money. The only downside? You might need to factor in a long nap the next day.
Fly on, my friends!