So you're looking for time off from work or raising your children, but don't have the time or money to get away from it all for a week. How about just a day sightseeing in Southern Ontario? Before setting out on this "daycation", some things must be taken into consideration.
What places in Southern Ontario have you always wanted to visit? Having a list of places to see not only defines the structure of the trip, it also organizes the resources needed. Contacting local tourist boards that have information about the places you want to see can also help. These tourist boards might also introduce you to places you never considered going to, but would enjoy seeing if given the chance.
How far are you willing to travel in Southern Ontario? Will it be within a region containing a small number of towns and tourist attractions (such as the Port Dover area), or does it involve only one or two cities with a lot of tourist points in each (such as the Region of Waterloo)? How much of the day will be used up by travelling? How much of the day will be sightseeing?
It's important to consider the weather when planning a day trip. For one thing, the time of year could make outdoor sightseeing uncomfortable if it is too hot or cool. For those trips that are outdoors such as hiking along the Niagara Peninsula, dressing appropriately for the weather forecast is key. Even if tourist attractions are indoors (such as the CN Tower or the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto) and sheltered from the elements, bad weather can impact travel time and dampen the mood of those involved in the trip. Just in case, always take an umbrella
The method of travel chosen could positively (or negatively) affect the sightseeing trip. Some modes of travel are better than others. For example getting there by car might save time but consume more gas than usual and increases the cost of the trip. On the other hand, using intercity buses and trains or local transit to get around can reduce the cost of gas used, but increase the time required to get from place to place.
There are many travel apps for Apple, Android,
and Windows devices to map out the routes to each sightseeing point. They also help determine the cost and time needed as well. Some of these apps are free to download and use. Before deciding on what application to use, however, take note of the rating and the number of users per rank.
The length of the sightseeing trip will also dictate how much food will need to be brought along. Nothing is more distracting than hunger pangs. It could also increase the cost of the trip if you make an impromptu stop in an expensive restaurant instead of bringing along a few sandwiches or fruit. Having said this, there is nothing wrong with going to a restaurant during the trip if that restaurant is in itself a tourist destination.
What will you plan to do during the trip? How much you decide to do during your sightseeing will determine the amount of time spent (see above). When deciding on your activity list, if your activity involves doing something you never did before but want to try, you need to get familiar with it BEFORE you set off on the trip, or allocate additional time to do it during the trip.
If you have an itinerary that has many places to see and with a set amount of time needed to appreciate each point, setting a schedule is very important. This is especially the case when factoring in the time required to reach each destination along the way. When putting together your itinerary, set a reasonable time to reach each sightseeing point in the itinerary and how much time you want to spend there. If there is a chance you might come across something that is interesting but not known about, you should add "float time" to the schedule so nothing gets pushed for later to do. The last thing anyone wants is to return home from a trip later than planned.
How many people of travelling on this trip will have a significant impact. It determine what destinations along the way will be chosen (not everyone in the group will want to see the same places), what time the trip starts and when it ends. The disposition of each participant and how everyone interacts with each other is crucial to consider, as it could potentially ruin the trip. Children have shorter attention spans than adults and as a result might become bored during the trip. The most streamlined day trip is one where everyone agrees on what to see, how much time to spend on the trip, and what to do together between the attractions.
If you plan on taking video during your adventures, you might also want to consider a dashcam
for your car to capture some unexpected scenery.
A final point to note is of course the budget. All the things mentioned above -- the number of people on the day trip, what tourist attractions will be visited, the mode of travel used, the tools used to design the plan for the trip -- will impact the cost of the trip. It is important to decide how much to spend, then tally up the planned costs before going and compare it with the set limit.
Taking the time to plan your "daycation" will ensure that when you head out, you'll be ready for anything. Thanks for reading.