Road Trip Tips: Make a Rainy Day List

Welcome to the #RoadTripSimply section of Simply St. Augustine, where I share Road Trip Tips and ideas! If you’re headed to St. Augustine, head back to my home page for how to enjoy St. Augustine like a local.

Road Trip Tip #1 Rainy Day List

I’m a planner so I always have a contingency plan. My over-planning has never really been appreciated much until last month when our family of 9, my sister’s family of 6 and my parents all Road Tripped up to the mountains for a week of fall family fun… and it rained Fortunately, I had a Rainy Day List at the bottom of our agenda and we were able to switch gears and still have a blast!

How do you make a Rainy Day List? Basically, look for indoor activities close to where you’ll be staying. Easy peasy, right?! In fact, it seems so simple that you may be wondering why you should bother doing it ahead of time. Allow me to convince you.

5 reasons you should make a Rainy Day List before you leave home:

  1. You may not have reliable internet to research once at your destination. We don’t even have cell service at our mountain retreat.
  2. It’s easier to be flexible when there’s another option to quickly switch to. It’s harder to keep positive attitudes while spending 30 minutes researching ideas and figuring out how far away they are.
  3. No one wants to spend their vacation researching “plan b”. Consider the 20 minutes you spend researching ahead of time “happiness insurance.”
  4. You may find something you MUST do. While researching Rainy Day List ideas for our mountain vacation, I discovered a Gold Mine Tour. I knew immediately we HAD to fit that in, rain or shine!
  5. You’ll have a “plan b” if one of your other plans flops. We’ve all had them… perfect plans that ended up being a total bust. It doesn’t cost you a thing to have a backup plan but it can cost a day of your vacation if you don’t.

So that’s WHY to make a Rainy Day List. Now let’s talk about HOW to make a Rainy Day List. Again, it’s simple if you do it ahead of time!

How to make a Rainy Day List to help you #RoadTripSimply

  • First, decide how far you’re willing to drive. This will likely depend on where you’re vacationing. You may be able to find dozens of theatres, museums, malls and movies close by in the city but have to drive 30 minutes for any rainy day alternative in the mountains.
  • Second, do some quick internet reconnaissance. I usually check Trip Advisor, look at Google Images and search for blogs on the spot. This has saved us from super cheesy destinations that would have cost us a lot of money for very little fun time. On a recent trip, I had a kids’ fun zone on our list until google images revealed this “amazing, interactive, indoor play space for kids” was just 5 bounce houses in a warehouse building. Thanks but no thanks.
  • Third, make an actual, physical list. Don’t rely on your memory!
  • Fourth, share with those you’ll be traveling with. Unless they don’t care… then don’t. LOL Angie, my hair stylist, would NOT like a list like this. She’d feel over-planned and cooped up. So if I were traveling with her, I’d just keep my ideas to myself just in case. {Y’all, don’t tell Angie I’m talking about her! 😉 LOVE YOU ANGIE!} On the other hand, when we travel with my family, sharing the list is a must-do because my sister needs to see if the ideas work for her kids as well as I think they will (they’re younger than mine).

Just to clarify, this Rainy Day List is activities outside your destination. I have a separate bag-o-tricks for indoor rainy day activities… we’ll save that for another blog. So what do you think? Will this make Road Trips easier for you? What other tips help you #RoadTripSimply?


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