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Road Trip Do's and Don'ts - Quicken Loans Zing BlogAre you looking to get out of town, but you have no more vacation time left? A weekend trip might be short, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pack a lot of activity into that time. There are plenty of places where you can pack a lot into 48 hours. Below, I’ve broken down some activities you can hit in a short amount of time based on your travel personality.

Outdoor Adventure

If you’re the type of person who likes to adventure in the great outdoors and commune with nature, these vacation activities may appeal to you.

Hit the Slopes

As it’s January, this seems like the logical place to start. You can hit the slopes in any city outside the south and enjoy a weekend of snowboarding, skiing and hot cocoa. You can hit all the trails in one weekend if you’re ambitious. The resorts have trails for all levels of experience. You can get in on the action down south, too, by going to some more elevated regions with cooler temperatures. The Appalachian region and the more mountainous regions of New Mexico have snowcapped slopes.

Kayaking and Canoeing

If you’re a water perso
n looking to kick things up a notch, you could try doing some white water rafting. It gets the adrenaline going, and odds are there’s a fast-flowing river within a couple of hours in most areas across the country. Just make sure to find a business that has guides with proper training.


Fishing is a nice weekend activity. Whether you’re headed to a warm-weather lake or poking holes in the ice in the Great White North, it’s an excellent way to pass the time. There’s also the added bonus that you don’t have to pay for dinner you can catch.

Plenty of warm-weather states have year-round fishing. If you’re planning on ice fishing, there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have to go up north, but there are plenty of great spots to drop your pole.

Hiking and Camping and Biking, Oh My

Outdoor trails for hiking and biking abound across the country. The great thing about this is there are beautiful trails with great scenery anywhere you could possibly want to go. Pick a destination for the weather and the distance, and then research local trails.

Camping is a great thing to do if you have a weekend. Many states have public campgrounds with fairly cheap rates. You can further save money by cooking your own food around the campfire. Just don’t blame me if your tone-deaf brother feels the need to regale everyone with campfire songs. Also, make sure to have plenty of sunscreen and bug spray.


Now that we’ve gone over vacation plans for active types, let’s discuss some more laid-back options. Would you like to lie on the beach with the wind in your hair and the sound of the waves filling your ears? How about sitting on the porch with a good Robert Ludlum novel, a Pepsi (or something stronger if you’re so inclined) and a picturesque view? If either of these sound like you, read on.


There’s a series of commercials out right now telling people to find their beach. Although they deal with the beach being more of a state of mind, you can increasingly find beaches in unlikely places.

While Chicago and New York are thought of as sprawling metropolises, they put their waterfront locations to good use. In the same city famous for the Magnificent Mile, you can spend the day stretched out on the sand. If you can find a lake within a few hours of where you live, take advantage of it.

If it’s not warm enough to have the beach where you live, blue skies and sunshine are just a flight away. If a flight isn’t in the cards, you can always watch episodes of “Hawaii Five-0” and think warm thoughts.

Enjoying Nature’s Beauty

You can always find a place away from the city with a good view. These places are perfect for just sitting in a rocking chair on the porch with a good book. Here in Michigan, we have a region we refer to as “up north” that extends from the middle of our lower peninsula upward. The refuge this provides from the city is absolutely magical.

Across the country, there are many places that will let you get away within a couple of hours. If your family doesn’t own a vacation home, it should be very easy to find somewhere to rent.

Thrill Seeker

Maybe the idea of lying around all day puts you to sleep. If you need an adrenaline rush, there are several things you can do to get your heart pumping.

The obvious place to start is your regional amusement park. There are plenty of rides and other things to do. If it’s cold in your region, you might take a weekend trip to a warm-weather city or visit an indoor waterpark.

If you want to amp up the danger by going off the rails, you could go skydiving, bungee jumping or base jumping. You can get training and go with licensed instructors. If you’re into the rush of a freefall, this might be right for you.

If you prefer to keep your feet underneath you and go up instead of down, you could try rock climbing. There are plenty of great outdoor destinations in the mountains and canyons across the U.S. There are also many indoor climbing locations, and there’s sure to be one near you.

History Buff

Are you the type of person who likes to visit historical monuments and battlefields? There are historical sites all over the country. Here are some notable ones:

  • Visit the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed. If you’re in the mid-Atlantic, you can go to Declaration House where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. From there, it’s just a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Gettysburg, the site of a key Civil War battle.
  • If you’re down in Texas, you can go to San Antonio and see the site of The Alamo. You could then drive about three hours east along I-10 and step forward in time to see the latest in space-age technology at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
  • If you’re out west, you can check out the former gold deposits in northern California.

If you had 48 hours to go anywhere you wanted, where would you pick? Leave us a note in the comments.

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