When you think of a vacation, you might picture exotic, faraway locales — but don’t discount cities within driving range, which are especially great candidates for a micro trip. This past year, I’ve taken micro trips from Omaha, Nebraska, to the nearby cities of Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri — both of which I’ve visited many times over the years. But this year I decided to be surprised and delighted by things I hadn’t experienced before.
Look for unique local festivals or interesting opportunities that can make a familiar location feel new. For me, handcrafted cocktails in a dimly lit speakeasy added a sophisticated highlight to my Kansas City micro trip — which otherwise featured long afternoons wandering through the fantastic Nelson-Atkins museum. And crab rangoon pizza and tiki drinks in an Alton Brown-approved joint fueled my inner foodie in Des Moines.
Don’t necessarily discount faraway locations for a micro trip. If you have time to plan ahead, there are plenty of ways to get a great deal even if you’re traveling a long way from home. Although last-minute flight deals might be harder to snag, they aren’t impossible.
If you know exactly where you want to go, sign up for Google Flights alerts to keep an eye out for deals. If you aren’t sure where to head, a tool like Brisk Voyage will set you up for impromptu weekend trips. Just sign up with your closest airport and receive Friday to Sunday weekend trip options to popular destinations delivered to your inbox weekly.