Planing a Summer trip? Looking for something to do over a long weekend? Hoping to get away from it all in the “Heart of it All”? Here are some classic tips and some new ideas for taking a trip in the great state of Ohio.
Choosing where to go:
- Check out ohio.org, Ohio’s official tourism board website. They can give you Ideas on places to go and things to do.
Also ohio.gov/tourism/ , a more formal government site with information on regulations, links to official Ohio websites for almost anything one would want to do in state. A great resource to use after an activity has been decided on.
- Go to the official Website of a location. They will have the best chance of having the correct information. if they are wrong then they will hear about it and correct it, or have to deal with the consequences. If a secondary site is not updated or simply had wrong information they have less of an incentive to correct it.
- Be careful when visiting a review sites. Sites like yelp or tripadvisor are crowd sourced. While the crowd might give a general idea of a place, there is little to stop a lone person from messing with the score, or giving a misleading review. As with anything think about the source. Read many, many of the reviews and then decide for yourself.
That being said: Some of the sites do group together reviews nicely and can lead one to new and exciting places. Try tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g28956-Ohio-Vacations.html
- Your Local Library: They have information on a lot of stuff and places. Use them.
- Staff in the area. Wait staff, People behind the counter at the gas station, almost any employee one meets usually live in the area they work in. They know the area and the hidden gems. Ask them about restaurant recommendations or other things to do. A lot of the time they will be glad to talk about there hometown.
- Google Maps: Google maps has a feature that will let build a map and share it with other people. This is a great way to create an idea map. As you hear about a place put a pin in the map. After a while you can see what region has the most pins. It is simply a matter of narrowing it down to what can be done in the time allowed. Google maps is also great for telling making a route. Somethings might seem out of the way, but become on the way when destinations are rearranged. It is free and fun to play with an imaginary itinerary.
- Use Google street view to see what a place looks like. It has pictures of the street from outside of most Ohio destinations. It is easy to miss a place the first time going there. Harder to miss if you have seen what it looks like.
- Decide the amount of time available for the trip. Figure a guess at how many things can be done in that time. Map them. Drive times and other time sinks can take away precious time when too many things are planned. Leave room in a schedule to be safe and relaxed. Rushing from place to place does not make for a fun trip. It is better to skip a place and want to go back than to be rushed and hate everything.
- Add an item to your list so that you can skip it. Getting up early, driving 2 hours to a destination and seeing everything in 1 hour, not the whole day planned, can be a real let down. Add a destination, or two, in case free time opens up. It is better to have a place to skip and want to go back to than to be disappointed in the whole trip.
- Think about the last time you went to a similar place. What did you take you did not need? What did you not take but need. Plan accordingly.
On Trip Enjoyment:
- Plans fall through. The best part of a trip is the taking of it. Don’t try to stick so close to a plan the it destroys your trip. At the same time do not forget your plan so much that everything falls apart. A good trip is free flowing. A good trip is planned. A great trip is a balance of both.
- Pictures vs memories: The eternal debate. Is taking to many pictures and only remembering taking pictures and not what the pictures are of a bad thing? Is not taking any pictures and having nothing to remember the experience by worse? Think about the pictures you took last time, were they too many, not enough, or just right. The answer varies person by person.
- Drink water and eat. Staying healthy is a big part of enjoying anything.
- Learn something new.
These are just some suggestions that we use to plan a trip. As with any planning remember that no plan is fool proof. Allow for some adjustments. A website might say a location is open, but sometimes websites do not get updated regularly. Also take the time to be safe. No trip is worth not being safe and courteous to others.