Day Trips: 5 Practical Items to Make Your Day Successful

"The Adventure Begins" photo by Ole Witt on Unsplash.

Over the years, my traveling habits and style have changed, often as I either made mistakes or gained knowledge through experience. This is especially so for the day trips I take. Even now, I still learn through the ideas of friends, family, or even people I meet while traveling. I am going to share a bit of what I have learned in hopes that it might be helpful to you.  

So Many Water Bottles, So Little Time

First, living in and traveling to either the Southeast or especially parts of the Southwest, one thing I quickly learned is that I must always carry water with me. This is especially true for the state of Arizona in the summer. I am not one to drink a lot of water, so this was new to me.

There are a ton of different kinds of water bottles on the market, and everyone has their own preference. My favorite is the Takeya Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle (24 oz.). After reviewing many and trying a few, I found I prefer this one for the following reasons:

  1. The stainless-steel bottles are heavier to carry around; the 24-ounce size was the best for weight plus the amount of water it held.
  2. Since I now live in Arizona and carry water with me everywhere, especially on trips and outings, I much prefer the handle on this bottle. It fits my hand perfectly and is easily moved out of the way when needed.
  3. It does a great job of preserving the ice and keeping the water cold for an ample amount of time.  I’ve never timed the melting of the ice but have kept it in a blistering Arizona hot car for hours, and it did great.
  4. Love the wide spout for drinking and the twist on cap, no leaks. Personally, I am not a fan of those narrow spouts or ones with straws. I love the twist on lid to prevent leaking.
  5. The 24-ounce size is perfect for the cup holder in my car (Note: cars are different, and it may not fit everyone’s).
  6. It’s very durable and the company sells replacement lids, if needed (I’ve never needed to get one).

I am going to experiment with different brands and sizes soon; the 40 oz. size appears to be very popular. I have not done so yet because the ones I have are heavy enough when walking around for hours at a time. I haven’t had an interest in increasing weight unnecessarily.

Hats: A Must, Especially in the Desert Southwest

I often wore hats in the Virginia summers but if I forgot it, I wasn’t bothered too much. I’ve found hats to be a necessity in the Southwest. With the brightness of the sun and the heat, sunglasses alone just weren’t enough. I am a big fan of baseball caps. There is such a wide variety of options available for them, they are easy to store, easy to clean, and reasonably priced. I really like the Edoneery Cotton Adjustable Washed Twill Baseball Cap, which has an aged, washed look and is comfortable and has many color options.  

Yes, Virginia, There Really is Waterproof Paper

I also love to learn about the places I travel to but find my memory lacking. Because of my poor retention, I always carry a notepad and a pen (I am too uncoordinated to use the notes feature in my cellphone). The problem I find with a notebook is I usually spill something on it or, frankly, it gets messed up when I am carrying it while sweating in the heat. I then have a hard time reading the notes I tried to take.

I found some fantastic items that resolve that issue! I now carry either the Rite in the Rain All-Weather Journal or the Rite in the Rain All-Weather Universal Notebook. The pen I use while sightseeing is the Rite in the Rain All-Weather Pen. These three items have eliminated my frustration when trying to take notes while touring, so I do not forget something I wanted to remember.

The Dilemma of the Purse

Another item I have found to be essential to my excursions, especially mini-trips and day trips, is a large tote or hobo bag to carry around. At first, I struggled on my outings as I was hauling around a regular purse, a small camera case with a camera, my water bottle, and then trying to shove (often unsuccessfully) my pen, notebook, brochures, cell phone, and an assortment of other small items into my purse. Out of frustration, I went out and got a cute beach bag and used it. I found I absolutely loved it and wore it out quickly. My purse now mostly stays home.

One bag I recommend is the Angel Barcelo Roomy Fashion Hobo Women’s Handbags. My favorite is 74#brown, but there are several options from which to choose. This one is a decent size and has several pockets. I can load it up and not have to worry about juggling things in my hands while sightseeing. I don’t currently carry a tablet, but I believe it is big enough to fit one. It comes with an additional strap so you can wear it across your body if desired. There are a couple more bags I like and will be modifying this post soon to include.

Comfortable Feet Essential to a Good Day

Lastly, you must have comfortable feet when doing a lot of walking. I live in sandals until it just gets too cold, I have no choice to put shoes on. Now that I am back in Arizona, I might be able to keep them on all year round. If you are anything like me, have you tried Sketchers? My personal favorites are the Skechers Women’s Reggae-Rasta Flip-slop Sandals Flop (Chocolate color). I love these so much I always keep a new pair on hand as a spare in case something happens to the ones I am currently wearing. I’ve read through the reviews, and there are some complaints about the size. I wear a size eight shoe and the size eight Sketcher sandals fit me perfectly. Everyone’s feet are different, and I make no guarantees.

In the End…

These are a few of the basics that I have found that make a significant difference, particularly for day trips. It has only been through not being prepared that I learned just how much of an impact a few seemingly minor modifications can make. I hope even a couple of these ideas can help you in your adventures.


Note: The products mentioned here are associated with an Amazon affiliate relationship. I may make money from any qualifying purchases.

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