By Lana Christian
How can you beat the economic blight on your vacation plans?
Think one-tank trips.
One-tank trips are places you can visit on a single tank of gas.
One-tank trips can take you through your area or state, giving you a new appreciation for state parks, scenic drives, artist colonies, local history and culture.
State parks were established even before the United States National Park Service was created. Day fees for state parks are typically $5 or less. Coupled with the wonders you can find in state parks are the scenic drives that take you there. Ditto for visiting state historic sites.
What was your state’s first capitol? Don’t know? Take a one-tank trip and find out. Enjoy the architecture and soak up the local ambiance. If you find a weekend festival in progress, that’s a bonus.
One-tank trips often take you off the beaten path. That’s how you can find the heart of the area. You may stumble upon the most charming bed and breakfast inn less than an hour from your house. Or you may find an out-of-the-way diner with the best mouth-watering tenderloin sandwich you’ve ever eaten—at half the price of what it would cost in the city. And who would think that a world-class theater could flourish 150 miles away from a major city? It’s all there, if you take some time to do your homework and let yourself meander a bit.
Most states have local wine-making country or microbreweries—many of which are renowned. To find locations near you, just type “wineries in [state]” into your search engine.
Local artist colonies can be a source of joy. Treasured finds can be hand-blown glass ornaments made in the manner of European artisans, or unique paintings, clothes, sculpture, and more.
Many state chamber of commerce web sites have sections devoted to one-tank trips. Magazines and other print publications and plenty of information can be found on the Internet—all you have to do is type “one-tank trips” and the city you live in.
One-tank trips enable you to get away with the family, explore, and enjoy time together without blighting your wallet.