I was sitting with my wife discussing travel, and we found these incredibly cheap flights from Los Angeles to Chicago. Neither of us had the flexibility to take time off of work, and the flights were only available on either a Thursday or a Saturday. We love Chicago, and we couldn’t find a way to satisfy both our wanderlust and our responsibilities. Knowing that the deal was available on a Saturday, I suggested we go for a day. I had no idea then that this idea would be born.
We booked the flights. We left on a red-eye Frontier flight with another couple at 12:25am on October 15, 2015. Our flight would return to Los Angeles, wheels down, at 11:23pm Pacific Time.
While we were in Chicago, we all decided we would make the most of the 24 hours. It wasn’t easy. Our bodies and minds were tested. But in that 24 hour trip we accomplished more than any of us knew was possible.
We visited Wrigleyville and took pictures in front of the stadium. We went to the Bean (Cloud Gate) in Millenium Park and to the Top of the Sears (now Willis) Tower. We ate deep dish Chicago pizza at the famous Lou Malnati’s on State Street. We had Chicago hot dogs…TWICE! We even squeezed in a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago Museum to see the famous A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat and American Gothic by Grant Wood.
Yes we were tired. We drank coffee to get through the day. Yes we had those weird travel experiences. I got us lost going to the Bean in Millenium Park. Had I turned around when we got off of the L Train I could have seen it in plain sight, but I was sure it was the opposite direction. That cost me an Uber from 7 blocks away in the wrong direction back to the Bean. We had a bizarre experience with a driver taking us 12 blocks to the Art Institute Museum and telling us how terrible her life was.
At the end of the day, what we all found was amazing. You see a lot more of a city than you think in 24 hours. And it’s fun! We came home telling everyone of our day in Chicago. No one could believe that while they were sleeping in, having brunch, cleaning house, getting drinks locally, or just lounging around, we had been on 2 flights to see a city half way across the US. A Saturday spent seeing the sights and eating the food.
Would we have liked to spend more time at the museum? Sure! Would it have been nice to take in a game at Wrigley Field instead of settling for a picture of the sign? Of course! But those 24 hours made us aware of how much you can do in a day.
And that was far from the last time that we tested ourselves on a 24 hour run. We’ve been to Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas, and we’re always looking for more stops that meet the criteria; under $100 roundtrip, good access to food and sightseeing with minimal transportation cost, and a reasonable turn around time that will allow us to enjoy all that we can take in of a new place.
While One Day Travel Club was started on the west coast, we are looking for flights and trips that make sense for all travelers. Whether you’re a college student with an open Thursday, someone who can take a Saturday off of work (or call in sick on a Tuesday…we won’t tell the boss), or a retiree that can go any time, we hope to inspire you to take off and see the world one day at a time.