Do they still count as side trips if I do them while my daughter is playing?
Only sorta sarcastic... 14U travel ball means three games on Saturday with an hour of warm-up and at least one game off. That's a minimum of seven hours at the diamond fields. I love my daughter very much, but I now bring my bicycle to tourneys. I'll usually get in 3-5 hours of riding and still get to see 1 or 2 games. Hopefully one of the games in which she is pitching rather than sitting in the dugout.
Bonus points towards my "Dad of the Year" award if I'm seen by her teammates while I'm wearing spandex. Nothing embarrasses a fourteen year old like the old man wearing tights. In public.
We often take side trips on the road for softball. For dinners we try to skip the chain restaurants and find something unique to the area. We played in PA and spent a day at Gettysburg, Denver and river rafting, St Louis and the Arch, OK City memorial etc. Even the obscure placers have attractions. The Petroleum museum in Midland TX and the Battleship memorial in Sioux Falls, SD are actually pretty cool.
Last year, and probably this year too, we do only two tournaments far enough away to stay overnight. We turn both of them into mini vacations. One is the King's Island Showdown and the entry fee includes tickets to the park on Monday. The other is in Pigeon Forge and we do all the touristy things while there.