One of the articles you’ll see below talks about using skill challenges for travel. I’ve not yet done that (though I will be on Friday!), but I have used skill challenges once or twice, and those players seem to have enjoyed them.
The primary argument I see/hear about skill challenges is that they’re too much like a mini-game and break immersion in the story.
Yes and no.
If you just run it straight with a series of rolls, yeah, that’s a boring mini-game. Instead, use what your players give you and elaborate on it a little, drawing out the dramatic tension in the situation.
Read the article and give ’em a shot. You and your players might really like it.
Now get out there and tell a story!