Almost every vacation I’ve ever been on has been a road trip. My husband and I love to pack up the car and take off, often without a destination in mind. We’ve seen a lot of cool things just running into them along the way.
But a real road trip, one that covers many days and crosses many miles needs to be planned out and over time I’ve learned how to plan one with the accuracy and precision of a neurosurgeon. By the time we leave I’ll know:
- Where we’re staying each night of the six weeks will be on the road.
- How many miles we’ll need to drive each day to reach the destination.
- Will either have been paid in advance or know exactly how much our night’s accommodations will cost.
- Any special things we want to attend or do and those associated costs.
Listen, this is a huge trip that will consist of my husband being off work for 6 weeks (accumulated vacation days). Having our bills paid for the month and a half that we’ll be gone. Things like rent, car payments, and insurance still have to be paid whether I’m in town or not. Plus money on the road. This isn’t easy when you’re living the normal 9 to 5 life (my husband) and run a business (me), but we’ve learned long ago that it is so worth it!
Usually, we have a set amount of time and then we plan the road trip around that time period. This trip is a little different because we know that the end game is Alaska and we needed to build out a route with it as the middle point being that it’s so far from us here in South Carolina.
I’ve planned two weeks to get to Alaska, two weeks in Alaska and two weeks back home going a different way coming and going of course. I mean who wants to travel the same route twice? We never go home the same way we arrive if we can help it.
So we have 6 weeks and one really big circular route and here’s what I’ve come up with as a rough draft as I like to call it. I’ll fine-tune it in the weeks and months before we leave. Of course, I’ll start at the beginning making as many reservations as possible before we leave. It’s nice to not have the expense on the road every night.
We’re also planning on doing a lot of camping and some nights even sleeping in the car in lieu of a tent (some places like Alaska, Grizzly Bears people!). This needs to be tempered with a great comfy bed and hot showers in between those nights.
As you can see, it’s a huge undertaking, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love this part. The planning I mean to me it’s the build-up. On this trip, I don’t have as long to plan because we’re leaving on May 28th from here where we’ll be heading to KY first to add two more to our traveling party. My SIL and BIL are following behind us in their own vehicle. It’s nice to travel somewhere you’ve never been with someone else. Usually, it’s our besties Steph & Trav, but they can’t get away long enough for a trip like this.
We’ll be staying overnight in KY and we’ll all be heading out early on the 29th. Our first stop is going to be Omaha, Nebraska. It’ll be a long driving day 10 1/2 hours so it will be a hotel night for sure. On our third day, we’ll land at Mt. Rushmore which is something I’ve been looking forward to since I’ve been there twice and still haven’t seen the actual monument!
As we’re heading to Yellowstone after this it will be another hotel night. We’ll be camping for the next two nights. This reminds me of a little tip I wanted to share with you. When planning a trip like this where you have hotel days and camping days I pack two different bags. One for the campground and one for the hotel. It makes it easier only having to carry one bag and simpler to split things up. Dressier clothes for hotels warmer clothes for camping. You get the picture.
Look for Pt. 2 next week.