Hello, beautiful readers! Today is Day 27 of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! After waking up when my body wanted to, I had breakfast and worked four hours at my part time job. Then, I completed my food shopping and dropped off some items at my parents' house. I had a late lunch and started to read and comment on author posts when I realized the time. It was already 5pm!
So, I jumped up and got in a 20-minute interval workout. Then, I dyed my hair. While it set, I worked on my finances and put some Brussel sprouts in the oven to bake. When my hair timer went off, I showered and washed my hair. I didn't bother blow drying it because I'm going to the beach tomorrow. I went back to going through emails and blogs until the Brussel sprouts were ready. Then, I baked some fish and ate dinner while watching HGTV (my son is with his dad this weekend).
In the last post, I told you my son has one more state to see. Any guesses? *drum roll* Yup, Hawaii! I'm doing some serious saving for that trip. Tomorrow, I'll go more into how I budget, but today, I thought I'd spend some time sharing with you how I plan my trips in case I've inspired any of you to plan a road trip of your own.
The first thing I did was print out a map of the United States. I also bought a map of the world for my son. It's a scratch off map so you can reveal what's underneath once you travel to that place. Each time we visited a state, he and I scratched it off his map, and I highlighted it on mine and put the year of our visit. This not only motivated us but also helped us visually see where we had yet to visit so we can plan our trips.
Then, I used a Word document that my dad created to plan our trips.
Usually, we took my dad's truck, but for those trips that required us to fly, we researched the costs of the flight and the car rental. After the trip, we filled in how much we spent on dinners and purchases, including gas. We also put the total money spent on hotels. This helped us with our budgeting for our next trip. Keeping track of the mileage was just fun for us.
The chart above is where the real planning took place. We decided what states we wanted to visit first. Then, we searched "things to do in..." on Google. Usually, something like this would show up:
We would click on the first 3-4 links and start looking for things of interest. We would pay attention to the cities in which they were located and jot them down. We did that for each state we wanted to visit.
Once we had an idea of attractions that interested us, we then started planning where we wanted to go and in what order. Our first couple of trips had us backtracking at times because we didn't plan the route well. We once again used Google. We typed in "distance from a to b." We looked at how many miles it took and the approximate time it would take. The time is always an estimate because we needed to add rest stops, food stops, and traffic build ups. Still, it gave us an idea of how long it would take.
We tried to keep the driving down to less than 5 hours, but there were some days that were driving days only. Those were sometimes 7-8 hours of driving. My dad and I would take turns driving every time we filled up the tank. If the distance between two destinations was very long, we would go back to the map and look for an interesting place in between. When we found our halfway(ish) mark, we would search that area to see if there was anything exciting to see. That's how we discovered some of our stops.
These two steps started formulating our plan. As we found our route and the places we wanted to visit, we then began determining how many days we wanted to stay in each area. Some spots were just one nighters; other places warranted staying for a few nights. So, this is what it started to look like: