Or how we’ve planned one, at least. We’ll see how the actual execution of it goes.
First, pick the general area you want to travel through. We chose the Pacific Coast Highway, mostly so we could focus on California.
Second, pick what you want to see. We already had some spots in mind, but we combed through Pinterest and travel blogs for more. We also asked pretty much every single person we knew if they had any suggestions- most did.
After that, we put our stops into Roadtrippers so we could get an idea of how long the trip would take. We figured we’d head out sometime around the end of August or beginning of September. Nothing like going on a road trip during fall to celebrate being done with school! Roadtrippers even estimates how much gas will cost for your trip. At an estimated 49.31 hours of driving, plus the 29 pit stops, we were looking at $466 in gas money and more than 2,700 miles split between us.
We’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about whether we want to hit Disneyland when we stopped in LA and Anaheim. We’re lucky to have free accommodation with a family member there, so we don’t have to worry about that expense.
My road buddy has a Thousand Trails membership, and we figured tent sites are usually cheaper than hotels, so we decided to camp out way down the coast. We got lucky again because I have a family member that has a hoard of camping stuff in their garage- they went from tent camping to trailer camping to RVing, and now do long-term motorcycle camping trips. And they haven’t thrown anything out. We salvaged a camp hotplate with fuel, cooking utensils, eating utensils, a cooler, a tent, 2 blow-up mattresses, an air pump, and a first aid kit.
Then we had to make a menu- we’ll be cooking most of our food, to save money. Figuring we’ll be gone for about ten or eleven days, I planned a week of meals. We could stop for groceries halfway through the trip and repeat the menu. That gave us wiggle room if we ended up finding some restaurant or other place we just had to stop and eat.
We also need snack food that was portable, storable and able to eat on-the-go; cheese sticks, carrots, grapes, snap peas, cheez-its.
We have a limited amount of space since we were taking a sedan, but I still want to look semi put together- we’d be going through cities, after all. And not PNW cities where you could say you looked like a transient hobo on purpose. So I spent awhile trying to find a middle ground between what I tend to refer to as my “bar clothes” and my camping clothes. Once I did that, I did a quick “dry run” where I shove it in my duffel. I didn’t fold it or anything, I just wanted to see if they’d fit. They did.
Now we’re in a holding pattern as we try to scrape up enough money for the trip, pick a departure date, and hit the road!
I haven’t actually done a road trip in years, not since I was a kid and my mom mastered the art of the road trip herself. She had it down to such a science that she could make the trip from Seattle to San Diego in two days, with three kids under ten years old. Now that’s impressive
Anyone have any road trip experience or tips they’d like to share?