The entire process began as, “Let’s drive across the entire country and see the Grand Canyon! Oh, and we can’t miss Joshua Tree. While we’re at it let’s go to Seattle too!” Then after planning out a trip with days of driving (literally) between stops and the thought of adding one million hours to a simple summer family road trip, well let’s just say that trip changed.
Our kiddos are good in the car and up for trips, even requesting road trips (and flying trips too), but what would add up to a month in the car together? Maybe not so much.
I’m good with that, because as much as I like to get out and see the world, or at least our part of it, I also like to have a tailbone that doesn’t hurt. So, shorter road trip, lots of sights and happy tailbone it is.
Here’s the plan. 1860 miles of scenic midwest (compared to our 5000 mile #BlueSummerTour last year, this one will be a piece of cake!), three little ones buckled in with some favorite travel activities, plenty of stops I’m sure and since we haven’t booked any places to stay yet, well we’ll adventure freely and have fun along the way knowing we’ll find a great place to stay at the end of our drive.
My husband is usually more of the planner type when it comes to trips, wanting to at least have an idea ahead of time of where to go and what we should do; I’m definitely more of the wing-it type (though I’m a thorough-bred list maker, when it comes to vacation I just want to not plan or over think any part of it, besides the packing of course). I want to find a great location to travel to and then let the chips fall where they may. Maybe we won’t feel like eating at the place we planned when it’s time, so why plan it in the first place, right? Because really, is anything really better than getting out and enjoying these few short summer months? So for this trip, we’ve nailed down the cities we’ll visit, starting with Atlanta since I’ll be there for work anyway, and continue our adventure from there… with cities chosen because they sound like fun and a couple of them we haven’t been to yet.
1// Atlanta, GA – Hotlanta it is! Like I mentioned, I’ll be there for work, and besides possibly seeing a few friends, there are some particular eateries I’m interested in trying out.
2// Chattanooga, TN – Because we originally planned to go to Nashville, but I keep hearing fun things about Chattanooga, like hiking trails, amazing views, good food and a trolley. Totally a good choice with kiddos. And it’s on the way to Nashville.
3// Nashville, TN – We’ll most likely stay in Chattanooga, but take a day trip to Nashville to get some BBQ and take in a few sights. I’m sure it would be an amazing place to see at night as well, but with three littles, we will be on our way to bedtime by that time 😉
Lodging: We’ve been looking around with the Booking.com app for accommodations, and I’m loving how easy it is to find and book a place. Although we haven’t booked all of our nights yet… for those days, I’m confident with the Booking NOW app that we’ll secure a great place to stay at the last minute wherever we end up.
Food: While we will pack a ton of healthy snacks and easy eats, (think turkey, cheese, yogurt in a cooler, pretzels, fruits and veggies, lots of water, protein shakes and protein bars), we will also try to explore the culture of whatever city we’re in and eat at a popular local joint.
Fuel: GasBuddy is our friend for finding great fuel prices.
Entertainment: Electronics are a no-brainer, but also, good ole’ fashioned songs in the car for everyone to dance to, and this list we’ve made of our favorite on-the-road activities (although I’ve found that it can be totally pared down to just a few things).
Obviously we have a few places picked out, but we want to see all of the greatest things and would love your suggestions! Some of our best trips have come from picking up and heading out, just getting on the road. There is so much to do and see, so much to experience and I want to unfold our large world before us so my children grow all the more aware and curious of its grandeur. Road trips are like real actual adventures that have quite a bit of chaos and magic weaved in. The problem with over thinking or over planning is that it doesn’t allow for spontaneous experiences or leave your eyes open to the small beauties that can be missed with your nose buried in a list.
So a very short list we have, hearts open to new things and our phone in hand loaded with apps to get us wherever we decide to go (and back again).
Tell me, what is it you’d do or where would you go if you didn’t choose to worry about it and decided to wing it? I’d love to hear! And of course, suggestions for our trip are always welcome!