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Planning a trip that hits 11 states

We are planning a trip for August by car. 

I'd like to say it all has a purpose but that isn't the main reason. My best friend is getting married and I am in the wedding. She lives in Texas. While this is important to me my DH is only really excited about the awesome trip that is growing.

We were going to do this last year but put it off on the off chance of getting Pg. Well that doesn't seem to want to happen so we are just living for the now.

My DH refuses to fly so we are leaving August 15th by car and will return around the 24th or 25th. For this trip we are going from Pa to Tx and making a stop at the Pro football hall of fame in Oh then back to Pa we hit 11 states.

My question is has anyone done anything like this?

Has anyone found a great site for planning?

Anyone have any cost saving techniques?

My issue is we plan on stopping at places and do the tourist thing but there doesn't seem to be any sites designed to help you find places to stop along your route.

Any help is great. Thank you ladies.

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Re: Planning a trip that hits 11 states

  • my mom has a book about great places to stop in any state in the us. have you looked on amazon or your library for books on states that you'll pass through? you could just photocopy the pages you need and return the book.

    i believe AAA can also do something like plan the trip but i'm not sure how that works.

    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • Am I the only one that thinks that is a lot of miles to cover in only 10 days if you expect to see stuff along the way?  I have never done a real road trip though.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Last summer we covered 5,400 miles and 15 states in 12 days. We drove from West Michigan to Seattle, south to Portland, and then back to Michigan along a different route. IT WAS AWESOME. 

    The first thing I will tell you is that your timeframe doesn't give you a ton of time for sightseeing or doing the tourist thing. I would have loved to linger on our trip a bit more, but we didn't have any more consecutive vacation time. We drove 12-16-hour days in order to get to our priority destinations. (We spent 2.5 days in Seattle visiting family, and 2.5 days in Portland for a wedding - the rest of the time was driving.) Of course, we stopped at little things here and there, but it was not like lingering at a museum for an afternoon, taking a tour, or going on a hike. You're not going quite as far as we did, but still, consider how long it will take to get places and how many miles you want to go each day. And also consider how tolerant you are of being in the car for that long. We love road trips, so a 16-hour day in the car wasn't a big deal, but we didn't want to repeat it again soon, either.

    Cost saving: Our number one cost savings was in lodging - we were fortunate to know friends and family along our entire route, spread out in perfect increments for a day's drive. The only place we had to pay for lodging was in Portland. I'm guessing you might not be as lucky, but check and see if you know anyone along the route you can stay with. Another huge way we saved money was by packing food and drinks in a few big coolers. For lunches we bought PB&J sandwich supplies and just made sandwiches when we were hungry, so we wouldn't have to stop. We also made a big batch of a chicken pasta dish that can be served cold, and packed it into individual tupperware containers before hitting the road. We had that for dinner the first three nights, until it was gone. So we didn't have to pay for a meal until our fourth day. Along with the basics, we also packed things like Goldfish, dried fruit, nuts, bottled water, cans of Red Bull (for emergencies), candy, frappuccinos, etc. We bought bags of ice every other day as the supply in the coolers melted. Finally, we saved money on gas by driving our Prius, and only had to use 11 tanks of gas to make the trip. 

    In terms of finding things to do, I would seek out things that interest you. My husband and I enjoy visiting state capitol buildings, so we tried to make a point to see as many of them as we could on this trip. I used boards like this one and asked around on Facebook to get recommendations of things to do in areas I knew we'd be passing. We also employed a healthy amount of spontaneity, and if something looked cool and we had time, we'd just stop and check it out. (That's my favorite part of road trips!)

    Finally, I would suggest doing a different route home than the one you take to Texas. I think our trip would have seemed really monotonous by the 8th day or so if we were just retracing our same highways to get home. Instead, we had new scenery the whole way until we got back to Indiana.

    Find some great podcasts, make some fun music playlists, and load up your iPod/mp3 player. Bring books, magazines, newspapers. Take pictures of the bizarre roadside attractions you'll come across. 

    I'm excited for you! I wish we could do something similar again this year. 

    If you have any questions or want to chat further, feel free to PM me. 

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