The boring details for those who want to know. Do we have a plan? Yes and No. Yes, we do have a route and list of sites we want to visit. Do we have reservations for all these places for the whole trip? No. Planning a trip like this is daunting. It’s not like – Hey we have this week or two for vacation; let’s make the reservations. In that scenario you know when you plan on being somewhere, dates, location, etc. And it’s not like – Hey we are living on the road full-time and we can stay somewhere as long as we want and delays don’t matter. No, we are in the middle. We have a time constraint. We need to be back August 2020 for the start of the school year. A year sounds like a long time but if you think about the fact that we are trying to see 50 states and there’s 52 weeks in a week that’s moving pretty fast, especially with kids. We know life happens. Someone will get sick, the car will break, the weather won’t cooperate, family emergencies, and a host of other things will detour us.
So here’s how we’ve decided to approach the trip. First, we picked some of the places that we knew were a must for each of us. Then we used RoadTrippers to plan the best route, then based on what that route looked like, we added and deleted some stops. Some states we are passing through with just a few stops because the other places in that state were too far out of the way. Some of which, we really wanted to go to but just couldn’t figure out how to make them work on our schedule. Other times, there are some really great places we don’t plan on going because we’ve already been. How can we go on a road trip through Arizona and not stop at the Grand Canyon? It’s because we took the boys out there during fall break last year so we wanted to visit other parts of that state. And there are some really cool places that we just didn’t know about. So when you hear we were in any given state and you think why didn’t they go see this or go see that, now you’ll have a better idea why.
So here’s the big picture plan broken down into three parts.
We have a mix of historical sites, museums, state and national parks, fun stops, and a bit of Americana selected. Right now, we have a big route, a detailed monthly itinerary, and solid three week reservations. I hear some of you now, but you’ll never get in some places if you don’t book 6 months to a year in advance. Does Yellowstone come to mind to any of you? I hear you. I know that to be true but there are just too many variables to plan a trip like this to make those kind of reservations. So some things we will just simple miss or we will make alternate plans. Like instead of staying IN the park we will stay NEAR the park. I don’t want to not enjoy the NOW with my family because I’m so focused on hurrying up so we can get to the next place and keep the schedule. A missionary trip to Bolivia where I ended up crying on the bus because we weren’t keeping with the itinerary comes to mind. I’d like to think I’ve come a long ways since then. Well, at least a little ways, anyway.