Posted by: Clare | June 11, 2011

Road trip planning 101

Before I get into the details of my road trip, I will give an overview of how I went about planning my route. I use the term planning pretty loosely here. I started with a vague idea of what states I would cover (“all of the western/some of the mid-western states”). I then made a list of places where I knew people I could stay with (Kansas City MO, Salt Lake City UT, Caldwell ID, Eugene OR, Patterson CA, Pasadena CA). I entered these places into Google maps, checking the “avoid highways” option (sometimes more than one result came up, in which case I picked whichever route looked like it might be prettiest/most interesting/I hadn’t driven before), and came up with a first daft route for the trip. This route didn’t cover all of the states I planned to visit, so I then picked random places within the states that weren’t covered, and entered those into my route (again, sticking with “avoid highways”, I had no interest in driving on interstates). This gave me a basic route to follow for my entire trip. I only carried my “Google Maps: Avoid Highway” directions with me, I didn’t have hard copy maps in my car, which turned out not to be a problem, but I would recommend that if someone were taking a road trip like this that they visit their local AAA office and pick up the free state maps, just in case.

Packing for a road trip is tough. It’s really easy to pack far more than you will need, just because you can. I definitely am guilty of this. I packed far more clothes than I wore, including an entire bag of work out clothes/hand weights/work out DVDs, none of which were touched. Best intentions! I also brought a twin comforter and pillow (both of which I did use when staying at a friend’s house), jumper cables/first aid kit/a few other potential driving emergency items (I didn’t end up needing them, but had I not brought them I have no doubt that I would have needed them!), a couple of gallons of water in case either I or the car had a dehydration issue, and a large bag of snacks healthier than those generally found at gas stations.



  1. I was so happy you came to stay with me in KC. I still do not own an extra blanket for company, but I do have a plethora of pillows now… since the expense of the air mattress is behind me, if you decide to ever visit again, I promise to buy blankets! ha

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