Planning A Dream Road Trip

Monday, September 07, 2015

New Monday Series:  Planning A Dream Road Trip

*New Weekly Monday Series: Planning A Dream Road Trip.  Check back each Monday as I highlight a new city on the trip.  There will be pictures, activities, food, lodging, and interesting bits of information I find about each city as I plan our summer road trip!*

Now that my cruise is over and I have another one planned for early January, what's the next natural thing to do for someone with a major case of wanderlust?

Plan an incredibly outlandish road trip, of course.  This should help me bide my time until my cruise in January.

(Speaking of wanderlust, I came across an amazing article that you may be able to relate to...20 Signs To Diagnose Your Chronic Wanderlust.   I literally checked every single one of these off the list.)

So, I haven't been on a road trip in a while and I kind of miss them!  Now that Jaxson is getting older, I think he may be able to handle a road trip so long as it has a lot of stops packed in with a lot of fun things for him to do.  Thank goodness he seems to have the travel bug like his mommy!  (I was worried there for a while, ha!).

I have told ya'll in the past that I am a serious planner when it comes to vacations.  Not that I have to stick to a schedule and am controlling and won't deviate from the plan...but to me- planning the trip is half the fun!  And it can start now!  And let's face it, isn't that the best part?  When I get an idea in my head about where I want to travel to, I don't want to wait....I want to experience it now!  Once the trip is here, it's over so quickly.  I love to savor it- imagine what we'll see, do, eat, smell, etc.  Bliss.  My husband doesn't quite get that part of it, and that's okay.  He's more of the "don't tell me the details until we're like a week away" type of guy.  He says it gets him too excited for the trip when it's not for months and months away.  That's fine- to each their own.  But I like to dream.  So I decided since I can't share this excitement with him- why not  share it with you lovely people??

 Every Monday I'm going to post about how this trip planning is going.  I will give my epic fantasy road trip destinations/route here today and you will see me narrow it down to something more feasible.  I always start big!  Then, each week I will break down a particular destination and share with you the cool things I've found to do there, places to stay, eat, etc.  Along with the pictures I've found on the internet that make me want to go even more!  You can see how I really go about planning a trip.  Whether you think I'm crazy or not is up to you, lol.  And if you've been to any of these places already, please comment below and tell me things I shouldn't miss out on!!!

Okay, to set the stage for this trip- It'll be myself, my husband (both early 30s) and my son (who will be 6 when we go).  My Dream Road Trip is to do a North East (starting in Maine) to North West (ending in Washington/ Vancouver Canada).  It would have to be the summer since I suppose I can't take my son out of school for that length of time just because we want to travel- ha.  This is new for me!  Having to work around school schedules.

Okay, that's mostly true.  If I were honest- and it really is my dream trip...I say it's ending in Washington/Vancouver but really, I would love to take a cruise to Alaska once we get there for the end of the trip, then the cruise would bring us back to that area.  I told you, I dream BIG!  Now for all the party poopers out there who are about to write and tell me this isn't very realistic- give me this one post to dream big and I promise by next Monday I'm sure I'll have it narrowed down to something I really might be able to do given the constraints of time, money, and the will of a 6 year old :)

 I am also going to start a Pinterest Board specifically for this trip.  So, feel free to follow along.  You'll see a a lot of the fun little pieces of information I find on these cities that I'm planning to stop in.  I'll be adding more to the board as we go throughout the weeks.

Okay, on to the fun part!!  Where exactly am I going on this dream road trip??

The trip will start off in:

1. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine

(drive 3h 12min)

2. Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine

(drive 5h 54min)

3. The Adirondacks, NY

(drive 2h 49min)

4. Montreal, Canada


(drive 5h 49min)

5.  Rochester, NY (family there)

(drive 1h 41min)

6. Niagara Falls, Canada

(drive 9h)  hmmm

7. Chicago, Ill

(drive 6h 31min)

8. Minneapolis, MN

(drive 18h 8min)  hmmm needs some work- any suggestions?

9. Yellowstone National Park, WY

(drive 9h 16min)

10. Spokane, WA

(drive 6h 4min)

11. Portland, OR

(drive 3h)

12. Seattle, WA

(drive 2h 47min)

13. Vancouver, Canada

14. Cruise to Alaska out of Vancouver

(Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Seattle)


15. Fly home from Seattle

If you're interested in doing a road trip, I found an excellent site that is extremely helpful.  It has a map of the world, you put in where you want to start and end and it will draw your route giving you the time, amount of money in gas, etc.  Then you can see what areas you are driving through so then you can plan the rest of your route.  You simply add in cities you want to see and the site automatically changes your routing, timing, etc.  And then it even lists all the attractions, parks, museums, food, etc of every city and you can find what you like and add that to your trip!  Really, if you're planning a road trip, you should check it out.  I love playing on there.

Thanks to my handy dandy roadtrippers site, I now know the time it will take me to drive between all of the cities listed.  So a few of those I added in as a fun place to stop when it told me I had- oh, I don't know, 18 hours of driving between the next city I had listed, lol.  That's how Chicago, Minneapolis, and Spokane made the list.  I'm glad they did though as they look like some great places to stop in and enjoy.

Now it's on to the really fun part for me.  To start really delving in to researching the cities to see the fun and adventures that await us!  I usually scour the internet and travel guides for information.  I really love the Lonely Planet and Frommer's travel guides.  I can usually find some in my local library, but sometimes they aren't the most up to date or exactly the copy I'm looking for.  My next step is to check Amazon...and look what I found!


You can bet I will be getting these!

Now, this is just my dream trip that I'm sure I'll take a version of someday.  Tune in next week to see how I narrow it down to something that my husband won't have a heart attack over :)  Can I get him on board to do a version of this trip??  Check back next Monday to find out!

(For the record- my son is on board with this exact itinerary, lol.... 2 against 1??)

If you don't want to miss a post in this series, join my newsletter here or keep in touch on Facebook and follow along on my epic road trip plans!

I've had  some people ask how I have the time and money to travel so I wrote a post here about some things I do or have done in the past!

*This post may contain affiliate links that, if purchased through, I may receive a small amount of compensation at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for supporting the blog in this way*

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  1. This sounds like an amazing road trip! I love road trips and have been to several of these places! Some of them I flew to, didn't drive! Seattle and Vancouver are breathtaking, I live in Seattle area, but was raised in Vancouver. Montreal and Niagra are on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!

    Fashion And travel

    1. Ahhh! I'm jealous that you grew up in Vancouver and live in Seattle! Do you know of any places I need to see? I'm from Rochester, NY so I've been to Niagara Falls, it's only an hour and a half away. Never been to Montreal though, is been on my bucket list for a while too!

  2. I can't wait to see your posts on Maine. I grew up in New England, but Maine was the only state that I never visited and I really want to see it soon.

    1. Hi! Where in New England? I'm from upstate NY. I can't wait to see Maine! I'll be putting up all the info I find for Bar Harbor and Portland over the next two Mondays!

  3. This is awesome!!! I'm starting a road trip series on my blog highlighting the cross country road trips I've done from NW to SE. I've enjoyed reading about your NE destinations!

    1. Hi Danielle! Ahhh, I want to see your road trip posts too! What's your blog??

  4. This would be an amazing road trip!! And my city (Minneapolis) made your list! :)

    1. Hi Crystal! Is there anywhere in Minneapolis you'd recommend as a must see?

  5. Amazing! I am glad my hometown (Chicago) made your list! I traveled to Maine a couple months ago and was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it is up there.

    1. Hi Ashley! Yes, Maine looks gorgeous, I can't wait to go! Anywhere you'd recommend in Chicago?

  6. When you're ready to go make sure you give me enough time to pack. Fabulous trip!

    1. Ha! Perfect! I'll give you a heads up before we leave!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This is a fun idea! I've never done a road trip - usually only just one or two destinations per trip. I would love to do one but taking that much time off from work isn't a possibility. Hopefully someday though!

    1. Hi Becky! Yeah, it is tough getting extended time off of work. Maybe smaller road trips to start with?

  8. Oh I absolutely love this road trip plan! I am from New England and I think Maine is such an awesome destination. Beautiful all season long and so much to see and do. My boyfriend and I took a road trip from NE to Buffalo, NY this summer to see The Rolling Stones and of course Niagara Falls. I had such an amazing time! Hoping to see the Canadian side next summer. So happy I found your blog and I can’t wait to follow along :) Have a great week ahead.

    1. Hi! Wow, your trip sounds amazing! I'm from Rochester, NY originally so I've seen Buffalo and Niagara quite a bit, but my son has never seen the falls! Maine sounds so beautiful, it's the stop I'm looking forward to most I think. Anything you suggest doing or seeing since you've been there?? I seriously can't wait to research all of these places deeper! Thanks for following along!



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