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With stops in the Carolinas, a sunrise breakfast in Savannah, Georgia, and fun jaunts in Key Largo, Islamorada, and anywhere with alligators, I loved that we didn’t know the essential Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How answers of a planned trip. I think we found even more adventure than we thought possible. Adventures included shining a flashlight in the ocean before dawn and seeing an octopus! There was swimming with dolphins and rays, and renting bicycles. There was staying at the fancy hotel in Key West, charming the Customer Service Desk enough that she gave us free breakfast upgrade passes, and ordering juice on the beach. Another activity that you would surely love, is a Key West Sunset Cruise.
2 – Snacks are key. This is another no-brainer but when you don’t know how long you’ll be in the car – hours, days, or weeks – you have to bring foods that last. Think fruit, dried fruit, trail mix, beef or turkey jerky, nutrition bars, etc. Think water, of course. I mentioned water, right? Water and snacks. And personally I love to pick up the local foods at the places on my journey. Think whoopie pies in New England, or Key Lime Pie in Florida!
3 – Don’t wait until you’re too tired to find a hotel or place to stay. I have done this, way too many times. Luckily for me, it was before I had kids so I only had a cranky boyfriend, friend, or cranky self to contend with!
4 – Use your websites and apps to find unsold accommodations and attractions tickets. Last minute travel sites and apps let your name your own price on last-minute hotels and attractions. You might not know where you’re staying until you’ve already paid, but maybe that’s part of the fun? You can save a lot of money on these sites – specifically designed for last minute trips! Apparently, the spirit of adventure can be rewarding in financial ways.
5 – Plan your route, even spontaneously. Even with no destination in mind, you’ll want to have SOME idea of where you’re headed and how long you’ll have on the road. Websites like Road Trip America and Rand McNally offer free road trip routes to help you plan your drive. You don’t have to be too specific – just click on the regions you want to visit and you’ll get several options. This will help you with time management, sight-seeing, and is crucial if you don’t have an open-ended trip in mind, but need to be home! You can also create and plot out backup routes and trips. That way the spirit of spontaneity lives on! I do this for all trips – long-planned or not.
8 – Know your budget. You will have to divide it between lodging, gas, food, souvenirs, attractions, etc.
9 – Pack light and prep your car. This is the time to downsize on what you pack. Pack your own cleanup supplies, and check your car tires, fluids, battery, brakes, and gas!
10 – Take a TON of photos!
And, Enjoy your adventures!