Have you ever planned an “epic trip”? We’re in the process of planning one right now. I tend to be the travel planner around our house. We think of ideas together and I research and make the arrangements. The trip we are planning right now is a big one…. “All American Epic Road Trip Out West” is what I’m calling it! (kind of catchy, no?)
If you’re seen National Lampoon’s Holiday Vacation, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Normally I would say that being in a truck together, pulling a camper for DAYS would not be something that interests me… but it’s all about the destination people!!
After we bought our bigger camper in April we started talking about a summer road trip that we both wanted to take. We came up with a list of the highlights for the vacation:
- Mt. Rushmore
- Yellowstone Park
- Bryce Canyon
- The Grand Canyon
- Four Corners
- Estes Park
I didn’t even know where most of the destinations were on the map. So I busted out our old school paper Road Atlas and pinpointed the locations. That’s when we came up with the order of destinations and estimated drive times between them. We’re going to be going to a lot of states on this trip!
The first question to answer was the driving timeline. Roughly how long will it take us to drive to Mt. Rushmore? Is it logical to think we could drive for 13 hours in one day?? 8 hours?? Only 4 or 5 hours??
Planning this trip has been a whole new learning experience. To begin with, I had a very educated guess (backed by some research) that the national parks started accepting reservations 6 months in advance. Based on our timeline, I figured we had to make camping reservations in January. Oops. 6 months is actually in December! By the time I figured that out, I started scrambling for some spots. A whole lot of them were already reserved!! Then I found out that they actually started taking reservations in May 2017 for June 2018! DOH!
I had to laugh when the reservations guy told me that there are 3 seasons in Yellowstone: “July, August, and Winter”. I had no clue there was still going to be snow on the ground in early June at Yellowstone! Good to know
Then I found out that our new camper is actually quite large for some of the campgrounds that we were looking at. What the heck, my camper won’t fit in a lot of the sites?? So basically we are limited in the campgrounds we can stay at. But no problem, the private campgrounds are all about the amenities!
We still have a LONG way to go in our planning, but I’m getting really excited about our trip! The wheels are in motion. There will be plans, maps, and itineraries to be made! Side note: I had to giggle when Alan was looking at the map for Yellowstone and mentioned with excitement that our campground was right next to a park trail. He said “Great place to run!!!”. I said – “Aren’t you afraid of bears?? The campground *is* named Grizzly RV Park….”
Q: Have you visited any of the destinations I mentioned?
Any travel advice would be appreciated!
Q: Do you have any trips planned for 2018?
Q: Are you the travel planner in your family?