When I was growing up, summertime meant long drives to the east to visit my grandma. It was those experiences that fostered the pull of the open road I sometimes feel – to just take off and drive until I want to stop. Of course it lasts only a few minutes and then I remember that it takes a bit more planning.
You may have a general area you want to explore like the Pacific Coast or New England in the fall for the turning of the leaves. If you’re interested in history, following Route 66 or a tour of Civil War battlefields would make a great trip. Or, in the spirit of adventure, maybe you’ll want to pick a direction and see what comes up! The Travel Neighborhood has guidebooks and lots of information to help you dream and plan.
Consider your traveling companions, if any. If there are small children involved, you’ll probably want to stop frequently and earlier for the night. Think about everyone’s interests and choose destinations and areas with something for everyone. If you enjoy watching scenery and are open to the discovery of serendipitous adventures, you’ll have a ball.
Some practical tips
- Have your vehicle serviced and clean it before you go. (You may be tempted to skip the cleaning, but by the end of the trip, you’ll be glad you didn’t.)
- Make sure you have all the documents you may need at hand – insurance cards, vehicle registration and AAA membership information, just in case.
My favorite advice
- Get a current atlas and map out a tentative route, but don’t set it in stone.
- Take all the scenic routes you can and try to stay off the interstates.
- Consider getting a national park pass.
- Download lots of digital entertainment from Hoopla, Overdrive and Flipster with your library card.