Two years ago, I went on a 14-day road trip, covering 8049.5 kilometres. We stopped in Moose Jaw, Drumheller, Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Valencia, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Bozeman, and a campground in North Dakota. We saw the Royal Tyrell Musem, the Calgary Stampede, Stanley Park, the Space Needle, Voodoo Doughnuts, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disneyland, Caesar’s Palace, and the great outdoors. Overall, it was a hugely successful trip. We had some wonderful experiences, despite a few minor road blocks (no pun intended).
There were two of us, and we had to have a rough plan out before we left, and had to pack all of our stuff in a 2013 Toyota Corolla.
Here’s how our planning went:
My fiance was, at the time of our planning, driving a 1997 Saturn. We wouldn’t be taking my vehicle, because it was a standard transmission. In preparation of our trip, he had his vehicle checked over for any necessary repairs. Turns out, the repairs on his vehicle were more than the vehicle was worth. Disappointing, but I’m definitely glad we didn’t just take the car on our trip without going through the check-over. Long story short, he ended up buying a new 2013 Toyota Corolla CE. It resulted in a very smooth ride for us, and we had absolutely no troubles with it for the entire trip.
We went on google.ca/maps to plan out how far we could reasonably get in our 2-week time limit, and expanded our route to pack as much in as we could in that time. Some people would probably have done a little less, taking longer breaks in between driving days than we did, or driving for shorter spans of time. At the same time as this, we found something worth stopping for at each of our points. A factor in our consideration was how much we were willing to spend, and we set an average daily budget, which included food, entertainment, gas, and a hotel.
Once we knew where we were going, we decided where we would be sleeping. We had initially planned on camping about half of the nights, but considering most of our “attractions” were in the middle of cities, it just didn’t make sense. That being said, we did budget for a hotel each night, so we didn’t overspend the high end of our limit. We weren’t quite sure how many nights we’d be spending in each destination, so we only booked hotels in Calgary and Vancouver, our first two scheduled stops. After that, we’d book a hotel room in our next destination before we left the one we were in. We had a laptop with us, and mainly used hotel or coffee shop wifi. Technology has made traveling without a perfect plan so much easier!
We packed. In anticipation of camping, we had a tent and sleeping bags, as well as some minor camping cooking supplies, like a pan, some plates and cutlery, a knife, and tongs for barbecuing.We also had to pack for varying weather, since even though it was summer, we had to prepare for rain, cool days, blistering hot days, fancy dinners out, and camping in rough clothes.
We drove off into the sunset!! (Literally.) It was the best vacation I’ve ever taken.
We borrowed a GPS from a family member (would highly recommend). We made sure we had iPod charge cables in the car so that we always had music to listen to. Having the right car can make a huge difference in a road trip. For us, having bluetooth, Auxiliary, USB, and iPod hookups, cruise control, traction control, air conditioning, power locks, and a car that had good fuel economy made our trip the best it could be.
If you’re planning a road trip and want to know what vehicle is right for your trip and your needs, come stop by 2425 McPhillips St in Winnipeg or give us a call at 204-338-7985.