Tag Archives: how to plan a road trip

The Best Laid Plans……

We set out May 15th on a road trip that would encompass four and a half months, two countries, four time zones, and well over 6000 miles.  When you are travelling with all your belongings and your cats in your car….how does that work? Well it started with (literally) an excel spreadsheet that covered 5/15 through 10/1 and showed literally:

1) where we would start each day (2) how many miles we would travel that day (3) and where we would stay that night. That last point needed to be a mix of rental houses  and hotel rooms.

Why rental homes? They allow stability and normalcy. Nobody wants to spend every night for over four months in hotel rooms…..with cats. You need a place to relax, to stretch out, and a base from which to explore. You need a break from the road. You need a place to put some groceries and cook a homemade meal. You need a place to hang your hat for more than a night….and not have to put it back on the next morning

Why hotel rooms? They allow flexibility. When strung together a run of hotel stays let you reflect, reassess, and adjust your schedule. A hotel reservation can be cancelled on short notice and another can be picked up another time anywhere…..or anywhere you are or can get to. It would feel unsettling to most people. It feels like freedom and adventure to us.

We are currently in the middle of a two week stretch renting an old craftsman home in the Mt Baker neighborhood of Seattle. The neighborhood lies within the city limits. It’s a nice peaceful neighborhood with a park that leads to Lake Washington and has a nice neighborhood bistro. However it’s not within walking distance of downtown or it’s waterfront. It’s set apart from the beat of the city…which is great if that’s what you want.

Seattle is a beautiful city and a place where we could picture planting a flag at some point. A condo we could base in for the summer and rent out when we’re not there? Possibly. It’s never too hot in the summer. It’s green and lush.  Everywhere you look there’s water and a view of snow-capped mountain peaks. Vancouver Island and the San Juan’s are a short ferry ride away. It’s politically progressive and sociologically diverse. It very well feels like our kind of city and that is always how we have felt when we have visited before……so now’s our chance to find out……right?

Between the location of the house we rented and the time Traci has been spending working on a freelance project we haven’t really gotten to explore Seattle the way like to explore a city, and that’s on foot.  So what do we do now when we have to move out of the craftsman rental Saturday, Traci has a good three days of work left, and we like being in Seattle.

The excel spreadsheet shows an upcoming string of hotel reservations and a mid-trip stay in Denver of longer than we need (lived there five years and there’s no need for exploration). Time to reassess, flex our flexibility, and tweak that spreadsheet.


As always, you can find posts that predate this platform at http://www.maketrackstravel.blog.com