As little girls in Girl Scouts, we are taught the importance of preparation. Planning for this road trip, it has become apparent to me how important preparation really is, so here are a few tips we have picked up along the way in order to prepare for a spectacular road trip!
LODGING Use priceline.com or expedia.com to book your lodging! We discovered they are almost always $1 apart so it doesn't really matter which one you use. We were able to book 6 nights of lodging for $275! If you're not a college student you might not be as interested in cheap lodging, but they have great deals for all levels of hotels. If you're looking for a different kind of adventure, look at hostels in the area. norcalhostels.org has a list of hostels all across Northern California. Hostels can provide cheap lodging and are usually in some really interesting places! We will be staying at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, where the lighthouse and its surrounding houses have been turned into a hostel! Go to www.hihostels.com to find hostels all over the world.
CAMPING For the adventurous outdoorsman, camping is a great option on a road trip. Not only are campsites cheaper than hotel lodging, but they can make for an easy incorporation into some of your road trip activities. If you plan on visiting or hiking through a state park, look and see if that park offers camping. That way you do not have to rush through your day since you are already where you will be staying that night. If you want to make it easier on packing, find a campsite that has a convenience store onsite that offers wood and food. To find good sites use state park websites such as www.parks.ca.gov These websites will let you know which state parks offer camping. www.reserveamerica.com is a GREAT website for finding and reserving campsites. I HIGHLY recommend staying at a camp where you can reserve a site. The last thing you want is to get to a campsite hoping for a spot only to find it full, thus forcing you to sleep in your car on a scary back-road.
ACTIVITIES Visit state and city tourist websites. It seems kinda obvious but they are often overlooked. Not only do they have some great info, but a lot of them offer coupons and specials you can print off. For example we used www.visitcalifornia.com/pages/funspots for $4 off our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. tripadvisor.com provides some great feedback from people who have been to tourist attractions and is a great place to look if you are trying to decide whether or not you want to do something. And of course, ASK FRIENDS, especially friends that live in the area you are going to visit. Our friend Jason, who is from San Francisco was able to give us some great advise of places to visit on our trip, thanks Jason!
More preparation tips, including tips for driving and packing to come!!!