In my last post about preparation, I scratched the surface of this all-important girl scout principle. Well, girl scouts are not just prepared for what they know is coming, but are prepared for the unexpected. Thus, this post focuses on some prep steps we have begun to take that aren't as obvious but just as important.
WEATHER: Ok, so you can't control the weather. You might think the only way to prepare is by praying that your days spent out of town will be sunny, warm and dry; however, there are some steps you can take to make sure you are prepared for the weather that lies ahead. weather.com is easy to navigate. Simply type in your destination and look at the month forecast. Ok, so it only gives you about 2 weeks in advance, but the great thing is, it also gives you averages from previous years. These are typically good indicators of what the temperature and precipitation will be like. Since our road-trip will occur in a slightly wet month for California, we are preparing for rain with ponchos (can be bought for around $0.99 at target) and umbrellas. The key to being prepared for varying temps is layers layers layers! Bring clothes you can layer in the morning or on colder days and take off when the weather is sunny!
FOOD: Eating out 2-3 meals a day for an entire week can get pretty expensive. John and I came to this realization on our honeymoon in Tahiti and soon hit up the local grocery store for some bread and peanut butter to satisfy our lunch cravings. Even fast food can soon eat away at your vacation budget, so here are a few tips to avoid this. Plan on eating out only 1 meal a day (we usually pick dinner). Pick a couple days, based on where you will be, to splurge on a nice meal out and keep the rest to casual dining institutes. If you plan this out you are much more likely to stick to your budget! For breakfast, take advantage of your hotel's continental breakfast. Almost every hotel provides some sort of breakfast, even the sketchy ones usually do...trust me I know. Most breakfasts end fairly early, so if you don't like getting up or eating that early, wake up and grab something that will keep for a few hours then go back to sleep. If you are prone to motion sickness or have a sensitive stomach while traveling BANANAS will be your life savers. Take a bunch with you, they will last for at least the first 4 days of you trip if you buy them green. For lunch bring food like a loaf of bread, peanut butter, beef jerky, and fruits and veggies with peels. Viola! Lunch for super cheap, you can eat it on the road, and it will all keep well (I recommend buying a collapsable cooler). Don't forget, other cities have grocery stores too, so stock up when you see one!
DRIVING: Let me keep this one short and sweet. Print out directions from EVERY place you are going to the destination you would like to arrive at. INCLUDE DIRECTIONS TO PARKING GARAGES IF YOU ARE VISITING A BUSY CITY LIKE SAN FRANCISCO. This will save you a lot of stress. You do not want to arrive at your destination only to discover there is no visible place to park nearby. Plus, we have found that if you research ahead of time, you can figure out which nearby garage is the cheapest! If you do not have a GPS, try to borrow one (thanks dad!) A GPS will be really helpful, especially if mapquest gives you bad directions, which is sadly all too possible. If you know someone familiar with the area, verify directions with them.