Day 2864 – BIG News – Facebook Group To Help You Plan Your Epic Road Trip!

I am absolutely over the moon right now! I could yell out with glee….but since I’m indoors, with the windows open, I’m trying to contain my excitement.

Ahem – my road trip book is now in the hands of my editor/proof reader! Woooooo! That’s not all!

I have created a Facebook group for YOU to help you plan your own Epic Road Trip! It is open to everyone and anyone! Check out the Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget Facebook group here!

I’ve also put my planning spreadsheet online! If you sign up for the Journey With The G’s email list, you’ll get access to it! Click here to sign up.

This photo about sums up my current mood…

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Day 2503 – Countdown To Our Roadtrip And A Question For You!

I can’t believe we’ll be on the road in just about a month! It has been nearly 29 years since I traveled the northern states. It’s also very exciting to know that we can actually take our time and enjoy the trip this time! Some of our southern route drives have been brutal. Once, we made the drive from California to Maryland in about 51 hours. That was insanity right there.

As I prepare, I have a question for you! What is your favorite audiobook? On previous trips, we’ve listened to The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and The Wheel of Time. I’m all about a reader who can do different voices. Thanks!

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Day 2472 – Cross Country Travel Advice Updated

A friend recently asked for advice on driving across the country. Since we’ve done this a few times and are planning a trip this summer, I was excited to share. As I wrote most of the following (edited slightly to make it direct to y’all), I realized I have a passion for this. I love talking about certain things and inexpensive travel is one of them.

An old blog post about the drive.

Tips on saving money using a Southwest credit card.

To my wonderful readers! If you’re interested in getting the Southwest credit card, let me know your email address and I can send you some info. There’s a promotion right now where I get 5,000 miles for everyone who signs up and hits a minimum. If you spend $2000 in 3 months, you get 50,000 miles, which is enough for 2 round trip tickets. We’re big fans of Southwest. We’ve gotten to fly almost all the way to Cali to visit Bret’s family 3 times because of the cards. (We have two accounts with them). We’ve used the card for a while now, I’m able to pay it off online immediately (I’ve seen credit cards where you have to wait until it posts to the account before you can pay). lol, how else can I say I’m not trying to sell you something, we really do love Southwest and their credit card.

I will write a post tomorrow with some tips on how to rack up the Southwest miles! Some are without having to spend money!

Information about getting cheap RV rentals. There are great deals, but they’re locked in by location and dates.

I would recommend getting an America the Beautiful pass. It’s $80 for a year and gets you in to pretty much all of the national parks. From what I’ve read, it’s good for you and another person AND everyone in your car. So, I could put down my name and Bret’s and we’d both be on the pass. Then we can take people in if they’re in the car. I don’t know much more than that, so check out the website. Since we’re looking into driving the northern route this summer, we want to see Rushmore and Yellowstone, just the two parks almost pay for the pass itself. Since we live in Maryland, we’re so close to SO many National Parks that would count (Fort McHenry, Gettysburg [I believe], etc.), so it makes sense.

Choice hotels tend to have good deals, last time I looked into them, especially if are a choice hotels member (it’s free) and you can book them at least 10 days (though, I don’t recommend booking hotels that far in advance on a road trip, you have NO idea what will happen on the road). OR, if you have a southwest card, you can use Rocketmiles to book your hotel. You pretty much always get 1000 miles on top of the points you earn for the hotel itself. They tend to range about $20-30 more than most hotels, but 1000 miles is like spending $1000, so it works out well! The first stay gets you 5000 miles.

I just found some great deals on Amtrack. You can take a train from San Francisco to Baltimore for about $300. We’ve thought about renting a car and then taking the train back….or maybe getting a flight close to where we want to go and then driving the rest. Maybe Chicago and then drive from there to the other places.

Some tips – If you’re driving, ALWAYS stop when you’re tired. Even if it’s just for a little bit. Having a cooler and food with you is GREAT. There are more tips on that first link. Though, I will say, we’re NOT going to sleep in the back seat this time. We’re going to sleep in the passenger seat….don’t think it’s too safe, really.

Oh! Little known fact, the states in the south are really bad at taking care of snow! So if you’re driving in the winter, know what the weather is. We were stuck in Texas for 10 hours because of ice. My internet wasn’t working well, but I was able to call my mom and she finally figured out what was going on by calling the highway patrol. So I would get the highway patrol numbers for all of the states you’re driving through.

If you camp, look into parks versus big name campgrounds. We regularly camp at a state park and it’s only about $20 a night. Or there are mini cabins, at our state park, for about $55. So that’s something to consider too.

If you sleep in the car, Walmart parking lots are good as are big name gas stations like Pilot and Loves. DO NOT go to the bathroom in a small dinky gas station. lol, there was one place we stopped at in Tennessee or Kentucky and I swear, it was like I was walking through someone’s house. Ha ha, I don’t think we stopped at a no name place after that!

I would also say, figure out the places you HAVE to stop, then the places you’d like to stop and then the, it’s ok if it doesn’t happen. So, know what’s absolutely important and build the trip around that.

Highlights in our travels:
San Antonio, Texas
Monterey, California
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Russells Truck & Travel Center, 1583 Frontage Road 4132, Glenrio, NM 88434 (lol, YES, a rest stop!)

Do you have any questions about cross country travel? Let me know in the comments!

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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Day 1651 – Traveling From Texas To Georgia – San Antonio, Austin, Duck Commander And Southern Cookin’

We stayed the night in San Antonio after visiting with the Currans. Bonus points? The hotel upgraded us to a suite! If you ever make it out to San Antonio (and you really should!) stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites Near Medical Center. Also, if you join ChoiceHotels.com and book your hotel over a week out, it’s even cheaper!

So, we had a wonderfully relaxing stay, slept in and watch TV until almost check out! We got in the car and tried to figure out where to go next. We were planning on stopping by Duck Commander (where they film Duck Dynasty)…but we wouldn’t make it before they closed….and they didn’t open until 9 a.m. the next day. We were also going to visit another of our couples…but they lived in Georgia and past DD. So, essentially, we had about 12 hours to kill.

A few people mentioned going to The Alamo and Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio. We were kind of iffy about it. But I said, well, let’s see how far The Alamo is and if it’s close, we’ll go. When the GPS said 5 miles, we decided to go. I am SO glad we did! It ended up being the highlight of the trip (for both of us).

This sign welcomed us at The Alamo. I personally LOVE American history, so this was a great stop for me!

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After The Alamo, we walked down to the Riverwalk. Oh. My. Gosh. Can I just say it is the most magical/beautiful place we’ve been to? I NEVER expected something so awesome in Texas…no, this country! WOW! While walking, we ended up in this small town just next to the Riverwalk…how cute is this church?

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Now, if you know Bret at all, he’s very frugal with his money. It’s been a very good addition to my life….lol, I’m the one that accumulated our debt…heh heh. Anyways…Bret had such an amazing time, that he said he wanted to stay at this hotel someday. I looked it up, and it’s over $200 a night! But he still said he wanted to go back one day! WOW!

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But I mean, come on! Look how beautiful this is!

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We stopped at a Mexican restaurant and had a wonderful time! Great view!

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We even had some company! 🙂

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After a few hours in San Antonio, we drove up to Austin. It was a fun little stop. We walked up to the capital, did a walking tour of the building and enjoyed the nice view on the grounds. We had a few drinks at a rooftop bar in downtown Austin. They had GIANT sized Jenga!

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Oh, and I won! 🙂 But it was very close. lol.

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After a few hours of letting our drinks settle, we got back on the road. We drove about 4 hours and then stopped off for a nap. We parked at a truck stop for a few hours. Ahhhh, car naps. 🙂

At this point, we were just a few hours away from Duck Commander! It was a nice little stop on our drive! I got a few trinkets….but we didn’t see anyone. 😦 Ah well.

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Since we didn’t see anyone, we figured we’d at least go where they’ve gone…..so we got donuts at the same place they went to in the show! Mmmmmmmm. So good!

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About half way from Louisiana and Georgia, we got a little hungry. We found a little place just off the highway. Oh. My. Goodness. SO good! Seriously the best sweet tea I’ve ever had! I also tried their catfish. I mean, cus obviously! Now, I want to say I’m normally a super dipper with fried foods. Give me chicken tenders and I’m using 2-3 packs of ranch dressing. This catfish? Yea, NO dipping sauce was needed! The flavor was sooooo good. The baked beans were also fantastic. I’m pretty sure there were bacon bits in there. Mmmmmm.

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Day 1649 – Traveling From California To Texas

What a fun drive from California to Texas we had! We planned on taking our time driving home this year and visiting a few clients. We also wanted to actually SEE some of the awesome places we’ve driven past/near a bunch of times.

One thing we did was stop at an Applebee’s for a late night beer. We made it JUST in time for last call!

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Very funny story to share at this point…

We sat down and didn’t really look around too much when we first got there since we were rushing to get our drink orders in. But a little later, I looked up and noticed that I was sitting under the Baltimore Raven’s banner! There were football teams all around the bar. And Bret sat under the Oakland Raiders! (That’s his team by the way….even though he’s almost won over to Baltimore). It was too funny.

Oh, and look at this, we actually took a picture together! 🙂

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