We’re Planning an Epic Cross-Country Road Trip

My husband and I are in our 40’s. We’ve been together since I was a teenager, and we have four children aged 10 to 23.

And we just started planning an epic cross-country road trip! Actually, the truth is I’ve been tentatively planning this trip for about 15 years, but its taken this long for my husband and I to finally agree that we would definitely go.

Why a cross-country road trip? Well, we have to move out-of-state in a year. To do so, we have to sell our house. It’s small, and old, and not worth much…but it’s paid off. The money from the sale will give us an opportunity to go on the kind of adventure we’ve never been able to afford before, and we realize this might be the only chance we ever get to take a really amazing trip somewhere.

We’ve taken long road trips before, and we’ve even road-tripped back and forth between Michigan and Arizona, which is almost completely cross-country. When we discovered we’d be moving and selling the house, we first pondered a trip abroad – there are several foreign locations we’re interested in. But, when it came down to it, we decided the $10k we’d have to spend *on airfare alone* to visit Europe, South America, or Australia, would go really far right here at home. So, the first thing I did was set out to find any places we could drive to that would be most like some of those foreign places we’ve dreamed about seeing.

And there are quite a few. Quebec, Ontario should give us a taste of Europe…a couple of days at Mexico Beach, FL will make up for not visiting Mexico (plus the water will be safe to drink), and Leavenworth, WA will be our Germany substitute (though we’ll probably visit that town on a side trip after our move, since it’s not far from where we’ll be living). Like I said, we’ve done quite a bit of road-tripping with our kids as they’ve grown up. I’ll share some maps, photos, and details of those trips here soon. If we didn’t already have so much experience traipsing the country with kids in tow, I’m not sure I’d have the confidence to take the trip we’re planning now.

When we hit the road, our children will be 11, 15, and 18. Our oldest will be 24, but there’s little chance she’ll be able to take enough time off from work to go with us (also, I haven’t told her yet but I think I need her to babysit the elderly family cat while we’re gone, soooo….yeah.).

My goal in sharing our experience isn’t just to have super-thorough record of it, but also to possibly help others to simplify their own cross-country road trip, especially when it comes to the planning department. I’m a hyper-planner, which can be annoying to those around me…until we’re 800 miles from home and I’m the one who knows precisely where every offramp, restaurant, and toilet they’ll all need is.

Until next time, I’ll leave off with a photo of the hubs and I – snapped on the *very first* out-of-state road trip we ever took together, which was from Ventura, CA to Kingman, AZ to visit his parents in 1993… 017