Pales in Comparison 2018: the planning begins…

What if you could drive anywhere in the U.S.? And you had a month to do it? Where would you start and how far would you go? One catch: in the smack middle of your trip you have to be in Boston and you must stop in Asheville, NC so you can go back to the mother ship.

Honestly, these are amazing problems to have. Jeff and I are back at it, planning a month long “pales in comparison” tour across the country. We learned a lot from our last journey, so we have some new rules to follow.

  1. Backroads. As much a possible, stay off the highways. This means that when you plot your routes in Google Maps, don’t simply plan for the fastest or most efficient way from A to B. If you do, you will mainly see miles and miles of Love’s Travel Shops and Dairy Queens. You should spend time doing some research on scenic routes in the states you are traveling through and leave time to drive them: what was planned for 6 hours, now becomes 8. Plan point A and point B accordingly.
  2. Lodging. There is a huge difference between an $85 dollar motel and a $109 dollar motel. One says “non smoking” room because you’re not smoking in it. When we set out 3 years ago, we were trying to stay under $100 a night. It was a fun challenge, but pretty hit and miss (although, we did make a great rule…the crappier the places, the more likely we drank good beer and wine). We were just trying out Airbnb and stayed at some amazing spots. We’ll be using Airbnb almost exclusively on this trip plus some camping (?). Already super excited about the Airbnb we found in Cambridge.
  3. Cardio. Hike, walk, and stay active. No way to eat your way through tater tots, cheese curds and craft beer without gaining some weight.
  4. Fuel. Be diligent about the most important rule: do not leave behind a perfect opportunity for gas and coffee thinking there will be another opportunity down the road. The stress through Montana, wondering where the next gas might be, is not worth it.
  5. Breathe. Don’t speed. That speeding ticket from day 2, three years ago, just came off my record. 😉

Four weeks before we pull out of the driveway. Twenty browser tabs, four different google maps, five travel books, this awesome brewery map and a lot of research before we have the final itinerary. Enjoying the journey already….

Have suggestions for breweries? Leave them in the comments.

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