& Some Advice for Planning a Road Trip
I’ve started planning my road trip for the summer! Excitement is in the anticipation of where I’m going and what I’ll do along the way. Planning this trip is requiring more work than I’ve done on my previous trips.
This year, I’m driving up the coastline of Maine as far as ‘Downeast’ as I can go in the USA. ‘Downeast’ is what the people in Maine call the eastward coast because ships would have to sail downwind in an easterly direction. Pretty cool trivia! I’ve been pouring over travel books and looking at websites trying not to miss something I should do or go see.
For the first time I’m using a website and app to help me plan my route. In my past trips, I just relied on Google maps, road signs or Trip Advisor to point me to places to go. Sometimes getting lost is the best way to find things to see.
I do Google to find state websites that have information about visiting different areas that I’ll be driving through. One of my favorite sites to visit is Roadside America because it has offbeat tourist attractions. This site has so many oddities to visit that it really should be checked out! Think old Route 66 sites.
This year I’m using Roadtrippers to help plan my route. In the past, I’ve used Googlemaps, but I like this site to plan my route. It allows me to put sixty places I want to see along the way and puts them in a guide.
I can choose attractions, points of interest, restaurants, shopping, entertainment and a whole list of other categories. It allows me to find scenic routes and I can change the route simply by dragging the blue line where I want it to go. It’ll tell me hours of driving, give me a gas estimate based on my vehicle, and the number of miles of my trip. Pretty awesome! It’s free and if you’re interested, please check out the website and they have a mobile app too! It is Roadtrippers and of course they have a Facebook page. I’ve made several route options and I’m still trying to decide which route to take, but I almost have it ironed out.
The next step of planning is to decide how many miles I want to drive in one day. About seven hours is the maximum I want to spend driving. After that my ‘bum’ is tired of sitting. I often stop more than I expect and my time schedule gets off.
I have expectations on where I plan on stopping for the night, but on the way, so far I haven’t made any reservations for sleeping. I’m not above asking people if they have relatives or friends along the way to spend the night at their house. If you have anyone along my routes let me know.
Once I get to Maine, I do have reservations. I’ve been using airbnb for accommodations instead of hotels. One, they are much more reasonably priced. Two, it’s with local families, so they can tell you much better about the area. Three, it’s nice to have someone to visit with. Four, they are usually cleaner than hotels.
It’s simple to find rooms, suites, or even entire houses. Just create an account, put in where and when to be there and hit search and the rooms or houses in the area will pop up. Click on a price and the description will pop out and if interested click and the host information will be shown.
Now you may think it would be scary to stay with strangers, but I haven’t had any negative experience. Before booking a room look at the pictures, there are reviews of the host, so it’s easy to see if compatibility is an issue.
They don’t instantly book because there’s a place to put why you’re wanting to visit that area. After staying at an Airbnb room, the host also reviews the guest, so the potential hosts can see if the guest’s previous review and can accept them or not. Here are two of my reviews from previous hosts.
Payment is made on the website when booking, so there isn’t any money exchanged with the host family. You’re simply welcomed into the house. Some houses have keys while others have a box that a code is entered to get inside. Both work fine.
I actually planned my stopping points around the cheapest (nice) places that I found on Airbnb. I’m trying to keep my budget in mind, so I didn’t go for the tourist towns where rooming is more expensive.
Kennebunkport is the first place that I’ll explore in Maine and then Old Orchard Beach. I’m staying my first night in Hollis, Maine. It is a small rural home called Runaway Acres.
My splurge was to stay on a Chebeague Island (Close to Portland, ME) where nothing is happening. Nothing, but downtime and relaxation.
Three days of bliss! I’m ferrying over, so I’ll be on foot or bicycle if I can remember how to balance. It is an actual B&B, so there will be other guests.
My next stop driving the coast is in Belfast and I’m only spending one night here. It’s about a twenty-five minute drive from Camden. I’m sure I didn’t give myself enough time to explore the area, but I won’t waste a minute.
Days six through eight is in Brooksville. I picked this spot because the room was so reasonable. It’s in a beautiful area and within driving range of Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park.
The next journey across the coast of Maine is as far east as I can go without heading into Canada. Originally, I was going to stop at Bar Harbor, but most likely, I won’t do this trip again. So I thought add two days! I’ll end at Eastport, Maine. This is where I hope to do my whale watching trip. This is the only home where a picture is not featured, so I’m going to have to be surprised. They do however have four dogs, so I’ll get my petting fix in. I’ll be exploring two days here.
Then it’s time to turn around and drive back. I’m planning on doing it in one day, so not too much stopping along the way…if I can control myself. Thankfully, it is a small state.
I’ll spend two days in Portland, Maine. I’ll spend one day exploring the city and then I’m thinking about taking a day trip into Boston on the train. The train rates are reasonable, about an two hour ride, and I’m sure that I’m never going to drive to Boston.
From here, I’ll drive to visit Cam in Brooklyn for about four days before heading home. I’m looking forward to hugging my son!
Things still left to consider; I’m still looking for someone to watch my pets while I’m gone. I’ll be praying for safety on my trip and if you’ll say prayers for me, I’d appreciate it.
I’m super excited and can’t wait to write about my days!
Enjoy your time in Maine! I would recommend stopping by Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth on your way to Cousin’s Island since it’s so close. 🙂 The forts are neat, the grounds are really beautiful, and there’s a nice lighthouse there. http://fortwilliams.org/ (although the website doesn’t do it justice)