Our travel philosophy is a roadmap for how we embrace our nomadic nature. We sat down and thought about the way we traveled and what brought us happiness and satisfaction and the result is a list of our core values.
1) EMBRACE OPPORTUNITY
We say yes to life and if we can travel we make it happen. We’re open to opportunities. There are a million reasons to say no, so we focus on the reasons to say yes. When we have free time we explore! We value experiences and connections with others over possessions (unless they facilitate easier travel).
2) BE PREPARED
Preparation is key. We like to remain casual and comfortable so bringing clothing that allows us to do a plethora of activities, where we can look and feel positive about ourselves, but with which we can also go on a hike if so inclined, is important. We usually bring 3 types of footwear (sandals, sneakers, boots) and clothing for all climates. One week we may be in a desert and the next encountering a snowstorm. Having a versatile wardrobe is essential to both our comfort and happiness. Layer, layer, layer!
Budgeting is crucial. We always try to stick to our budget, whether it be food, activities or motels. It might seem like a budget is restrictive, but having one actually frees us so that we can do more interesting things, not constantly worry about the status of our bank account, and it helps alleviate the stresses that will occur if one is not in place. Also, we like to bring things that save money in the long run, like our own coffee mugs, water bottles and toiletries and just refuel when we can. Taking advantage of AAA, Military or other rewards programs also can help save along the way.
We focus on taking advantage of free activities. There are tons of amazing activities, museums and parks that cost nothing. We usually use apps or sites like Atlas Obscura, Eventbrite and TripAdvisor to find interesting, fun and free / low cost things to do wherever we are at the moment. It’s incredible to have new adventures at the palm of your hand.
We highly recommend something like a Costco Membership. Costco is a national brand, their gas is usually the cheapest in the area and getting groceries on the road saves money and makes it easier to eat healthy (don’t get me wrong, we would love to eat Taco Bell and Burger King every day, but our waist lines don’t quite agree).
We are two traveling dames, with three lovable pets, which means that if we have to stop off at a hotel, we have to find one that can accommodate our little circus…so pet friendly establishments are essential. La Quinta Inns & Suites have been a wonderful place to stay if the need arises. They are clean and usually very affordable. They allow a maximum of two pets, unless one is a service animal, which is why we are allowed three. For all you fellow late risers out there, they also have a later checkout at noon which we love to take advantage of and they also offer AAA discounts as well as military. The only downside is that during the week their breakfasts run from 6-9 AM and weekends 6-10 AM which means we usually miss them. They always have that mysterious waffle bar though! (Marc Maron knows what I’m talking about!)
Using an EZ Pass and Waze app, helps us on turnpikes and Waze helps give us great directions and real time traffic updates. It also links you to a greater community to help you identify speed traps, police and road hazards
4) TRAVEL SLOW WITH AN ABUNDANCE MENTALITY
We always leave time for exploring the places that we visit. We don’t have a set schedule and we don’t like to cram everything into one trip because we like to take time to enjoy ourselves. We can always go back and a loose structure allows us to be more flexible. If we see something interesting, we stop! There are many beautiful and lovely things to be discovered daily. We always keep an open schedule because we don’t need an itinerary to explore the wondrous things that life has to offer.
Reaching out to friends, family and acquaintances is a wonderful tool we use to see if there is anyone they might know in the area or any advice they may have about places to visit. People generally enjoy helping others during their adventures and we are immensely thankful for their generous spirit!
5) CREATIVITY AND COMFORT
We take the time to make our car comfortable and incorporate elements of home. Vicky has a blanket she used in the military and Penny has a unicorn puppet named Gustav. We also installed neck pillows, and pockets for car organization to make sure everything stays relatively clean, organized and cozy.
Listening to various podcasts and making playlists of our favorite tunes is a fun way of passing the long hours on the road. Some we are particularly partial to on the Casts App : Myths & Legends, Old Time Radio Mystery Theater, Sherlock Holmes Adventures, Stranglers and WTF with Marc Maron
We enjoy finding crafty things to fill our down time. Knitting, playing music, singing, drawing are all really great ways to unwind after a long day of travel (some wine and a bath works well too). We like bringing an empty bag to fill with cool artifacts and curiosities we collect along the way.
6) KEEP RECORDS
Taking pictures, keeping a journal, and documenting all of the special moments and fun adventures is a great way to make sure we remember all of the amazing experiences we have had.
7) PERSONAL WELLNESS
Some things we like to incorporate into our everyday routine are: taking breaks during a long bout of driving, stretching and practicing yoga at rest stops (keeps Victoria sane!) to minimize the physical discomfort that comes from long trip behind the wheel.
We both like to take time in the morning to look and feel good about ourselves. Whether it is a hot shower, a nice change of clothing, or a bit of makeup, we like to take on the world feeling our best!
Drinking fluids is important. No one wants to pass out in the hot sun or during a hike.
Having proper back support and neck support pillows for comfort during the long drive ahead has been one of the best modifications to our car yet.
And last but not least, we try not to get sucked into the fast food circle of hell. Eating right makes the body feel better and have more energy for the long days ahead. Tacos and fast food taste great, but they have a tendency of fighting back.