The year of road tripping

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When I started blogging in 2008, I really couldn’t afford to fly anywhere…well, that, and I didn’t really want to. My kids were little and people can be real jerks to families with little kids on planes. I just never felt like it was worth it. Plus, after our cross country road trip in 2009, I realized how much easier it was to just pack up a car and go, and how much more of the in-betweens we got to enjoy.

This year I am aiming to making road tripping a bigger part of my travel. Though we have a few trips in mind that will require flying, I am most excited for our time on the road – even once we are overseas.

Road trips and slow travel

When we first started road tripping, we would hit up destination worthy of any Amazing Race episode. Over time, and because we got tired of the rush, we learned to slow down. We still map out where we want to go, and make a wish list of all the places we want to visit and see, but have learned to also go with the flow and allow ourselves to enjoy and take in our surrounding without the need to get through it all. Letting go of the to-do list and giving in to slow travel is hard. We come from such a fast paced society that getting away from those habits isn’t always easy. But we plan on not only slowing down, but disconnecting a lot more. Some may wonder, especially in this age of technology and oversharing: if you take a trip and don’t Instagram or Tweet it, did it happen? I guess my answer to that is, you’ll only know if I blog about it…and even if I don’t, it doesn’t make it any less valuable to us.

Taking on the road trip is our main goal this year. Slow travel…more disconnected than ever from it all is our plan. 

The beauty of road trips are the hours in a car, the time stuck in traffic, or even just the speed limit tends to force you into a slower pace, the noise, the silence. What makes the experience is truly the journey, not so much the destination. So it’s really best to slow down to take it all in.

Give in to the unexpected, to the surprises, to the curiosity in why lies on the road less traveled. We have discovered entire communities (including the one I currently live in now), hidden landmarks, as well as amazing eateries this way and though it has sometimes led to changing our plans, it has always been worth it.

Even when we didn’t get through our wish list, we always seems to walk away with a wish for more.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving

I didn’t road trip much with my parents, and I can’t say I remember the experience fondly. It is why I never really thought of it as something I would enjoy as an adult. But circumstances forced my hand, and thankfully changed my mind. My kids still talk about experiences on our road trips, whether it be a time we got lost, or someone got sick, or a previous road trip. I can’t say they are always keen on going on long trips, but they definitely don’t dislike like as much as I did growing up…and they would prefer it over getting on a plane too, for all the reasons I have shared and more.

Our trips will be the trips that will inspire them as adults and maybe when they have their own families. Memories of our time together will be tales they pass on and experiences they will want to repeat. I can’t think of a greater gift.

All in all, I am excited to take on the road with my crew this year. I am looking forward to revisiting some favorite spots and heading out to some new ones. I love that we are open to going to where ever the mood, and road, take us and though some may not be as exotic as those far away places, I’ve learned that the beauty of travel is not measured in the distance and miles accumulated, but in the quality of time you share and in the experiences together.

Cool new road trip gadget

I’ve also started using a cool navigation system called Navdy that has made it easier to keep my eyes on the road while offering directional assistance in our travels. My car didn’t come with a built-in navigational system and so my only option was to pay an annual fee for a service that wasn’t very good. My other option was using the navigational system on my phone, such as Google Maps, but that was dangerous, as I often had the phone in my cupholder, or on my dashboard (blocking some other necessary information).

Navdy attaches to the top of my dashboard and provides all the options of a navigational app – from directions, to alternate rights, and alerts. And for those times you don’t want to completely disconnect from the world, Navdy also has handsfree access to messages, calls, and texts, all without having to take my eyes off the road. You can also control music, receive calendar reminders and stay connected to the apps on your phone. Navdy connects to your car with Navdy Dash to show your speed, RPM and automatically recommend nearby gas stations when your fuel level is low. Check out this video for more on this cool device.

 

With a simple swipe of my hand I can answer calls, and still get my navigational signals without ever looking away from the road.

We’ve had the Navdy for more than a month now, and we love it. Navdy is now available for as low as $33 per month for 24 months with 0% financing, or $599 as a one-time purchase with no monthly fees on www.navdy.com . Compatible with iOS 9 and 10, and Android Jelly Bean (4.1) or newer.

Navdy lets you make and receive calls, listen to messages, control music, receive calendar reminders and stay connected to the apps on your phone. Navdy also connects to your car with Navdy Dash to show your speed, RPM and automatically recommend nearby gas stations when your fuel level is low.

I will make sure to share more images of my experience using Navdy in a future post. In the meantime, if you are itching to get out there, but don’t want to take on the expense or hassle of flying, consider going back to the good ol’ fashion road trip.

If you are planning on traveling this winter, check out my winter road trip packing tips. I also invite you to check out my list of road trip adventures, in the states and around the world, to inspire you.

 

 

This post is sponsored by Navdy. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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