Guest Blog Post: “Preparation Tips for the Road Trip of Your Dreams,” in the exact words of Julie Morris

What’s not to love about vacations, right? For me, they’re all the better with my dogs!

Here are blogger Julie Morris’ hints for car adventures…

Photo thanks to Pixabay.

Every year, millions of Americans take road trips. If you’re considering one, these tips will help you prepare.

  1. Plan Ahead

Make sure you have a solid itinerary. Compile a list of places you’d like to visit, and then chart them out on a map. Come up with a route that hits all your spots as efficiently as possible. Set a target mileage or destination for each day, and plan where you’ll stop to rest and get gas and food.

  1. Pack Smart

If you’re visiting a variety of climates, pack clothing for each weather condition. Pack a first aid kit as well as a spare tire, tire changing kit, and air pump. To minimize the amount of stops you’ll need to make, pack enough food and water to last at least a day, and load up on a new supply daily.

  1. When Travelling With Dogs

Be sure to prepare your vehicle for pets. Ensure your dog’s well-being by investing in a safety harness or travel crate. Factor Fido into where you go and how often you stop, and know which rest stops and campgrounds are dog-friendly. Pack enough food and bottled water to keep your pet happy. Of course, if you’re leaving Fido behind, be sure to leave him with a caring, reputable dog boarding service.

  1. Before You Leave

Ensure everything is in order before leaving home. Make a checklist for the day you leave; check that everything is packed, and make sure there are no unnecessary electronics running that will drain your electricity while you’re gone.

Lastly, remember: when it comes to epic road trips, it’s not about the destination, but the journey itself. So, what are you waiting for? The road is waiting!

About the author, in her own words: Ms. Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways. Find out more about her at juliemorris.org. Here and here are a couple of her other posts for Happiness Between Tails.

Pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France by da-AL

We were headed for Basque country. The region has its own language and operates much like an independent country located within two countries. Half is in France (Pays basque français), the other half is in Spain (País Vasco).

my husband and I amid French farmland
We had a great time in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port!

Our vacation started in Spain (which I love so much that my upcoming novel is titled, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat”) with Barcelona, where we rented a car. Along the way, we had lunch in the city of Huesca. A day’s drive and five miles past the Spanish border, we arrived at our introduction to the Basque region, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. We spent a night and the following half day in the lovely one-main-street town.

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port lies along the river Nive. It’s the starting point for the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrim’s way that’s as popular among the devout as it is with hikers, cyclists, and tourists.

 

Author and husband in front of French farmhouse
We stayed at this 300-year-old farmhouse that used to be a monastery.

This vacation was our first time staying at people’s homes instead of hotels. The experience turned out to be as exciting and fun as visiting the cities.

 

Melanie, her place, and her food were all terrific!

Melanie, originally from California, was an excellent hostess. She married into a family that for 300 years has owned this farmhouse and the expanse of grassy farmland around it.

Melanie works hard on remodeling the farmhouse.

 

My husband and I are good at packing, but with this trip we surpassed ourselves.

I can hardly believe we traveled this light!

Thanks to watching several Rick Steves’ travel videos, we decided that we wouldn’t have any baggage to check in for our flight. This is our entire baggage for our two-and-a-half week trip.

Our vacation had started in beautiful Barcelona. From there we drove through wonderful Huesca, pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

Next we were off to enchanting Espelette, and into French Basque Country.

Then, back in Spain, we’d marvel at the food and seaside dogs of San Sebastián, Spain and breathtaking Bilbao

What’s your favorite part of travelling?