Road Tripping ESSENTIALS

*Cue “Road Trippin'” By Dan+Shay*

What better way to celebrate graduation than road tripping to Disney World?!? Well, that is what we did people! Joel and I started our adventure on Friday, May 18 and just returned home yesterday. We began our drive Friday morning by traveling 9 hours to Joel’s cousin’s house in Spring Hill, Tennessee. We stayed there until Sunday morning and then made our way to Disney World in about 10 hours:)) Next, we headed to Hilton Head for two days (a 5 hour drive) and then to Atlanta for a Thomas Rhett concert (a 4 hour drive)!! After an 11 hour car ride yesterday, we make it back home right in time for my cousin’s graduation dinner! I highly recommend a good ole fashioned road trip. These 10 days on the road were full of fun, great memories, and learning experiences!

Besides the company and the vacation spots, do you know what made our road trip so good?? These tips and tricks:

  • Audiobooks: Before starting our road trip, Joel and I made our way to our local library to pick up some books on tape. I remembered my parents listening to audiobooks when we would travel from Austin to Lake Zurich every summer. Joel picked out his audiobook, Jack Reacher by Lee Child, and I picked out mine, The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters. Can you tell who is the teacher here?? Whoever was driving was able to pick the audiobook. It was such a good change from listening to the repeated songs on our playlist and trying to scan the radio for stations…AND I was even able to finish my books making me “hip” among my fourth graders from student teaching and soon-to-be fifth graders (#hopefully).
  • Ziplock Bags: You would not realize how handy these baggies became! I packed some sandwich sized bags for potential future snacks, spilled toiletries, and whatever we needed. Joel packed gallon sized ones for ice for the cooler. Little did we know, but these ziplock bags helped us save $$$$ for lunches on the road. When we were traveling from Orlando to Hilton Head, we were able to pack peanut and butter sandwiches in our baggies. How did we make these sandwiches you might ask?!?! At the hotel breakfast 😛 We grabbed some bread, peanut butter, jelly, AND our ziplock baggies and were all set for 2 days of lunches. The gallon sized baggies were great for holding ice to keep our coolers cold! Wherever we were staying–at family’s homes or hotel rooms–we would fill them up with ice to keep our drinks and sandwiches nice and cold for the road.
  • Pillows & Blankets: Sleeping/napping in the car is not always the most comfortable, so Joel brought along some pillows and blankets. Whoever was in the front seat (and when they were done being the navigator) could take a nice, comfy snooze.
  • GPS (besides your smart phone): Our portable GPS definitely came in handy… actually it was one of the #RealMVPs of the trip. I do not think we would have been able to travel without it! Not sure how people went on road trips back then with actual maps :O. I would recommend bringing a portable GPS so you’re not always using your data on your smartphone. We probably used the portable GPS 95% of the time and used our phones the remainder of the time to check for traffic. It was actually funny that I did not even think of bringing a map along or looking online before at our highway itinerary. I totally trusted the GPS!

I can not begin to express how amazing our trip was! Here are my highlights 🙂

  • I GOT ENGAGED!!!!! Joel proposed to me at a beautiful garden! This was right at the beginning of our trip and I could not be happier 🙂
  • Going to Disney World with Joel, my brother, and his girlfriend! Epcot was definitely a highlight-we ate and drank around the world. Magic Kingdom was oh so magical. AND ANIMAL KINGDOM ROCKED WITH THE NEW AVATAR RIDE 11/10 WOULD RECOMMEND

It definitely feels different to be back in the “real world” and not on the vacation mindset anymore. I’ll miss the warmth and memories of our road trip, but it’s nice to not live out of a suitcase (or car) anymore! Thank you for following along with me in my journey! Now onto the sweet summertime and planning for my future classroom and wedding!!!! 🙂

***If you like what you’re reading, be sure to give my page a follow to stay up-to-date! And check out my instagram @missdeclaireinghappiness to stay updated with some photos!

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