So here I am again getting ready for another road trip with my 2 best friends. A time to forget about our daily lives, relax and have a lot of fun and laughter. This year's destination is Las Vegas. It's going to be a long driving trip since we live in New Jersey and we are going all the way to california and back. It's been 2 year's since our last vacation. We started planning this trip as we were driving home from our last trip which was Chicago. It has taken 2 years because of all the places we wanted to see on the way to Vegas. Just what I needed, an atlas. Once I get started with one, there's no tearing me away. I wanted to stop everywhere from Jersey to Vegas. Route 66, Dodge City, 4 Corners, the biggest ball of twine, the list just goes on and on. First things first however and the biggest obstacle is Hotels. They needed to be researched for easy access to the highways we were going to drive, then whose car were we going to use, how much money would we need for gas and hotels and of course gambling in Vegas, (the reason for our vacation). As you can imagine the planning stages have been many and original places to see have been replaced with new places to see. After some disappointments and re-arranging we finally set our course as you can see.
As we were hashing out the trip details we had to discuss how much money we needed for gas and hotels. Thanks to Fuel Calculator .com we estimated how many miles we would be traveling and how much it would cost for the gas. Now we had to decide on whose car we were going to use. Well I wasn't really keen on my truck only because it's 12 years old, but still runs good. My girlfriend has a truck that could of made it but it would cost us more for gas, and the other was the car we took to Chicago. It was great on gas, but it would be way to uncomfortable for this journey. As it happened, I got a good deal on a used SUV, so I bought it, well it will be mine 4 years from now as long as I keep making the payments. Hahahaha, see the fun is starting already. So since the car issue is solved, next is the hotels.
A little tip we used and I'm sharing with you now. Coca Cola has a rewards program for entering codes from their bottle caps and soda boxes. Save enough points and redeem them for Priority Club Points. Priority Club is associated with the Holiday Inn Hotel Chain. So we have been drinking a lot of Coke, harrassing family members to drink it and give us the codes and last but not least dumpster dive. You would not believe where we picked up caps, but it paid off. When you plan a vacation for 16 days you have to sleep somewhere and saving money is a big priority with us. I'm happy to say that most of the hotels listed on the trip planner are courtesy of Coke. We only paid for 1 night. We are still collecting points to see if we can get that last night free. (The Grand Canyon Hotel is not part of Holiday Inn and we paid for that last year) We have been looking at places to eat now and how much that will cost. We are going to try the $40 a day plan. The first couple of days tho, we decided to bring food along to cut down that amount a little and so we won't have to make any stops between NJ and St. Louis, which is our longest driving day. We all enjoy breakfast, so we will be eating a hearty breakfast most days and skipping lunch, only stopping for bathroom breaks and streching our legs. Our second day will be more exciting because we have'nt been past St. Louis and we have to stop for the photo-ops. We already put money aside for the gas and hotels (even tho the rooms are free you still have to pay the tax) so now we are saving money just for the fun part of the trip.