Route 66 #1

Route 66 #1
Route 66 Museum

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Are We There Yet? Part 1 - The Journey Begins?

We here in Northern Illinois are in what is unofficially early summer or a close approximation of it. We're finally begining to see a lot of sun, and occasionally some really warm and dare I say it even hot days. Of course this time of year always brings a feeling of optimism and with it a case of the summer fever. It first strikes you as a need to get out of your house, and then begins to strike you as a need to hit the road and wonder blue skies, and new terrain.

For me the need to hit the road has been haunting me all day in the form of sudden memory flashes from places I have been, and many of them are places on Route 66. These memories and the urge to move have even made me grab a few moments of internet time from my within my busy day to peek at some of the places I've been to and want to see again. 

What it all reminds me of though is the fact that if I or let's say you "want to take that California trip" to qoute the song, now is the time to plan and plan well. 
You see for me nothing says summer vacation more then a good old fashion family road trip, and there can't be any place in the world better to road trip on then Route 66. 

Now, I'm guessing your no neophyte to family travel, and that although you may have not traveled Route 66, you do know what's out there and on it. With that said though I know you maybe feeling a bit overwhelmed, there is so much to see and so little time. So I'm going to give you some step by step instructions that can help you plan the type of trip you want. 

Step 1 - Get a Guide

Jerry McClanahan's EZ66, and Route 66 Magazines Complete Guidebook and Atlas of Route 66 are two very good ones. I wrote an article covering both last year just see my older postings to find the one right for you. You will want one to help you plan, and to keep in the car along the way.

Step 2 - Get a Wishbook

Remember getting the Sears or Penny's Wishbooks near Christmas as a kid? Do you remember going through the toy section and circling what you wanted so your folks would know what to get you. If your planning on traveling the route you may want to repeat this old custom as an adult. There are lot of great Route 66 books out there with some great insight into the Route and that cover the many landmarks with great story's and photos. 

One of my favorites is Route 66 by Nick Freeth. This book goes state by state and covers a lot of great attractions. You need a book like this where you can mentally circle what you want to see and go plan it from there. If you don't want to buy this book you might be able to get it or some great books like it through your local library. Also if you need any suggestions just go ahead and contact me. 

Step 3 - Read My Blog

Shameless self promotion? Well, maybe a little, but I also have tons of great tips, and history's on my blog that are great for planning. I even have my Route 66 Kids Picks articles about authentically kid approved sites along Route 66, and my Family Travel Must Haves a great series about the road trip items every family must have to make life on the road easier. 

Step  4 - Get A Notebook
This is simultaneously a fun and hard part. The first thing you want to do is plan your dream trip. Put down all the places you want to see and the amount of time you want to invest into each one. Want to see the Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railway add two or three days in. Want to catch a Cubs game in Chicago, and do some shopping add a day or two there, and so on. 

Why plan a dream trip first?

The goal is to purge your system of everything you want to see and do on a Route 66 trip, then pear it down to fit reality. That may seem a bit depressing, but it's not as depressing as missing something you really wanted to see on the route becuase it wasn't planned in. We'll talk about doing a reality check in a later step. 

The goal here is to give yourself a written idea of what you want to see and do that has no constraints, and where you can cross stuff off and/or pencil other items in with very little effort. If you review your guides or Wishbook ahead of time it's also a great place to jot down notes about potential detours, other alignments, and off the beaten path landmarks. 

Well this is where I'm going to end Part 1, becuase you probably busy getting together all these items. Watch for Part 2 coming out soon.

1 comment:

  1. This is on my hit list. I don't know that I'll follow the route all the way through, but it'll be fun to try!