This week I been doing all the hotels reservations for this trip. It's been crazy for me, it is my first time planning a road trip. First let me tell you where we plan to go and when. We live in Orlando FL, so we will be leaving from Orlando and my goal is to go up to the Niagara Falls in Canada. We will be starting our trip on June 12 around noon and we should be back in Florida around June 24.
Our major point of interest are Washington DC, New York and Niagara Falls. This will be a family trip with my two teenage kids, my mom and my fiancé Jorge (even though probably he wont be able to be with us all the time due to his work).
This is my first time planning a road trip like I said before and I didn’t know where to start. So, giving some thinking I thought that I wanted to know first the amount of time I want to be on the road driving. I checked on the map how far we will get in a 8 to 10 hour drive. After studying my options, I decided that our first day we will be stopping in Florence, South Carolina. Because our first day we will be leaving around noon, I didn't want to drive more than 8 hours, I thought Florence will be a good stopping point, according to the map is about 7 hours.
On Friday we will leave early in the morning (whatever that means…) on our way to Washington DC. The plan is to be there for three nights, until June 16. Then that Monday morning of the 16, we will head out to NY!! We are also planning to stay 3 nights.
Now at this point of my future planning I decided to put it on hold. My desire is to continue our trip to Niagara Falls, Canada, but at that moment we have to evaluate our expenses, and other factors to see if is worth it to drive up there to stay for two nights.
If everything goes the way I want it, we will be heading back on June 21 from Niagara Falls. On our way back down I want to make our stops in different places than the original ones. My plan is that every day we travel for 8 to 10 hours and spend the evening and night somewhere and repeat until we get to Florida. I don’t know yet where we will be stopping, I am still studying the situation.
At the beginning, when I tought about this trip, I wanted to be spontaneous and drive until we were tired and then at the moment check the hotels around the area and pick one for the night. But I can't help myself of trying to have everything under control and planned. So, I started the planning… I don't know what kind of websites or apps people use to do their reservations, but I always used Expedia.com . For this trip, I wanted to check all the possible options that could be out there. We are under a budget, for that reason I wanted to find something good and not expensive. I tried Hotels.com, Booking.com,and TripAdvisor.com to check ratings, reviews and more. It's funny how after all my research I ended up doing all my reservation through Expedia. One of the things I had to pay attention and I was looking for, was for hotels that would let me cancel my reservation for free or a small fee. Just in case something happens or we change plans, I wanted to have the option of canceling. Another thing I was looking for it was breakfast, wifi, free parking and access to metro stations, bus stops. Well I think I was successful on my search, I would really know that, once we get there.
For now, that’s all I have done, my next step is doing the list of things that we want to see in each place. I will be working on that this next week.
If you have any suggestion or website that could make the reservation of hotels a better process, let me know! Expedia works fantastic to me, but I would love to know if there is more options. I already know about some apps that could help me doing my itinerary for DC and NY but also I am open to suggestions.
So… until then