Let me start by explaining that we live in the Chicago area and my sister and her family live in the Twin Cities. We are blessed to have airports with hubs but this does not mean that we have an easy time with flying to see each other. After a flight issue caused us to drive home on a windy, blowy, snowy February day we came to the conclusion that if we can, we will drive. Especially if everyone is going because at the end of the day it doesn’t take that much longer to drive if conditions are good and we have more control.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2019 and we decided that if weather looked good we would drive and otherwise we’d stay home. Going up, no problem, we were after the snowbelt so we had no problem. Coming back, the forecast kept changing so we were debating what to do.
The number one lesson from this weekend is BE FLEXIBLE. We had planned on staying in Eau Clare both ways to shorten the trip a bit. We ended up changing our plans and driving to the Dells on Saturday therefore getting south of most of the snow and then having an easier drive on Sunday.
I know that the drive from Chicago to the Twin Cities is doable in a day but with a three year old and my mother is it easier for all involved if we can break it into two. Also I’m not good at sleeping in the car so I’d much rather break it up and get a good nights rest if I can. Another tip I would give is especially on a road-trip, stay somewhere that provides breakfast to make mornings easier.
I do BonVoy (Marriott Rewards) which is something I’ll go more into another time, but this means usually when on a road trip I look for Fairfields, SpringHill Suites or Courtyards. I know there are lots of options and you need to do what works for you. Another thing I look for are hotels with laundry facilities. It makes the travel with the three year old much simpler depending on what goes wrong. We’ve also washed things in the sink with body wash if its only one of two items. Depends on the situation.
Last but not least, I usually rent a car. We have used our cars but if its more then 250 miles I’d rather rent because 1) why put miles on my car that I don’t have to? and 2) If I’m driving somewhere and have a problem I can contact the rental car company and get a replacement.
Whether you stayed at home or were among the many of us on the roads this Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful holiday!
What are your thoughts on road trips?