There’s no question, I love to travel and quite often. Traveling every month, whether it’s a day trip or the neighboring state is a natural high. Born and raised in Southern California has provided me the opportunity to visit the beach, desert and mountains within the same day due to their geographic location between each other. There is a common saying that living in Southern California, you can hit the winter slopes at sunrise and enjoy the sunrise later that very day.
The consistent question that I am asked is how I am able to afford to travel as frequently as I do. For starters, it is not easy and it takes a lot of planning and budgeting. Each time before I hit the road with my friends I make sure that I have the necessary items before stepping out of my front door. Backpack full of clothes, toiletries, camera gear with fully charged batteries, cell phone charger and most importantly, a great attitude because the drives can become very long and tiresome.
Food and Beverage Options
Food options on the road are not the best since the majority of the towns have limited fast food options and truck stops. In other words, junk food that will slow you down for the trip. I have quickly learned that Trader Joe’s, The Vitaminn Shoppe and Walmart have become my go-to locations every time for food, healthy options and the necessary items needed to make it to and from the destination. Trader Joe’s can be pricey at times but there are plenty of food options available from your basic pre-packaged trail mixes, dried fruits and their expansive selection of produce that can fit in your basic cooler in the car. I tend to leave the store with peanut butter, jelly and a loaf of bread that are used for a quick go-to meal. If you’re priority is to buy items in bulk, the neighborhood Walmart or if available, the local super market have inexpensive items. About 2-hours East of Tucson, AZ there is a local place that sells fresh jerky of all types and flavors. I highly recommend this to anyone reading this article. Never knew Antelope and other forms of animals could be jerky.
Choosing the location can be the easiest, but on occasion extremely difficult. I have recently spent a lot of time traveling to Arizona and New Mexico for the weekend. At the beginning of planning for these trips I wrote down a list of destinations that I wanted to visit with time permitting. The trip to White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico were over 13-hours away from my house by car. There was the option to leave early afternoon and arrive in the middle of the night or leave after 9:00 PM and drive through the night. We selected the second option after packing up the car and filling up the gas tank. Unfortunately we did not know that there was a high demand for White Sands camping permits. Offered on a daily basis for first-come first-serve, the $3.00 permit allows visitors to spend the evening sleeping on the dunes after the park closes for the day at sunset. If this is something that you really want to do, plan on arriving early in the day to secure your permit. Most National Parks provide a designated campground but please confirm before leaving to make sure they are available at your destination. Each time I travel I make sure that at least one of the nights is spent in a hotel nearby to allow proper time to recharge your batteries before continuing the trip back home.
With any trip whether it’s in a car or aboard a plane, do your research ahead of time and plan efficiently to save!