Not until next year, but that’s ok. There’s so much to do and so much to think about between now and then. We will go sometime in the spring next year, before it gets too hot. Our current plan is to spend a week driving Route 66 in a rental car, then spend a week in California (Disneyland, Legoland, visiting family), and then drop the rental car at the airport and fly home. Originally we were going to drive both ways in our own nice big pack-as-many-suitcases-as-you-want-and-maybe-throw-a-friend-or-two-in-for-the-ride Suburban. But as I began to research, I discovered that two weeks is simply not enough time to do everything we wanted to do AND drive both ways. If our budget limits us (renting a car one way cross country is not cheap, they add a HUGE fee for not returning the car to where you rented it), we may have to re-assess. We’ll see.
For now, our plan is to rent a car or a small SUV or whatever is cheapest for dates. What I am swiftly realizing is that a little Santa Fe is not going to have very much room for luggage for five people. SO, I am beginning to research minimalist travel.
I’m not particularly thrilled with this option. Let me give you the bottom line. Minimalist packing means doing laundry on vacation. And I. Don’t. Want. To. 😛 But it’s the price we will have to pay if we decide to rent a car. Five people can’t each pack 15 outfits, 5 pairs of shoes, six books, every toiletry known to man, and a grocery cart’s worth of travel snacks without the space of a large SUV.
I love spread sheets so I turned this into a spread sheet game. I made a massive packing list of everything that I would normally take on a two week trip when space isn’t an option. I came up with a grand total of 795 items. My goal is to get that down to 350 items. I am at 362 items right now and daily assessing the list to address what is REALLY necessary. I mean, do we need a DVD player and 15 DVDs to keep the kids quiet? Or will we stop so often to see the sights on Route 66 to ever get into a movie? Is it worth bringing a hair straightener? I have super curly hair but in the dry heat of New Mexico and California, it’s going to get weird and limp. Decisions, decisions.
There is so much to come as we make decisions about this trip. I am more excited than I have ever been for any vacation! It’s going to be a long fifteen or sixteen months of planning!!!