- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Rli Press; 2nd edition (March 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0975292838
- ISBN-13: 978-0975292839
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Live Your Road Trip Dream: Travel for a Year for the Cost of Staying Home Paperback – March 15, 2008
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Road Trip. I would be hard pressed to think of any other two-word combination that evokes more dreamy smiles and wistful daydreams than these two four-letter words. Hitting the road seems to be a quintessential feature of the American experience, and no degree of economic or political uncertainty ever seems to reduce our collective yen to see what s around the next bend. From the days of piling into the old Rambler station wagon with my family to my current affinity for exploring the deserts of the southwest, the irresistible siren call of the open highway has never diminished.
As the publisher of RoadTripAmerica.com, I have been privileged to connect with thousands of road trip aficionados from all over the world as they plan their adventures in North America. I often make the point that whenever we set tire to pavement, we re on a road trip the trick is simply to notice it. But even though I like to emphasize that attitude is everything, there is still a difference between a run to the grocery store and hitting the road for an extended period. In addition to a dream, heading for the horizon takes courage, commitment and a certain fierceness of spirit.
And it takes planning. For six-and-a-half years, I lived exclusively on the road. When I began my open-ended odyssey, I would have gladly swapped ten tanks of gas for a book like Live Your Road Trip Dream. Between these covers are the tools and resources that have helped many a vision become reality. This second edition has even more of the invaluable knowledge that Phil and Carol White have so ably compiled, organized and distilled to create the finest road trip planning guide now available in print. --Mark Sedenquist, RoadTripAmerica.com
From the Publisher
The Whites decided that the time had come for them to live their dream. Once they were on their adventure, people peppered them with questions, not so much about what they were doing (everyone has their own dream!), but about how they actually made it happen. It was with the encouragement of want-to-be traveler's everywhere that this book was created.
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Section 1 contains useful suggestions that get the reader thinking about how to finance the trip, what to do with your home while you are gone, etc. I found this section very informative. Although I'd covered much of this territory when planning a summer spent on the Appalachian Trail 20 years ago, there were helpful ideas I hadn't seen. The Whites do a good job of helping people think through what they want their trip to be like, and what challenges they will encounter. I would recommend this section for any reader who is about to undertake a trip unlike anything they've ever done, especially if traveling with a partner.
Section 2, the travelogue, was of little interest to me, because the Whites' trip was very different from the one that my husband and I dream about. Their dream was to see 43 national parks in a year. I felt that they traveled so fast that they only had time to get superficial impressions of each of the places they visited. We plan to visit fewer places, stay longer, and get to know each place a little better.
The Whites' budget was about double what ours will be. They freely admit that they didn't use the inexpensive and remote US Forest Service campgrounds because they just aren't into dirt. We've enjoyed such campgrounds and plan to use them extensively. I'm sure I can find information about them on my own, but I'd hoped to find a little of that information here. Ditto for low-priced lodgings. Though the Whites mention using inexpensive mom-and-pop motels, most of the lodgings they name are upscale spots that we have neither the desire nor the cash to visit. Instead, I'm expecting a membership in Hosteling International to pay for itself.
The journal entries remind me, at best, of a travel piece written for a regional magazine, with enthusiastic but bland descriptions of tourist attractions. I kept hoping for some insightful discussions of local customs, or the local economic or political situation, or unforgettable characters, or just about anything at all, but I was disappointed--just constant chatter about how awesome it all was. In general, the style reminds me of a series of Facebook posts strung together. If someone had disabled the exclamation point on their computer, this part of the book would have seemed less tedious.
The appendix, with its checklists,is helpful, but we plan to pack much lighter. I think I understand why they didn't camp very much in their nice Class B van. After packing it with more clothes than my husband and I own, and almost as much cookware as we have in our kitchen, there was probably no room to sleep.
I appreciate the Whites' generosity in sharing their planning skills, and their trip, with the public. They've helped my husband and me define our dream. As we tow our ultralight camping trailer to a secluded site by a lake, where we will pump our drinking water and pee in a vault toilet, we will owe them as much as we do Least Heat Moon, who, on a laid-off college professor's budget, valiantly tolerated being awakened by local cops while attempting to boondock. Like Steinbeck, they help keep the dream alive.
This couple hit all the National Parks in their RV and put into prospective what it takes to do this trekking.
My only question is why the wife is not listed as the author or co-author as the beginning of the book is written in the first-person of the wife.
I have only finished the first part of the book on the intricacies of what to do once you decide you want to engage in this fantasy. She takes you through her thought process on what to do with your car - sell it or store it, Their house is owned so do they sell it, rent it or leave it vacant - if they rent it, do they rent it furnished or unfurnished. It is a complicated process that everyone must parse each question to find if they can complete each task. It is interesting as to how they do it and she cautions everyone that this is their way which may not be your way ... You must solve your own puzzles and this book will be a good companion guide for everyone who reads it.
I bought the book because I wanted to figure out how we could take some time off without going broke, and Road Trip Dream succeeded in helping us do just that. We aren't even close to retirement, and this book really helped us to see that a trip like this was possible at our age.
With the release of its second edition, the Whites' book is as vital as ever when it comes to considering every critical aspect of how to plan, execute and live your own road trip dream. Don't even think of embarking on a journey without reading and following the advice laid out by these two seasoned road trippers.
Great Budgeting Information
Based on our own spending habits over the last year, I can vouch for the fact that the book's budgeting methodology is on the money. Their budget's "memory joggers" will help you look at every aspect of road trip living that you'll spend money on, from postage to Internet access. They also spotlight important things to consider, like realizing that you need to plan for fluctuating costs in different regions around the country (for example, campground fees in the east are much higher than in the west).
Get Creative, and Get on the Road NOW!
For working age people like my husband and I, the Whites have included a section about sabbaticals, working from the road, and even "road schooling" for families. The information, suggestions and ideas provided in this section help get a reader's mind around the fact that you don't have to be retired to take time off to travel. With some creativity and flexibility, they illustrate how even working people and families can hit the road. In this edition of the book they've provided a number of resources and ways to research this further.
Keeping In Contact on the Road
Technology changes so much in just a couple of years, and the revised tech section in the book is great. I can appreciate how the Whites do a good job of presenting a general overview of road technologies, without going over the heads of novice users. They did a fabulous job of explaining air cards for internet access, which is what most people end up using on the road. A comprehensive resource section at the end of the book includes lots of great websites to consult.
Hit The Road with the Information You Need
By reading and following the White's advice in Live Your Road Trip Dream, we were able to pull off our journey in the kind of organized, budgeted and well-prepared manner that makes us both comfortable. If we had just taken off without doing our research first, this journey might have ended months ago.
There are so many things to consider and planning for something like this can seem overwhelming. Don't let it. Buy Road Trip Dream, and you will receive the comfort and encouragement that it takes to believe in yourself, and know that you can get your way to living your own road trip adventure.