Taking a Road Trip with ADD
First, figure out where you will go and how long you want your trip to be. Highly prized tourist destinations will require planning your trip farther out from your travel time. You can't just drive into town and expect to get a room. Reservations must be made early. Longer trips with multiple stops can be more complicated. This can all be managed with your research, calendar, and lists.
Before you start your research, print out several blank calendars. Use one to write details about distances that you will travel. After you have this calendar all filled out, you can staple it together with other calendars to give you a complete picture of your trip. This keeps you from trying to travel too far in one day. Decide where you will be staying and put details on another calendar. You may also make one to specify activities, places and events, that you want to attend.
The first calendar will show the dates you will be gone and how far you will go on each day. Google maps are good for getting a rough idea about this. When I am depending on a map to arrive at a destination, I like it to be an AAA map, but Google is great for planning. Know how far your vacation crew can reasonably expect to travel. Each group is different. When will you leave? How far will you go? Get this down on the first calendar.
Once you have decided where you will be on a certain day, find lodging. You can use one of the discount travel companies like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz or Kayak. If having a non-smoking room is important to you, know that some of these places won't list that. There is a way to get around this complication. Some hotel chains are completely non-smoking. Just look for those chains on the travel companies' listings. You can also book by what is important to you. Is it a kitchen? Do you want a breakfast included in the price of your stay? What about proximity to an event? Each family is different, so do your research. Then, add the details of the lodging choice to your second calendar. Show check in and check out time. Get your confirmation number. If any payment is due, write that down. If it is paid in full, show that. Attach any documentation, such as e-mails from the company. Be sure to write down cancellation terms, in case you need to cancel.
On the third calendar, show events and attractions that you want to attend. What do you need to do to see those things that you prize? Should you order tickets in advance? Do you need to have an entry pass? What clothing should you have?
Join a road service. Some insurance companies provide road service. You can also enjoy belonging to AAA. They can help if you have car trouble. Plus, their network is large and provides a lot of coverage. One of their finest services is their trip planning service. They can give you maps and books that tell about food, lodging, and places to visit. As it gets closer to your travel date, you can get Trip Tiks from them. What is a Trip Tik? It is a detailed map of your journey. The best routes are marked. Rest stops, restaurants, and service stations are shown. Distances and times are detailed in the Trip Tik. Best of all, current road work is shown! A Trip Tik is a wonderful convenience. I wouldn't take a long road trip without mine.
Take enough medication. Make sure that you have a way to keep it at the proper temperature. Have backup medication in another spot in your vehicle, or carry prescriptions that you can fill.
Maintain a healthy level of nutrition. I like staying where I can cook, or at least heat food up. If you want to save money, you can take a cooler. Fill it with frozen water bottles, instead of ice. That way, you will always have cold water. I like to have the first day's food in there. Prepare sandwiches for lunch on the road. Cheese sticks and slices are good to have for a quick snack. Really, the fewer times you need to eat out, the less chance you have of getting a food borne illness. After a long day of driving, heating up a tasty dinner (I like Marie Callender, since there are so many to choose from.) and pouring out a prepared salad or eating raw veggies is an easy way to make dinner. We always travel with a large freezer bag of prepared raw veggies. A Kashi Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt bar makes a good car snack or dessert. Don't forget the fresh fruit!
Make lists and put dates on them showing when each task needs to be accomplished! What do you need to do to get ready? When do the tasks need to be done? Here are some examples of items that can go on lists. Each person's group of lists will be different.
*Order National Park Pass
*Meals to go
*Car care-tune-up, tires, fluids
*Car amusements and snacks
A road trip can be a trip of a lifetime. Let the creative side of your ADD come to the fore! You can remember your road trip fondly, remembered for all of the interesting places that you saw and the fun that you had. Don't let the inattentive side of ADD derail your wonderful trip. Keep your planning calendars, lists, and maps in a safe, easily-accessible place where they won't get lost. Planning makes the difference between an expensive disaster and a pleasant topic of conversation for years to come. Make your planning count!
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