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10 Tips to Planning Your Dream Road Trip

Everyone has a travel dream. For many it is hitting the road for a relatively unlimited time, either here or abroad.

But how many people actually get from the dreaming to the doing? Here's a list to inspire you to go live your personal vision of a road trip dream.

BRAINSTORM WHAT YOU WOULD WANT TO DO ON YOUR TRIP Everyone has dreams about what they would like to do "if they just had the time" to take that long, unencumbered vacation. What are those things for you? Why not take a weekend away and begin to formulate your plan? Dream big.

PICK A THEME OR TWO Once you have identified all the ideas you might enjoy doing, there is a sad reality: even in a year, you can't do it all. So organize those groups of ideas into a "theme" for your trip. Maybe it is seeing all the national parks, or seeing a baseball game in every major-league stadium, or painting a scene in every state. The ideas are endless depending upon your interests.

RESEARCH YOUR IDEAS Now the fun begins. To further refine your ideas, get on the Internet and browse, order visitor guides from the locations you plan to travel in, buy some books about your destinations, talk to people who share your passions, subscribe to some online "newsletters." Get excited, get motivated to go.

START "SOCIALIZING" THE TRIP WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS One of the most difficult parts of actually doing a trip of a lifetime is gaining the support of your family and friends. It's not that they really don't want you to have this incredible experience; it is that we are all resistant to change, and your leaving means adjustments in their lives. Start early, talk often, but make sure they know you really are going to do this.

DECIDE ON YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION More research is in order. Do you want to camp or stay in motels -- or a combination? Do you want to move every day or stay in one spot for awhile? How important is it to have your belongings around you? All of these issues and more will influence your choice of transportation.

DEVELOP A BUDGET TO MEET YOUR GOALS There are many ways to finance your dream trip, but at some point you do have to figure out the details. Once you know what you want your trip to entail, how long you will be gone, and how you will travel, it is time to put pencil to paper.

MAKE LISTS OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO LEAVE ON YOUR TRIP There is so much to think about that it may seem overwhelming. You begin to doubt that you can make it happen. But you can. Just take a deep breath, and work through it step-by-step.

PICK A DATE TO LEAVE AND START WORKING TOWARD IT This is VERY important. Once you have a real date to leave, everything will begin to fall into place and your dream will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People will help you; you will have a special theme and trip to plan on. Then, before you know it, you will be on your way.

INCLUDE FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN GETTING READY TO GO Everyone will want to feel included, and feel that you have taken care of their needs while you are gone. One of the best ways to do that is to let them help you plan it and help find solutions to the issues that arise. Every family has issues to manage, don't be discouraged by them.

SAY GOOD-BYE AND HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! The work is done and the date is drawing near. Let your friends throw you a going-away party or two. Take pictures and exchange e-mail addresses in order to stay in touch. Give them your website address, so they can follow your travels. Wave good-bye and embark on the journey of a lifetime!

Excerpted from Live Your Road Trip Dream: Travel for a year for the cost of staying home ©2004 Phil and Carol White. All rights reserved. To order: 1-888-522-TRIP (8747) or visit http://www.RoadTripDream.com

You may reprint these tips for free provided you send a tear sheet and the full credit as given. If you have any questions, contact Kate Bandos at KSB Promotions, 800-304-3269 or kate@ksbpromotions.com.

The Whites decided that the time had come to just take off and travel. Once they were on the road, 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 travelers everywhere that Live Your Road Trip Dream was created.

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