Hello fellow road-trippers! I'm new to this site and I'm so happy I stumbled across it. My husband and I are not new to road tripping. Our first together was before we were married and it was a rather long, 1-month affair, starting in St. Louis, MO. We drove an old Ford Fairmont that started spewing blue smoke right about the time it was too late too turn back (it was fixed in Eerie, PA, and was simpler and less expensive than we feared). Mostly, we camped or stayed with friends along the way, and we ate out of our cooler. We're frugal travelers, but we snaked around the Finger Lakes area, went to Niagara Falls, camped in the Appalachian mountains...it was a WONDERFUL experience, including all of the challenges along the way.
We haven't been on an excursion of that magnitude in years, but now we're planning a huge, and possibly insane journey beginning at the end of May 2009. I'm already thinking we have barely enough time to plan this! We're both artists, and so we are mapping out a route that includes art festivals in which we will be hawking our wares. We've begun the registration process for some of these festivals already, so I think there's no turning back! :)
The trip will last about 2-3 months, barring anything major happening that makes us have to cut it short. We are not wealthy people (ha! understatement), but we are good at frugality and having fun within our means. Our route will head west from Columbia, MO (between KC and STL), and our major metropolitan stops will be Austin, TX, and several places along the coast of California. At these stops, we will have friends to stay with. Along the way, we plan to camp. We will have our dog, a merry cocker spaniel who loves to travel, but will, no doubt, present us with additional challenges. This will be my first time traveling with a dependent of any kind.
Basically, we just need any advice experienced road trippers can offer. Have any of you made a similar trip before? Any tips for traveling with a dog? Things you think we mustn't forget to pack? Essential gear? Great, cheap camping spots? Anyone ever done the festival circuit before? Are we NUTS!?
Thanks for anything you can offer!