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Somewhere between Utah and Wyoming…

I just made up that term but I like it!  So, when most people go on vacation, they tend to stay in one town/city and try to get a feel for the place by partaking in sightseeing activities or lounging by the hotel pool or beach.  Not I!  I tend to want to do entirely too much on a vacation.  Luckily I’ve slowly begun to toe the line between making sure I’m not bored to death, and doing so many activities that I end up EXHAUSTED when I return home.  This perfect balance takes a lot of planning but if done correctly can really make for an awesome vacation.

I have never taken an inter-vacation road trip during a trip that I’ve planned on my own.  When I traveled with my parents, especially to other countries, we always tried to drive outside of the city where we stayed to explore smaller towns and villages.  This attempt at exploration either led to an enlightening experience or total chaos.  Picture it (Sofia from the Golden Girls voice): France, August 2001, teenage Shayla in a car with her parents driving to 4 towns in 7 days.  Two of the four hotels we stayed in did not have air conditioning, it was one of the hottest summers on record and my mother was in the midst of her own “private summers”. It was not pretty.  I was determined that, now that I am somewhat of a grown up, my inter-vacation road trip would be much less complicated.  Here are the basics:

Where: Park City, Utah to Evanston, Wyoming

How: Driving via the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway

Who: Myself and three of my best friends: Ashley, Nakeva and Devon

Why: Because none of us had been to Wyoming…at least none of us had ever driven there. Also, it seemed like a great way to make some fantastic memories

Now that I’ve set the scene for you, let’s get into what is needed to make an inter-vacation road trip work (I’ll get into what happened on the trip in a different post).

1) Down for ANYTHING friends – There is nothing worse than being trapped in a car with a miserable person determined to make everyone else miserable.  I do not stand for that.  One way to weed out the friends that pretend to be down for an adventure then turn out to be cray cray when you actually leave is to give them all the details beforehand.  Before my friends and I left for Utah we all agreed that each person would suggest an activity if they wanted to and we all had to agree. I wanted to drive to Wyoming and everyone was down. It’s a great idea to be on the same page with your travel companions before being in a car with them for two hours or more.

2) Snacks – Hunger = anger. Plain and simple.  Before leaving Park City we skipped around Wal-Mart buying cereal, cliff bars, almonds, bananas, water, and anything else our hearts desired as we had no idea what kind of food venues we’d find in Evanston or en route there.  Even when we were exhausted at the end of the day, we weren’t STARVING which prevented anyone from attacking each other.

3) A camera – Even on the worst adventures it’s pretty hard not to smile when a camera is around.  Between cell phones and actual cameras, we had about six picture-taking devices.  Between the gorgeous landscape and all of us genuinely enjoying each others company, there were smiles all around.

4) Good music – If there was any area where we scored less than an A+, this was it.  It’s hard to get clear (and non-country) radio stations when you’re driving through Wasatch National Forest! Shocking. Luckily we were able to plug-in my iPhone for tunes, but I have music a.d.d. so I’m sure I annoyed (and concerned, as I was driving) my friends as the constant song changer.  I’m a firm believer that playing an entire album is ideal on a road trip and I stubbornly kept it on shuffle. My bad girls!

5) Be home by dinnertime – No one wants to run the risk of navigating foreign roads at night when all passengers are tired and most likely hungry.  Don’t be that traveler that monopolizes everyone’s time. Try to get back to your original destination before nightfall so that you can eat, rest, get your second wind and hit the town!

Have you ever taken an inter-vacation road trip?  I know it’s more common when you visit another country, but what about when you’ve just visited a different area in your own country.  Where did you go? Holla at me below.

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