First road trip ✔
Planning our Official Depature
When Justin and I first started making plans for full time travel, we decided driving down the East Coast starting at the beginning of August made the most sense. Missing Christmas in July in Maine wasn’t an option. We had no idea we’d be planning an inexpensive Road Trip from Maine to Texas over 12 Days.
For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas in July… we can’t be friends. No, no, just kidding! It’s basically a weekend long party where our family and friends eat, drink, float in the water, play cornhole, and have a Yankee swap. Plus, we deck out the camp (translation for you non-Mainers: camp = cottage) in Christmas lights to try to snag first place in the decorating contest every year. We’ve almost always placed in the top 3 but never came in first until this year! Woop woop!
Our plan was to leave right after Christmas in July and make our way down the East Coast until November when we would park ourselves in Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving with Justin’s mom. Then my sister announced she was pregnant and due in August so much like Christmas in July, we decided we weren’t going to miss meeting the newest member of the family. Instead of a months long journey from Maine to Florida, we planned a 12 day road trip from Maine to Texas starting August 12th.
I did this trip once before with my sister when she first moved down to Texas. Except we took a more direct route – one that went through major cities like NYC – and we stayed in hotels. This trip was a LOT different.
12 Day Road Trip from Maine to Texas
Our inexpensive road trip from Maine to Texas in 12 days wouldn’t have been possible without our friends at Harvest Hosts. We knew months before we officially left that we were going to become Harvest Hosts members. We had no idea how frequently we would use the membership but for $79 a year, it’s a deal that we couldn’t pass up. I mean… it basically pays for itself after 2 night stays at Harvest Hosts. Even if we didn’t stay at a harvest host for the rest of the year, it was still the worth the money.
(We’re planning another week or two road trip using mainly Harvest Hosts in November.)
Originally we were going to stay at Harvest Hosts every night with the exception of 1 state park to dump our tanks midway. I was confident we would show up in Texas stinky from lack of showers. But if we learned anything during this road trip, it was flexibility and being able to go with the flow when things didn’t go as expected.
Our 12 day road trip ended up being 11 days because the South is HOT in the summer and being two New Englanders, we just couldn’t handle it. So we did a couple long drives to get here faster.
We stayed at:
- 7 Harvest Hosts
- 3 State Parks
- 1 Night at Casa de Sister and Brother-in-Law
Miles Drove: 193
Harvest Host: Sam Mazza’s Farm Market
Location: Colchester, VT
Money Spent: $20ish
Lesson Learned: Guys, we showed up in Vermont around 1 with every intention to work for the entire afternoon. We got everything set up, took out of laptops, plugged in the chargers and… nothing. No juice whatsoever.
Our USB ports DO run off the battery but our outlets DO NOT. Thing is, we knew this!!! We just totally forgot. Unfortunate for us we had decided to hold off on buying a generator until we felt we absolutely needed one.
Not being able to work = absolutely needing a generator.
So we took a trip to Home Depot and bought ourselves a generator (and then proceeded to not work for the rest of the afternoon. Funny how that happens.) Instead we grabbed dinner and ice cream with some friends who lived right down the road from Sam Mazza’s Farm Market.
Miles Drove: 205
Harvest Host: Thousand Islands Winery
Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
Money Spent: $10
Lesson Learned: Not too far into our drive from Vermont to New York we were chatting so much that Justin drove straight past our exit. We found ourselves at the Canadian border, oops! Fortunately there was a turn around before we actually got to customs so we didn’t have much of a delay.
At our Harvest Host location, we met a couple who had been traveling for 7 months in a travel trailer. They were on their last month traveling before heading back to New Jersey to start working again. We realized we never got each other’s names. Instead we just chatted for quite a while and did a wine tasting. Meeting new like-minded people is going to be half the fun of our new adventure. Maybe next time we’ll get their names!
Miles Drove: 216
Harvest Host: Freedom Run Winery
Location: Lockport, NY
Money Spent: $28
Lesson Learned: Wineries are so much more fun than farms (and we’re assuming museums – all of which you can stay at as a Harvest Host member.) This spot was GORGEOUS!
Miles Drove: 170
Harvest Host: The Winery at Spring Hill
Location: Geneva, OH
Money Spent: $12
Lesson Learned: The shores of New York and Pennsylvania (near the Great Lakes) are filled with vineyards. I’m not quite sure why we never spent a weekend in New York doing a wine tour when we lived in Massachusetts.
Miles Drove: 178
State Park: Dillon’s State Park
Location: Nashport, OH
Money Spent: $45
Lesson Learned: Sometimes you have all the best intentions of not taking a shower for 12 days straight and then you cave. And that’s OK (and probably preferable by anyone around you).
We stopped at a gas station and I went inside to use the bathroom. Just as I was going in some guy came up behind me and grabbed the door. My immediate first thought was, “don’t lift your arms up, you probably stink.”
That night we stayed at a state park and I took a ridiculously long shower because I felt like I deserved it.
Miles Drove: 248
Harvest Host: 450 North Brewing Company and Simmons Winery
Location: Columbus, IN
Money Spent: $29.54
Lesson Learned: You can’t always get what you want.
Miles Drove: 183
Harvest Host: Tuscan Hills Winery
Location: Effingham, IL
Money Spent: $14.99
Lesson Learned: When the generator is going, you literally can’t hear anything that is going on around you.
Miles Drove: 172
Harvest Host: Wood Hat Spirits Distillery
Location: New Florence, MO
Money Spent: $38.86
Lesson Learned: Missouri is where it starts to get REAL hot, REAL quick.
Miles Drove: 260
State Park: Roaring River State Park
Location: Cassville, MO
Money Spent: $29.50
Lesson Learned: Campground showers really aren’t all that bad.
Miles Drove: 171
State Park: Talimena State Park
Location: Talihina, OK
Money Spent: $22
Lesson Learned: Sometimes Google says things are permanently closed but in reality they’re not.
Miles Drove: 220
Park: Casa de Sister and Brother-in-Law
Lesson Learned: Real full-sized showers are the best and we definitely used to take them for granted. I didn’t take as long of a shower as I did at the first state park we stayed at but I definitely soaked up all the warm water I could get in about 10 minutes.
Overall Thoughts on Our First Official Road Trip
We finished our inexpensive road trip from Maine to Texas in 12 days. In total (excluding things like gas and food) we spent around $242 on “accommodations.” But keep in mind, we did things like had a wine tasting and beer flights at a single location and did a whiskey tasting and then bought a bottle of liquor because it was really, really good. Technically we could have spent $0 but since these people let us park our trailer on their property, the least we could do was spend some money (it didn’t take much arm twisting at the wineries and breweries). We definitely could have spent less but we also could have spent way more!
Even though we caved and stayed at 3 state parks with running water, we really enjoyed this road trip! I’m glad that we decided to start off our official traveling rv lifestyle with this trip because we learned a lot!
We’ve decided that moving everyday for any longer than 11 days isn’t right for us. Between packing, driving, unpacking, and working, it gets a bit exhausting. Now we just need to figure out how long we can stay in one place before we go crazy and need to move along!
Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links! We don’t and won’t ever promote a product or service we don’t use ourselves. Your experience doesn’t change at all but using our link might give us a little kickback to help us keep our blog up and running. And you know what, we appreciate it!