Hello hello! Man, I feel like I went to 100% to 50% on this blog this month. I was so on top of stuff, but then my migraine this past wore me down. That… and the fact that I’ve been obsessively (in the best way) planning this drive from Florida allllll the way to Guatemala. I feel like a lot of people will/would
1. think that we’re absolutely crazy.
2. have zero interest in ever putting the time and effort into planning some sort of drive like this.
But man, for me? I love it. As mentioned in the last post, there’s something really cathartic, yet exciting about it for me. I figured maybe not everyoneeee will be interested in a map and drive planning post (theres very few pretty pictures on this one too, haha), but maybe some of you guys will be interested? I mean, we’re not the only folks in the world trying to conquer a massive multi country road trip, right? Right.
So here is a slightly accurate, but not completely accurate map of our drive.^^ This map has us crossing the boarder of Brownsville Texas, but per a lot of folks suggestions, we’ll actually be crossing in Laredo or Mc Allen Texas. Originally I thought we’d just follow the coastal road the entire drive… I thought it would be nice (and certainly quicker) to stick along the coast until we reached Chiapas Mexico and then head south. This was my initial and certainly the easiest sounding idea. But then Alex and I got to discussing how this trip is really a trip— like a big thing that we were planning and maybe we should make it a point to stop in all the desert/central towns in Mexico that we’ve been wanting to visit. Right? Right. That makes sense. Andddd since we moved the route to cross the border in Laredo (more west), maybe we should just stick to that central route. Not to mention, when I was mapping out what towns we would visit, the central towns had the cuter hotel options! Haha! 🙂
Our current tentative route (with driving times):
- Day 1: Home – Pensacola 8.5
- Day 2: Pensacola – New Orleans 3
- Day 3: New Orleans
- Day 4: New Orleans – Kingsville 9
- Day 5: Kingsville – Santiago 5 (+ border crossing)
- Day 6: Santiago – San Luis Potosi – 6
- Day 7: San Luis Potosi – Mineral de Pozos – San Miguel de Allende 2 + 1.5
- Day 8: San Miguel De Allende
- Day 9: San Miguel de Allende – Puebla 5.5
- Day 10: Puebla /Atilxco – Oaxaca 5
- Day 11: Oaxaca – Juchitan de Zaragoza 4.5
- Day 12: Juchitan de Zaragoza – San Cristobal de la Casas 4.5 – 5
- Day 13: San Cristobal de La Casas – Huehuetenango 5 (+border crossing)
- Day 14: Huehuetenango – San Pedro La Laguna/ Lake Atitlan 3.5
- Day: 15: Lake Atitlan
- Day 16: San Pedro La Laguna – Antigua 3.5
Not too bad right? We might actually make the trip even longer though! This is tentative. If we absolutely fall in love with a town, then we will probably plan stay in said town for an extra night or two.
BY THE WAY! If you guys have any information on any of those towns/cities, PLEASE SHARE! Hotels, restaurants, must do/see attractions– I’d LOVE to hear about them!
In the States: We plan on mostly zipping through the first part. I’ve driven from Arizona to South Florida before and I have zero desire to lallygag through Texas (again). We’re zipping through Florida too– again, no desire to lallygag here! Sure, I’ve never really checked out most of the towns in Northern Florida, but if I have to choose where to spend my time on this trip, I’d rather spend it mostly in Mexico 🙂 The thing I’m most excited for in Florida? Lunch. Haha. I’ve already scheduled/planned our first lunch stop– a vegan friendly Jamaican restaurant in Gainesville (so good!). Oh BUT! We are stopping in New Orleans for a bit! We had debated on zooming through New Orleans too– but only because we’re flying there in March for my friends wedding. But we really, really liked New Orleans the last time we visited, so hell, why not stop there again?!
In Mexico: Alex has really been wanting to check out San Luis Potosi. And I’ve been wanting to check out San Miguel De Allende. And even though the two towns are only about 2-3 hours away from each other, we’ll be stopping in both. How’s that for compromise? Haha. We both have been wanting to check out Mexico City for a while now (flights are usually pretty cheap from here), but we both agreed that we’d rather skip it for this trip, and head back there some other time. For the most part, we’re stirring clear of any major cities (except for Oaxaca) on this trip. It seems a lot more sensible to avoid high traffic/high congestion places when road tripping— at least while we can on this sort of extended drive.
In Guatemala: Realistically we could probably get from the border of Guatemala to Antigua in one days time– but we’re going to most likely stretch it out. This last part of the trip is probably the most up in the air. If we’ve got the energy and aren’t completely wiped from spending two – two and a half weeks on the road then we’ll stop by the lake for a day or two. If not, we’ll just head straight into Antigua, our new home 🙂 Also, we’re not sure how long border crossing will take, so I’ve put in a stop between the border and the lake, just for good measure.
Driving Hours / Route 1 Oaxaca
- WPB – Tallahassee 6.5
- WPB – Pensacola 8.5
- WPB – New Orleans 11
- Tallahassee – New Orleans 5.5
- Pensacola – New Orleans 3
- New Orleans – Houston 5.
- New Orleans – Kingsville 9
- New Orleans – Laredo 10.5
- Kingsville – Santiago (Monterrey) 5
- Laredo – Santiago (Monterrey) 3.5
- Santiago (Monterrey) – San Luis Potosi 6
- Santiago (Monterrey) – Guanajuato/ Mineral de Pozos*** 9
- San Luis Potosi – Guanajuato/ Mineral de Pozos*** 2
- San Luis Potosi – San Miguel de Allende 2.5
- San Luis Potosi – Tequisquiapan 3.5
- San Luis Potosi – Puebla/ Atilxco 6
- San Miguel de Allende – Puebla 5.5
And now you get to see how anal I am^^
Safety first: I’d say I’ve done, 99% of the road trip planning here. Alex has done about 1%. But not because he’s slacking, haha. But because (I know I keep saying it but…) I really enjoy it! Not only have I mapped out the route— but I’ve mapped out all possible routes and more. You can see above that I’ve mapped out the distance between each town we plan to sleep in and the towns we might stop for lunch or gas in. And I’ve mapped out all possible and potential stops between each town we could possibly stop in. This way, if we need food, gas, or maybe if something goes wrong with the car, I know what other towns are nearby! On a whole other list (not pictured) I also have a list of hotels to stay in, in every single place I’ve listed above (thats 1/4 of the list above, haha). So if we need to randomly stop for an overnight, well, I have a ton of potential decent looking places mapped out!
It’s a big trip, guys! We want to be safe. Originally when Firestone Auto Care had asked me to write about road trips (safety/plans/past or future ones/whatever) — I was like, *no problem, we’re driving through Canada!* And If I’m being completely honest here, I had planned on doing a second post about our northern road trip across (a tiny bit of) Canada. But now that I’ve actually told you guys about our huge, amazing (I’m so excited for them) plans, well, I thought I should just continue the road trip talk here.
It’s sort of a no brainer that with any road trip– the point isn’t just getting from point A to point B (no matter how freaking excited you are for point B) but it’s also about everything in between. And not just the fun amazing adventure you’ll have along the way– but also, the safety part. For me, obsessively planning the trip now, means less to worry about later… andddd less worry for and from my mom, heh.
I’ve mentioned all our recent list making we’ve been doing. On top of the driving hours and towns, and all the things we need to do at home, we also have a good packing list going. The list of things we’re personally bringing is small, but we have another list of things for our safety too 🙂
For The Road:
- buy maps
- print route
- get truck inspected and tuned up!
- buy new tires (more heavy duty ones probably)
- buy truck bed cover
- buy tire patch kit (because you never know!)
- buy spare car battery
- buy gasoline containers and fill them for potential emergency gas needs
- pack snacks (duh) I was thinking ready to make smoothie packs?!
- buy water
- and find the cutest hotels to stay in…. etc. etc. etc.
The list continues…and it shrinks and grows as times goes on.
We debated on which car to take. Alex’s truck or my Prius. My prius is obviously the sensible choice when it comes to gas/mileage. But Alex’s new (used) truck was the sensible choice when it came to safety and transport. We ended up ordering a truck bed cover– so everything could be safely and securely stored in the back. But like I said, we don’t have too many personal things. Marlowe has two storage things^^ One basket filled with toys and one basket filled with books, pencils, coloring books, and homeschool workbooks. Thats it (besides clothes of course).
For Alex and I, we’ll be packing our clothes… and very little else. I bought more (of the same) makeup (stocked up on eyebrow pencils, haha) and some vitamins. Outside of that, our packing list is small.
Things we’re packing:
- Alex’s knives (kitchen knives, he’s not a weirdo, just a chef, don’t worry)
- our blender
- one dutch oven pot
- a microplane for me (haha, I swear I use it for everything!)
- some linens
- and our water filter
I think thats it. We plan on renting a furnished house once we arrive to Guatemala– and living as minimally as we can. Wish us luck on this! 🙂 How I see it: the less I bring for myself, the more I have for others!
So we’re also packing lots and lots of other stuff too. I’ve started collecting kids and baby clothes to donate…. lots of them. I already have one whole luggage packed! I’ll probably end up with three – four, depending on how much I can fit in the car. We played “luggage Tetris” the other day on the back of the truck to see how much we could realistically fit. Seems good so far! We’ll see how it goes! Oh! And freaking Marlowe is a sweetheart and wants to ask her friends to bring her things to donate to Guatemala, instead of birthday presents this year! She really is the most amazing kid ever.
Gosh, everyday I get more excited. I’ve been sitting at my computer non stop planning– and I dont mind it for a second! With enough planning and prep, I think it’ll be easy and surely enjoyable! But, sure, I guess I do have some fears too!
I mean, one crazy time I was driving back from Vegas to Phoenix Arizona and we decided to take “the scenic route” — it was one of the scariest moments of my life, haha. I laugh now, but the four of us were scared out of our minds on the darkest, windiest, mountainous road ever. (Not ever in history, but you get it). Things happen. Oh! Or there was the time when I drove from Massachusetts to Arizona and my car caught on fire in the middle of no where in Colorado. That was a fun one too, haha. THINGS HAPPEN! But as long as I have everything that I can possibly have prepared and ready to go, then I’m not worried!
There’s no point in worrying about all the what if’s, you know? Take care of what you can, and let the rest happen. Honestly? My biggest fear? Food! Haha. My stomach can’t even handle corn anymore– aka Mexicos amazing gift to the world. I freaking love corn. I mean, don’t kid yourself, you’ll probably see me eating it anyway, but I’m going to try not to. I’m hoping to just pick up as much fresh fruit as we can/when we can (can’t cross the borders with it though) and eat that. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not too worried about much else. We have a plan, a friend (did I mention that?! My best friend Christine (you guys met her here) is coming with us!), games, tunes, new tires and a tuned car, and a map 🙂 We’re ready to hit the road and go!
55+ hours and 3,000 + miles on the road sounds like a whole lot of adventure to me 😉
I plan! And I make sure the car is safe 🙂 I hope you enjoyed all the obsessive details on our upcoming trip! So happy to partner with Firestone Auto Care on this post! Seriously, I wouldn’t even consider doing a drive like this without a major car inspection and tune up first! DUH. Firestone Complete Auto Care, is there to make sure your road trip is a family success– no matter how short or how long 🙂 Top-notch services (tires, oil, brakes, battery alignments). Check out a bunch of Firestone Auto Care coupons and deals HERE! Hooray 🙂
Oh and I totally told you in my last road trip post— all my road trip dreams are coming true 😉
*This post was sponsored by the fine people of Firestone Complete Autocare