I feel like every time I sit down to actually write a blog post.. it seems like decades since the previous one. WELL, here we are! As you probably know, we did a road trip (we meaning Pat and I). As requested this is a blog post on everything you need to know. You ask, I conquer, always. I never thought I would do a road trip to be honest..not something I ever had on my bucket list. Now that it is done…we are literally planning out our next one. Such a cool, unique experience in only 2 weeks. Instead of writing out this whole thing step by step, I am going to list below our basic itinerary, what we did (in 2 weeks) and what I think was the KEY important items to bring. By the way…we did this in 2 weeks and everyone said “you need more time, etc”. We thought it was the perfect amount of time although, we were cruising!
DAY 1- Leave at 6 am from south jersey- drive straight through to South Bend Indiana ( about 10 hours )
DAY 2– Leave Indiana around 7 am drive straight through ( basically as far as we can ) end up spending time in Iowa ( Walnut ).
– Ended up staying in a hotel in Grand Island Nebraska
DAY 3– Wake up early and drive our last 10-14 hours to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming
– WYOMING- We had a friends place to stay at here although there are tons of cute places to stay right in Jackson hole!
DAY 4-5 Jackson hole Wyoming
DAY 6– Left Jackson hole around 11 and drove north right through Yellowstone National Park to Gardiner Montana
– spent most of the day in the car/ getting out at stops in Yellowstone although it was raining that day
DAY 7-8 spent in Gardiner Montana ( we stayed at the Wonderland Cafe & Lounge)
DAY 9-10- Choteau Montana on a ranch with a friend! Our original plan was to be in Glacier National Park but because of COVID…most of the east part of the park was closed.
DAY 11- South Dakota– THE BAD LANDS
We spent 2 nights in SD but basically just one full day of exploring Rapid City + The Bad Lands which were super cool and fun to explore (especially at sunset)
- Hiked Jenny Lake (7 miles around although you do not HAVE to do the entire hike) (we did not know this lol)
- Watched sunrise at Teton National Park (right near Jenny Lake) (lots of Bison as well)
- Moose Wilson Rd- to find Moose!
- Oxbow bend is where we saw bears ( I think it is pretty rare )
- Shops- Boyers Indian arts & crafts
- Pearls Market St grocery
- ROAM- very cute
- Restaurant – Gather- upscale date spot + happy hour (may have been the best meal we had the whole trip out in the mid west) – Eleaven Breakfast (quick & easy & yummy)
- Wonderland Cafe & Lounge/ Hotel- This is where we stayed
- – The best Kombucha cocktail & Pickles
- Two Bit Saloon – DIVE BAR
- Nomad Taco (taco truck)- across from Wonderland Cafe – They had an amazing breakfast bowl or taco that was vegan friendly as well!
- Rapid City- Where we stayed
- Tally’s Silver Spoon- cute dinner spot
- Essence of Coffee- Coffee + Breakfast
- Dixon Coffee company
- Mount Rushmore – research the history before going
- The Badlands Hike – about an hour from Rapid City
TO NOT FORGET/ TO MENTION
We drove a total of 35 hours on the way there- took 3 days to get all the way out to Wyoming which is pretty damn good on timing. We originally thought we would need 4 days but we hustled LOL. Pat and I got pretty lucky with places to stay of people we knew along the way so we ended up saving a LOT of money that way.
I would say there are plenty of cheap hotels/ air b along the way to help with that if you do not have many friends out there along the road! All along with gas, a few hotels, food etc, we spent under 2k. I would plan for a little more than that if considering this road trip! ALSO- this depends on the time of year etc . Our goal was not to save all of our money for this road trip so before this we really did not think about that. If you are on a budget– there are ways to do it.
Some items we brought that I will never regret
- Cooler/ snack bag (DUH?!)
- 2 Bowls from target- comes in handy when eating in the car and one of you is driving
- Trash bags- we kept the car as clean as possible and would throw out the trash bag every 1-2 days ( I am NOT about to be in a messy, smelly situation)
- Fan– Pat and I love white noise while we sleep and not to mention this one we bought was portable so did not need to be plugged into a wall.
- Rain gear- we forgot this 🙂
- Extra Blankets
- Water Bottles ( re- usable )
- Liquid IV- These came in handy for energy and hydration!