The Road We Traveled
Deciding to take my family on a road trip to Myrtle Beach, SC was the easy part, planning the route turned out to be easy too! I had some help, ask around, there are lots of people that will be happy to offer you advice on the best route to take. My friends father was a valuable resource when it came to planning the route. If you don’t have a “call a friend ” option, click on the map above to check out the route we traveled.
Things we kept in mind when planning the route was avoiding high traffic/confusing highway areas like Washington, D.C (affectionately termed the mixing bowl, for good reason) and Richmond, Virginia which was a quick and easy detour on the I-295.The detour to avoid Washington via I-81 to Winchester then down Hwy 17/50 to I-66 to I-95 added about an hour to the trip but in the long run saved us time and frustration as the highways can be confusing thus earning the name “the Mixing Bowl” and can be locked in traffic most of the day. Apart from these two minor detours the rest is smooth driving. Lots of scenery to take in and well equipped rest stops if you are in need of a break. If you are the adventuring type and want to sight see on your drive check out an app called RoadTrippers that will let you customize your trip to include things like attractions, restaurants and weird stuff.
A word about prepping for your road trip…….there is tons of inspiration on Pinterest and travel blogs to make your trip painless. You can search pretty much anything from travelling with small children to organizing your vehicle.
A few tips that really helped me……
– Pack an overnight bag. Throw in a change of clothes, pj, tooth brush and bathing suit to take advantage of the pool your hotel will hopefully have for the kids to burn off some energy after a day of being seat bound.
-Pack your fave snacks, (see pic) notice the fruit with the red x , ummm, that is a no no if you are crossing from Canada to the USA. Border Security does not look kindly on citrus fruit, check out DutyFreeCanada for a helpful guide to crossing the border. Things like sandwiches, nuts and chocolate covered espresso beans (required snack for long drives) are good to go!
We decided to break the trip into two days, first day we did about 10 hrs of driving with a stop for lunch at Cracker Barrel in Binghamton NY and overnight in Winchester VA. We didn’t pre book our hotel as we were travelling midweek, we just picked a hotel off the highway for the night. If this makes you uncomfortable then I suggest booking in advance so you know exactly where you will be laying your head for the night. Can’t beat the US gas prices per gallon, a welcome change from what we have here in Canada for a litre!
The second day was 9 hrs of driving with a stop at Hardees for a quick lunch and few rest stops. The Virginia visitors center has lots to look at and a pretty great photo op as you can see above, a huge LOVE sign out front that makes a great prop! We also hit the South Carolina Visitors Center, while there be sure to get a coupon book for Myrtle Beach and talk to the staff, they have great tips on things to see and do in the area.
My #1 Tip for the drive….Be flexible and don’t be in a hurry. Let the trip unfold as it will,enjoy your time on the road with your passengers. Sing along to the radio, you might hear Up Town Funk 20 times but I guarantee you will know all the words by the time you get where you are going.
Our Myrtle Beach Road Trip was sponsored in part by the Myrtle Beach Vacation Board, all blog posts are my own experiences and opinions that I am happy to share with my readers. Thanks for following along!