HOW TO PLAN A ROUTE 66 ADVENTURE ON A BUDGET – PART ONE

Today, I am kicking off a new series about how to plan a Route 66 adventure (even with a limited financial budget and time constraints). In the first installments in this series I will share what we are doing to plan our forthcoming adventure on the double six from Kingman to Chicago and how this will shape our budget. 
In the second part of the series I will share the day to day adventure that will include expenses, motel and restaurant reviews, and general road updates. Of course these daily postings will be dependent upon WiFi access, and the fickle nature of the laptop. 
Okay, before we begin lets get to a few updates. These were promised for Monday and I do apologize for the delay. 
In answer to numerous inquiries, I do not have a projected date of publication at this time but my guess is late summer or early fall as the deadline for completion is March 1, 2013. This book, a Route 66 guide, is something I have wanted to write for sometime. 
It is not meant to complete with Jerry McClanahan’s EZ 66 Guide as this remains the definitive work for travelers on this storied highway. In fact, I never travel without it and I always check for updates on his website in the days before departure. 
No, what I am striving to do is create something a bit more personal. Answering years of inquiries asking about our favorite restaurant, camping spot, overlooked park, or special short side trips will be a primary component. To this I will add obscure trivia and historic tidbits for the depth and context that is becoming a hall mark of my work. Last, but not least, there will be informative sidebars about seasonal highlights, traveling the road in a vintage car, and even bicycling. 
My primary goal is to have the first draft of the text complete by the time we leave for Cuba Fest in October. I am quite pleased to announce that the half way point is in sight. So, with several weeks yet to go, I am quite confident of meeting that target. 
Creation of the world’s largest Route 66 museum in Kingman has hit a couple of snags. Still, we are quite confident that the first segments will be in place by the time folks arrive in town for the Route 66 Fun Run. 
The mural program is running a bit smoother. If all goes as planned we should have the first one installed by the time I return from Missouri. 
As a final update, renovation of the historic Brunswick Hotel seems to be on track. This means that the proposed store front just may become a reality before Christmas. 
Okay, lets plan a Route 66 adventure. Obviously a loose schedule that would allow two weeks or more would be ideal. However, that is not an option for many folks. Likewise with a budget that allows spending the same amount as, say, a good used car. 
For this particular trip we will have but 10.5 days, obviously not enough time to slow the pace as much as we would like but it will be plenty of time for hitting a few highlights and enjoying some of the best the old road has to offer. Of course this will require some relatively extensive planning, a balancing act as a Route 66 adventure must never be over planned. Surprise and flexibility is a key component to what makes an adventure an this road so amazing and unique. 
So, first I evaluate the distance using an online program such as the Rand McNally trip planner or the AA TripTik, as well as an updated atlas and simple pencil and legal pad. Next, as I know the days that we will be in Cuba, the afternoon of the 19th and the 20th, I calculate how many miles per day are needed for each leg of the trip. 
This will provide me with a rough destination for each day of the trip. Now, I have a general area in which to look for lodging for each day of the trip  as well as a rough parameter for calculating the cost of fuel. 
After checking for rental car deals I determine that we will have to forgo the luxury of taking the Jeep and, as is our custom, taking to obscure back roads on the whim. The rental car, with unlimited mileage and including tax, will cost $354.13. 
As we have requested a Toyota or similar car 30 mpg should not be an unrealistic estimate. With this as a minimum, on a 4,500 mile trip (I also running into Michigan to see my father), we should save the cost of 75 gallons of fuel. In addition, we won’t have the cost of wear and tear on the Jeep. 
As this is a Route 66 adventure we strive to avoid chain motels or restaurants. Still, aspects of this trip will require staying within a specific area as we are blending business with pleasure. 
I begin the search for lodging with the TripAdvisor website, the National Route 66 Federation dining and lodging guide, as well as the EZ 66 Guide also published by this organization, and questions posed on the Yahoo Route 66 e-group. With compilation of suitable locations, I begin making phone calls. 
In the next installment I will provide details about motels selected, why, and ways to save money in regard to lodging.




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