Travel Plans Rebooted: Road Tripping Our New Normal

This year has been interesting, to say the least. Canceled plans and uncertainty at an all-time high has emphasized the importance of being flexible and open to change. We had a big international trip that we canceled a week before departure. It was a decision that we felt was best for our family. It was something that I didn’t want to do because it was finally an opportunity to pretend like things were normal again. I remember the very moment of calling the airline to cancel and the email sent to cancel our lodging. You would have thought I forgot how to use my mouse because it took me forever to hit the send button. All was canceled, and I was feeling like what’s next! I’ve already taken the days off at work, and I didn’t want to throw in the towel just yet.

As I thought about how we would plan a few car dates and camping in, a light went off and I thought about a road trip. Vacation doesn’t have to mean getting on a plane. It was nostalgic to reminisce about my family vacations growing up and the fun we experienced on road trips. Not so fast I thought to myself. Now we are traveling with an 8-month-old. How will this work out? It would definitely take longer, but that’s not an issue because we did not have a deadline or anywhere to be at a specific date and time. As I was thinking of different places, my husband and I thought about a road trip to Asheville, NC. We wanted to make it a history, foodie, and nature trip. At the top of our list was Montgomery, Atlanta, and Asheville. We would be able to experience all three opportunities to the fullest.

Montgomery: National Memorial for Peace and Justice

We had an enjoyable trip with several stops on the way there. We were flexible on the return and decided to make fewer stops. It was not the best move as we were all restless. This road trip will be one to remember, it was exciting to travel safely and experience places that might have not been on the top of our list. However, I’m excited to visit again in the near future.

Highland Waterfalls North Carolina

If you’re deciding to plan a road trip with your family in the near future, below are my top five takeaways that may make the trip one to remember.

Atlanta Aquarium

1. Use a road trip app.

We have used Roadtrippers and it gave us an opportunity to discover places along the way that we may have overlooked.

2. Plan your food stops and pack snacks.

It’s always exciting to try new and interesting local cuisine. This allowed for several car dates during our trip.

3. Stop when you need to, take your time.

It’s more about the journey than the destination.

4. Be flexible.

Being open to shortening your trip or open to experiencing new things that you may be uncertain of can be exciting.

5. Take photos and print them.

This may not have to be on the list because we are in an age of always taking photos, however, be sure to capture the moments. You will be excited to look back on your memories down the road.

We were excited that a canceled vacation turned into a southeast road trip. From this experience, I’m open to exploring more road trips. I’m curious to know, what have you canceled and what was your alternative plan(s)?

Asheville Botanical Garden
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Nia Avery is a New Orleans based Fine Art Consultant for Heather James Fine Art. Prior to joining Heather James Fine Art in 2017, Nia was an art consultant in Beijing, China, where she oversaw the inaugural C!Talk initiative, a series of cross-cultural events sponsored by the World Culture Open organization. She also previously served as an art consultant in Houston where she co-led the Emancipation Economic Development Council workgroup for the art non-profit Project Row House. Nia received her Bachelor of Science from Clark Atlanta University. Before relocating to New Orleans, she served on the board of Loma Linda Hospital’s “Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild” in Indio, California, and was a member of Desert AIDS Project’s “Partners for Life” committee in Palm Springs, California. “New Orleans is my hometown, so I am thrilled to be back. As a gastronome and fine art consultant, I have found that this city is the perfect fit – and because New Orleans is a city focused on tourism, there are always opportunities to meet people from all over the world. Living here presents an exciting opportunity to contribute to the cultural landscape. My favorite place in the city has yet to be discovered. From 1000 Figs, to Original Thought, to the McKenna Museum, there is always something to discover and experience. I am excited to discover many new favorites for years to come.”

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