life | travel

5 Ingredients for a successful USA family roadtrip

This time next week I will be meandering around the streets of New Orleans French Quarter in search of the best Gumbo in town. Yes, we are off to the good old US of A on a family roadtrip. And right now I am a mix of excitement and nerves!

I love seeing the world and have travelled most of Europe, UK, Ireland, Fiji and also the US. In fact this will be my third trip to the land of the stars and stripes. I first travelled there in ten years ago in a whirlwind ten day adventure with hubby. We saw LA, Vegas, Miami and NYC. It was just enough of a taste to whet our appetite. Then in 2009 we set off as a family; hubby, myself and four giggling girls to travel the West Coast. On that trip we hired an RV and saw LA, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco. We had a ball.

This time we are roadtripping again in a decked out RV and tackling the deep south and east of the country taking in Dallas, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Washington DC and NYC.


So with a little previous experience tucked up my sleeve here are my:

5 Key Ingredients for a successful road trip

1. Family








* Note: this is not us.

Add one organised control freak mum, one laid back, extroverted Dad, one country singing 16 year old Miss, one cool, casual Miss 14 , one sensitive, travel loving Miss 8, and one crazy, life-of-the-party Miss 6 and you have a family that covers all basis for adventure, fun, tears, squabbles, laughs and hi-jinks.


2. The Vehicle

rv collage













Squeezing all six of us into this and living in such close company for three weeks will be um…. interesting. But Priscilla will do it (yes we have already named her)


3. The Itinerary

roadmap 2








Itinerary? Who needs one of those? Our plan involves mapping out a rough travel route, booking our first night and last nights accommodation and seeing where the road takes us in between!


4. Technology










iPhone, laptop, Google maps. All for tweeting, instagramming, organising, researching and finding our way. Modern day technology, what could go wrong?


5. Money.

Credit. Enough said?















With this trip I’m not sure what I’m most looking forward to:

– Sampling Gumbo and old style Jazz in New Orleans

– Riding the mighty Mississippi on a steam boat

– Visiting the beautiful and historic plantations of the deep south

– Seeing how slavery affected parts of the south and how things have changed for the better

– Memphis: the home of Elvis an the Blues

– Nashville: the home of country music. Not a huge fan but our Miss 16 is, so I’m looking forward to enjoying it through her eyes.

– Picturesque Virginia

– The beautiful architecture of Washington DC

– And NYC. For everything she encompasses.


Or just the adventure itself! Although it’s not totally a vacation. I have so many story ideas that I am hoping will come to life and give me plenty of fodder to work on upon our return.

As for blogging, I really haven’t decided if I will be blogging during the trip. Part of me wants to, but I really don’t want the pressure of feeling like I have to blog, so I won’t be committing to it, but I am likely too.

I will though be instagramming my little heart out so if you are an Instagram tragic too, make sure you follow me — @jfgibsonwriter

But for now, I’d better get to packing!

bon voyage