Ever since I moved to LA, I’ve always
wanted to take a California road trip. It’s one of those bucket lists kind of
things. This state has arguably some of the greatest scenery in the country,
and I wanted to see it. Unfortunately when you work in television like me
there isn’t really vacation time. You just have to wait until your show ends. So when my
previous show wrapped up earlier this summer I had one week to see as much of
California as I could. The plan. Any good road trip starts with a plan.
Know what you want to see and research what you need to but always leave room
for change. With a limited time line of just one week I wouldn’t be able to see
everything and had to choose my top locations. Also, I wouldn’t be doing this trip alone. My friends from Michigan, Charles and Jinelle agreed to join me on
this adventure. Budget. We’re all poor. So we planned on
only eating out once a day, buying the rest of our food at grocery stores and
gas stations, and going to places that were primarily free. Gas, well, we’d take what we could get. Transportation. Any good road trip also has to have a
reliable car. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road
in the middle of nowhere because something on your car broke. If you don’t
have a dependable car, borrow one. Here is our road tripping vehicle: 2015 Kia Forte.
Great car to take us through the mountains and along the coast. Not the
best for sleeping three. We’d use hotels instead. If you’re trying to save money
sleeping in your car is probably your best bet. But if that’s not going to cut it,
find the cheapest Motel you can. Even in expensive cities you can usually find
a room with two beds for under $100 without booking in advance. Just remember,
these are harder to find when you’re out of cell range or traveling during peak
season. All we can find is a $400 hotel room? We’re not going there.
Here are some other tips. Bring a camera. Any camera will do. It doesn’t matter
what kind or how expensive. Document the experience in your style. What I’ve come
to learn is that if you tell a good story through your video or photos, no
one really cares if you’re shot on Canon 5d or an iPhone 5. Bring a hippie.
Or at least someone who turns into one on road trips. Not only will things be a
little more spontaneous but you’ll also get some pretty sweet shots when they go off and do their hippie thing. Don’t plan too much. It’s actually better
to under plan than over plan. When you’re on a road trip, things come up. Sometimes new adventures. Always say yes to them. As cheesy as it sounds, sometimes these are
the moments you’ll remember most. And other times the things we plan just
don’t work out. Bring the right clothes for the occasion.
What are you wearing Charles? The blanket poncho- for the traveling man. Great
socks too! Skip the guided tours and go trip yourself. You can find all the cool
stuff you want with a little research on the Internet.
Don’t pay expensive entrance fees either. you can see plenty of awesome things for
free except Yosemite. Always pay for Yosemite. Finally and most importantly,
enjoy the moment. Watch a sunset, run through the trees,
drive down the steepest street in San Francisco. Dance on the ledge of a dam.
Actually, don’t do that last one. Native Californians think they live in the
greatest place on Earth. I won’t concede to that bold statement,
but I will admit it’s pretty great. And I can’t wait to explore more.