The one colossal road trip mistake you don't want to make

I'm all for spontaneity. 

We like to call it: serendipity of the road. It is beautiful to allow space in your travel plans for wandering and accidental discovery. And we do this often. HOWEVER...


This can backfire in the worst way.

Let's back up and start from the beginning.

So, you want to take a road trip?

You've blocked off your days to travel. You've chosen your destination. You've decided on your attractions. What's left, except to JUST GO!!!??


We made that very mistake on our last trip. And it nearly ruined our whole experience. 

Here's what happened.

We road tripped 3 hours to get to our destination. We had a couple of attractions in mind to see, but three of the major ones were: 

  • an amusement park

  • a zoo

  • and an adventure ropes course.

We had a reservation for the ropes course, but figured the other two big attractions would be fine to purchase tickets at the gate.

The night we arrived in town, I started pulling up websites to check for directions to our attractions from our hotel and that's when I spotted it. 

Pin this!!! One Colossal Road Trip Mistake You Don't Want to Make! via

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I would NEVER think to check attractions ahead of time for closures. I mean, not for things like...the zoo.

It's not like white water rafting where weather can affect operation. And it was a regular Saturday in August. It wasn't Christmas weekend.

But there it was staring at me in the face: the zoo was closing early due to a special event. And since our reservation for the adventure course was over at 1 pm, we wouldn't be able to see the zoo at all that day.

From the zoo's homepage

From the zoo's homepage


But not only that...

Would you believe that the amusement park we had scheduled for the next day was also closed?

From the amusement park's homepage

From the amusement park's homepage


It was definitely a moment of panic for me. 

Was the whole trip ruined? What else could I visit that was family-friendly? What else fit the budget?

I began Yelping and TripAdvising like a maniac. 

It's terrible to find yourself in a new place, with a limited time frame and a tight budget, and few options. You don't want to be the mom that is yelling at her to kids to shut up while feverishly working to plan a fun vacation on the fly! me.

Way NOT to make meaningful family moments.

Don't make the same mistake we did.

Save yourself the anxiety; prior to your departure, do a quick search of the homepage of each attraction you plan to see. Look for unexpected closures along with hours of operation.

Both closures were clearly listed on the attractions' home pages had I looked!

Tweet: Take a minute to check attraction websites for closures. Road Trip Mistakes via @mrs_samanthanelson #traveltips
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