Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Epic Road Trip: Planning & Gear

Yep, that's right. We did it.

Yep, that’s right. We did it.

I recently had a two week holiday.  Anga, Peesta and I thought, why not go on an epic road trip?  So Peesta, my long time traveling buddy, flew over from Seattle to Brussels.  When she arrived on Saturday morning we only knew three things:

1. We want to go to Istanbul.
2. We want to visit our friend Katarina in Croatia.
3. We need to be in Venice in ten days because Peesta needs to catch her flight.

A lot of people asked if we planned it.
I definitely wouldn’t say… planned…
But all three of us certainly played around a LOT with google maps.
Checking distances and times between cool locations.

After lots of playing around with ideas, and a few of the best beers in the world at Beer Mania

Westvleteren and Cerberus!

Westvleteren and Cerberus!

We decided to aim for Istanbul FIRST, since it was the most ambitious.
annnnd that was pretty much the extent of our planning.
We embraced the philosophy of the more you plan, the more you stress about following the plan.
The less you plan, the less you have to stress about.

Flying by the seat of our pants was made possible by three road trip must haves!

1. Tom Tom – great GPS and driving directions. The Europe edition was totally trustworthy in 17/20 countries we went to.
Tricky spots were Serbia, Kosovo and Albania… but 17/20 is still pretty good.  We bought a paper map for back up, which I found  very satisfying to highlight as we traveled.

2. Cerberus– GPS, tracking, and messaging combo. Great for keeping everyone updated on exactly where we were.  Also, in the end we have an accurate digital map of exactly where we went!  Cerberus quickly became Cerby, and was like the spoiled child of the trip- getting all of the attention.  Dropping breadcrumbs with comments became quickly addictive… trying to invent witty things to say just as you would updating your facebook status.  Actually, you CAN use Cerby to update your facebook status.  Booyah! Also, Briartek has fantastic customer service.  Anytime we had questions, they responded immediately.

3. iPad- light enough to pack, big enough screen to make it enjoyable to use. We were on these almost everyday at restaurants, cafes or gas stations with wireless internet- mostly to find a place to sleep on Booking.com. Fantastic website with phenomenal customer service.  At one point I booked a hotel in the WRONG Montagnana. I emailed booking and a human responded within five minutes saying she would contact the hotel for us to try to cancel without fees.  Twenty minutes later I received another email saying the hotel owner agreed to cancel for no charge.  Booyah.  Use booking.com!

Without further ado, Cerberus has some photos to share…

Cerberus is ready for Day 1: Brussels to Bratislava!

Cerberus is ready for Day 1: Brussels to Bratislava!

Day 2: Using the CerberTouch app on my iphone to drop a bread crumb in Budapest.

Day 2: Using the CerberTouch app on my iphone to drop a bread crumb in Budapest.

Cerberus keeps track of us! A lot of ground covered in the first two days...

Cerberus keeps track of us! A lot of ground covered in the first two days…

Cerberus gets hungry at a gas station in Bulgaria.  But  you can see how cute and small he is next to these formerly-communist chocolates!

Cerberus gets hungry at a gas station in Bulgaria. But you can see how cute and small he is next to these formerly-communist chocolates!

Green light at the Hagia Sophia!! Cerby LOVES Istanbul!

Kosovo welcomes Cerberus.  Good thing my mom was asleep while our breadcrumbs dropped through here.

Kosovo welcomes Cerberus. Good thing my mom was asleep while our breadcrumbs dropped through here.

Cerberus and Ladybug (my car) walk on WATER in Montenegro!

Cerberus and Ladybug (my car) walk on WATER in Montenegro! Ferrrryyy riiiide!

Cerberus best practices upright sun tanning in Venice.

Cerberus best practices upright sun tanning in Venice.

And last but not least… the epic map, made possible by Cerberus, of our epic 13 day road trip.
(If you want to zoom in to see more details, click on view larger map!)

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This entry was posted on April 30, 2013 by in travel.
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