And now, a few words from the kids …

And now, a few words from the kids …

Greetings from Chattanooga, Tenn., our first stopover on our month-long road trip out to Oregon.

We spent yesterday packing, cleaning the house, and making this video (above) about how we pulled everything together. Aren narrates.

And today after we checked in at the Holiday Inn Express, Iden shared his road trip “rules.” We’re still laughing!

I hope you have as much fun watching these videos as we did making them.

Remember, you can always follow our family travel adventure at Away is Home.

Safe travels!


Cashless toll roads, another hazard for car renters

Think of it as an invisible road hazard.

Three months after Joan Cox rented a Ford Fusion rental car in Orlando last summer, a surprise bill from Thrifty Car Rental landed in her mailbox. The company wanted 50 cents for a toll violation on the Beachline Expressway, a toll road that connects Orlando with the East Coast beaches and the Kennedy Space Center.

Oh, and one other thing: there was a $25 “administrative fee” for processing.
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Ridiculous or not? Going out of your way to avoid planes

We’re a nation of drivers, no doubt about it.

Don’t believe me? During the first five months of the year, Americans flew 321 billion miles. They drove 1.1 trillion miles. (It’s not a perfect comparison, since these are calculated slightly differently, but you get the idea.)

Last holiday weekend, less than eight percent of travelers flew to their destination. Almost 9 out of 10 drove.

You might not arrive at that conclusion from reading most travel blogs or magazines, but it’s true. For all the fretting we do about the indignities of flying, we sure don’t do very much of it.

All of which made me wonder: How far would you go to avoid a plane?
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Road trip update: What would you drive across the country?

I am not allowed to show you any pictures of our 2007 Honda Accord.

But imagine, if you will, what a high-mileage vehicle that regularly shuttles three high-energy kids between school, music lessons and play dates looks like, and you’ll have a good idea.

If Mater from the Pixar film Cars comes to mind … well, you’re not that far off.

Our car has been loved to death. There are candy wrappers and empty water bottles strewn across the back seat, and I can’t remember the last time it was washed. Right now, it looks like it survived a riot in London. It’s embarrassing. Which is why Kari won’t let me show you the car.
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