Traveling Out West – The Guide To A Successful Road Trip

Now there are many ways you can have a successful road trip. An example could be going on a 150 mile drive to a national park and camping out or it could be be going on a 4700 mile voyage and viewing a ton of beautiful scenery that your eyes have yet to see. Whatever it may be there are a few things that I personally would recommend you take in mind.

This past summer I went from my hometown of Manitowoc, WI with two friends and traveled out west to Seattle and a few other cities along the way. Never really traveling before I was excited to be able to take the leap and see what amazing sights and adventures I was in store for. I got what I absolutely needed for my trip and stuffed it in a single backpack and went along. That being my two film cameras along with a Rolleicord from Raph the creator of allFT, 3 handfuls of black and white film and a couple rolls of color, a small amount of clothes and an open mind with no expectations.

Tip #1: No Expectations

I cannot stress enough that this is one of the most important tips I can give. Imagining what the trip could be like will only disappoint you if you have too high of an expectation. There were countless times on my trip where things didn’t go as planned so just go with the flow and be in the present.

Our first stop was Minneapolis, MN and it was a beautiful city to see. Going to Chicago, IL a couple months prior to this trip I thought MPLS was a lot more pleasant and cleaner with what seemed to be an amazing art and music scene

We cooked some food and had a bonfire and talked about the days ahead and what we were excited about. Which brings me to my next tip.

Tip #2: Camp To Save Money

One of the big things when going on a road trip is to be as cost effective as possible. In total I spent $270 dollars on gas and other necessities. This will allow you to spend more on what you want to and other activities in the places you plan to go and if you’re up for camping its a great way to connect with the people around you. If you’re lucky you wont have any cell phone reception and wont be frozen to a screen!

After spending the night in probably the most beautiful part of North Dakota we packed up and jumped in the car and started to head towards one of our stops in Montana. Makoshika State Park is a really cool park that has a mostly rock landscape and it reminded me of the grand canyon. Obviously not in side or beauty but it was a great stop and great for some photo ops.

We spent about an hour there and it was such a calm and peaceful reminder that there is so much to see and being able to view this for such a small amount of money made me want to spend all of my savings on traveling.. which I will most likely do from now on.

Tip #3: Bring A Camera!

A camera! Not your iPhone. A legitimate camera. Preferably film since this is a film collective after all and well its the best way to capture your experience. And it looks like nothing else! This is another tip I cannot stress enough. Although its an extra thing you have to bring and a little less convenient than a phone the photos you take on this trip you’re going to have for ever ( If you use a real camera and get them printed ) and want to make huge prints! Its also a great conversation piece.

Back to the story! After Makoshika the rest of the day was dedicated to getting as far west as possible and quick stop at this “Ghost Town” outside of Missoula, MT. Turned out to truly be a ghost town because we couldn’t find it and we were deep in the Montana mountains surrounded by windy dirt roads, trump signs and road signs filled with bullet holes. After that we drove to the nearest hotel in Missoula because it was storming and we wanted to get a fresh start the next morning.

Tip #4: Explore Every Stop

Traveling through the pan handle of Idaho we stopped in the little mountain town of Wallace. This place took me back to the 60’s with its old style cafes and classic cars. On a side note they should make all cars like they did back then. It seemed to be untouched. We walked around the whole town and went window shopping and got some coffee and food at the local coffee shop. Stop everywhere you can and look around. You will find things you wouldn’t have seen if you didn’t!

Tip #5: Have Fun

Having fun is the final and most important tip that I can give you. Enjoy everything. Look around you’re seeing amazing and gorgeous places. I can’t tell you how much of a life changing experience this was for me and it would not have been close to what I experienced if I didn’t have fun.

The next 4 days were spent in Seattle, WA and it has made me want to move out there. Which I hope to do in the near future. The rest of the blog will be just photos so please enjoy and leave a comment if you liked the read!


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