You know what would be awesome?? FAMILY ROAD TRIP!
What’s better than real families taking road trips together and loving every minute of it? Priceless is what we say here at BB. Friends of ours told us about Sheri and her crew at Road Trips For Families and we immediately had to check it out. We loved it and of course had to chat with them so we could share their story with our viewers. They have great stories, great advice and they run their businesses while taking roadtrips! So awesome right?! Enjoy the interview and make sure to check them out at RoadTripsForFamilies.com
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1. Tell us about Road Trips for Families, what is all about and who came up with the concept?
I have a background as a custom publisher and before that I was a magazine editor, and I’ve always loved road trips. I tried to find a brand that would do the Road Trips idea, maybe with a print magazine attached, but mostly just as an online brand with geo-location and a strong partnership with the tourism industry. But, this was too early and brands weren’t interested in taking that kind of step into the unknown, so I bought all the URLs and just did it myself.
The concept is that there are 30 or so sites all about road trips in our network. Road Trips for Families, Road Trips for Beer, Road Trips for Foodies, Road Trips for Girlfriends, etc. Each site has an editor, and some sites, like Road Trips for Families, have several editors working together. So far we’ve launched about six of the sites and are perfecting the system. After we’re profitable we’ll work on launching the rest of the network.
We work together to promote each other and share ideas and support. We’re in the process of launching some apps and other tools that will make it easier for road trippers to find the best beer, railroad museums, zip lines or whatever they are looking for – all along their route.
2. How do you all know each other (all involved) and do you bring your whole family along for the ride?
At Road Trips for Families it’s about the family experience, so most of the time we do travel as a family (separately for the most part). A few of us have met up for trips, but all four of the current families have not traveled together. Yet.
At Road Trips for Beer, Gerard Walen is the editor and he does take his family along as applicable as well. Obviously at Road Trips for Girlfriends, the idea is to leave the family home, so they don’t take the kids so much.
We’ve all met through writing crossover or networking. When you meet another road trip maniac you just know it and the rest is easy.
3. So you run businesses while on the road trip? What are the pros and cons of running a business while on the road?
My family tries to take a six-week trip every summer. It’s hot in Tucson, where we live, and because of school, it’s hard to really get away for any length of time. My husband and I both have our own businesses besides the road trips network, and so we do have to work on the road.
The pros are that you can work sitting at a campfire or after making breakfast in the camper, sitting at the best campsites in the world. It always feels special and there’s really nothing like it. The cons are that it can be very stressful to meet deadlines when you suddenly don’t have internet access. It takes a lot of planning to keep things running smooth.
4. What’s a typical day like while on the road with everyone?
You get up pretty early because campers tend to be early risers. There’s noise in the campground about sunrise. We wake up without an alarm clock and my husband usually heads out to go fishing. I make breakfast and our daughter does camp chores or takes a shower. We eat and I work until about noon. We have lunch and either hit the road for another campground or we head into a National Park or do something else to explore the area. We come back to the camper (we have a 1969 vintage camper that my husband restored to have a king bed, a bunk for our daughter and lots of storage, etc.) and roast marshmallows and mess around in the camp ground. Sometimes we have nice neighbors and we visit or our daughter hangs out with friends she’s made. There might be more fishing involved. After our daughter goes to bed my husband and I work for a few hours. At the end of the day we’ve worked at least 8 hours, just in weird spurts.
5. What’s one of the best memories you have so far since you started this?
Just sitting in the car quiet together. No one talking or upset or even particularly happy. I realized one time that no one had said anything for about 20 minutes and yet we were all just zen with the situation. Suddenly someone might see some wildlife and it’s really excitable or we start talking, but it’s those moments of just enjoying each other that are so amazing. You don’t get those at home. Everyone is so pushed to get to the next activity that you would never just sit on the sofa and be quiet unless you did a family time out.
6. Has there ever been any bumps in the road while doing this?
Sure! One time we came upon a tanker than had rolled off the road and caught fire. We had to turn around and head back and repeat all the day of driving because we were afraid of a forest fire. Because we can’t drive very fast, we wanted to get out of there while we could. After about 8 hours we finally got to the hotel where we planned to sleep for the night, (about 1/2 hour from where the tanker went off the road) and crawled into bed. We’d almost run out of gas, we were exhausted and it had been very stressful.
7. What would you tell someone who is contemplating on taking a family road trip for the first time?
Just pack a night’s worth of clothes and toiletries in the car and head out. Don’t make a plan, toss a coin for North, South, East or West. Eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired and come home another route. That’s an easy two day trip and it gets your feet wet. We’ve all become so conditioned that we have to plan out what’s going to happen that we forget it’s the journey with no planning that is the true goal.
8. Out of the places you’ve been what’s the first 3 places that pop into your head that you have enjoyed the most?
Yellowstone/Jackson Hole – That’s where I went as a kid and it’s special to me. We love it there and have created our own family memories now.
We did the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Rockies last year, all in one big drive, and it was life changing. Take any one of those drives and you’ll have a blast. There are a lot of iconic mountain passes on those drives (Beartooth, Road to the Sun, etc.) and they are must-drives with your kids.
It sounds strange, but we road tripped Aruba as a family and had a blast. We almost got the rental truck stuck, drove around the whole island a few times and just had a blast. You can road trip anywhere. Don’t stay in the resort and just lay there. Get out.
9. Where can others learn more about you, follow you and get in touch with you?
I’m @roadtripseditor on Twitter and on Facebook. All of us editors and our families welcome questions and tips. We’ve also had some kids start guest blogging for us – which rocks. Seeing young journalists enter the field and love road trips makes us excited about where travel writing can go in the next decade.
Don’t forget to check out the event and our friends at GirlsWhoRock.org
Send us your stories. Send them to ashley(at)businessbewareshow.com or leah(at)businessbewareshow.com