I live in Texas, and Texas is huge! So, when I decided to plan this trip, I thought, if I’m going to spend a couple of days, just driving out of the state, I want to see all that I can. Then, I thought, I want to see a lot but not feel rushed. I also don’t want to spend hours driving all day. I also want to make sure I can get reservations and stay in each park. I went through my wishlist and did some research. The result was a three week trip that took 15 months to plan. That doesn’t mean it took 15 months of straight planning, but I started planning my trip about 15 months in advance. Sounds crazy, but it was well worth it. The result was a three week trip, in which we didn’t drive mostly for more than five hours between each point. We got reservations in each of our desired sites. We spent enough time at each park (knowing ahead of time that we can’t do everything, only hit the highlights).
We still had hiccups along the way, park roads closed for improvements, a missed (and later made-up) tour. Some stops weren’t worth it, while others we wished we spent more time. But overall, it was a dream vacation.