Our 40 Hour Vacation

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How much vacation fun can you squeeze into 40 hours? Our family just proved that you can do quite a lot in a 40 hour window! We took a 40 hour, 1000 mile, 3 state vacation and made memories that will last a lifetime! I thought you would enjoy riding along on our 40 Hour Vacation!

Our 40 Hour Vacation

We have been up to our necks in home renovations, end of the year school activities, and real life work. We knew we needed to get away and take a road trip. We all needed a break. We left our house at 7 am on Thursday morning and headed north toward Indianapolis.

40 hour vacatio


7:00 am: Leave the house and head north.
11:30 am: Arrive at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
1:30 pm: Head north and grab a quick burger at Mcdonalds
4:00 pm: Arrive at Indiana Dunes State Park
Climbing the Dunes
Climbing the Dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park
6:30 pm: Sit on Interstate for 2 hours waiting on a wreck up ahead of us to be cleaned up
(Eat a granola bar in the car while we’re waiting)
8:20 pm: Head toward Springfield Illinois looking for a hotel and supper
9:15 pm: Finally found a gas station where we bought pringles for supper. No hotel yet.
10:30 pm: Found a hotel and a Wendys in Pontiac, IL!
Kids were thrilled with a late night hamburger and fries!

7:00 am: Eat Continental breakfast and headed south toward Springfield.
9:30 am: Tour President Lincoln’s tomb
10:30 am: Tour President Lincoln’s home

A stop at President Lincoln's Tomb
A stop at President Lincoln’s Tomb
1:30 pm: Toured St. Louis Arch
Gateway Arch
Our journey to the top of the St. Louis Arch
4:00 pm: Finally ate a real meal at Joe’s Crab Shack!
11:00 pm: Arrived back home to sleep in our own beds!

40 hours! 1000 miles! 3 states! Tons of Memories!

A Few Tips for Crazy Road Trips

  • Make sure you have snacks in the car.  You never know when you’ll find yourself stuck in traffic.
  • Never let the gas tank get below half.  If you are sitting on the interstate waiting on a wreck to get cleaned up, you don’t want to run empty.
  • A GPS is super handy!  It helps you navigate detours or plan for unexpected stops.
  • Pack light!  We only packed an extra change of clothes and pajamas.  We did throw in a beach towel and our swim suits – just in case!
  • Be flexible.  You never know when you might see a brown state monument marker or park sign on the side of the road.  We ended up seeing a monument for a civil rights leader that my husband had taught about in high school Social Studies.  That made for a great stretch break and a little extra history lesson as well.


Do you ever take crazy road trips like this? I’d love to hear your best road trip stories!

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  1. That is a great trip! I really need to plan something like this for us – it’s a little harder with the 3 year old but she loves “big trips” in the car so I bet we could do it! Thank you – inspiring!

    1. When I had babies and toddlers, big trips were harder since we had to stop and nurse or change diapers. But the kids are at an age now, that I can toss them an apple or granola bar and tell them to hold on a little while longer to find the next rest area.

  2. I love the real behind-the-scenes look at your trip. Granola bars and late night fast food, sounds familiar…Did you get to get out of the car and stretch your legs during the wreck, at least?

    1. Michelle, Sometimes travelers only focus on the main highlights and people like you and me start to feel like we’re the only ones who have to bail on the healthy option and do fast food. As for the stretch? There were a few people stretching their legs, but we didn’t. The kids did really good and didn’t get cranky!

  3. Pingback: 3 Travel Tips for the Family - Hobbies on a Budget

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