Hands down, the most difficult aspect of the planning stage has been putting together a schedule that provided a logical journey within a reasonable time frame. Since Zach is only 14 years old, all of the driving would have to be done by me. I was told that Major League Baseball would not release the composite schedule until late January. That was way too late for our planning needs. Luckily, individual teams began posting tentative schedules in late October. The Cubs were the first to do so. Slowly, the schedules began to trickle on to the web and slowly we were able to construct our itinerary. With the schedules on the web and the Rand McNally on the desk we were able lay the foundations for what we believe is a cost and time efficient model.
Once the itinerary was completed our next task was to concern ourselves with the lodging aspects. We took out the address book and were able to locate friends and relatives across the country that were willing to put us up for a night or two. So far, 17 nights are covered. That's about a third of our trip! Because of time constraints, hotels would be required. Trying to camp near Yankee Stadium was probably not a good idea. We are scheduled in hotels for 20 nights. The other 20 nights will be camping out in the great outdoors.
Tickets and Reservations
Too many variables play into the trip as a whole. All of the planning and preparations can go out the window because of weather or severe car trouble. Therefore, we decided to wait until we arrive in the city to purchase our game tickets. The same thinking was applied to hotel reservations. At first blush, this would be a "willy-nilly" approach to such a major commitment of family resources but it is still the most practical. We are not going into this blindly. Within our planning documents is a spreadsheet that outlines all of our options and contingencies if a rainout occurs. We'll see how well we do. I know from personal experience that you can sit at a desk and plan and plan and plan, and until you are in the field and see the landscape you just never know. Your best plan is to have several plans!!!
Our next hurdle has been figuring out how to handle the 600 email addresses in our database. Baseball fans from across the country have requested email updates from the road. The website will need to be updated often because of the Online Journal that we will be keeping. A laptop is our solution. Do they have data hookups at KOA's???
"How much is this going to cost?"This seems to be the question that is most often asked. Lodging seems to be a real wild card. We will have no lodging expense for the 17 nights that we will be staying with relatives. Tent camping at KOA's averages about $25 per night. Our first choice will be BLM land or National Forests because camping is always free there. There are plenty of such places here in the west, but not much in the east. Hotels will be more like Motel 6's. We budgeted an average of $75 per night. Some will be more and some will be less. We've allocated $25 per day for food. At first this seems awfully low, but that's $175 per week. Two people should be able to eat for that! For game tickets we plan to purchase the cheapest seats possible. Our goal is to get in and see a game. We've budgeted $25 per game for two. Again, some will be more and some less. The fuel budget was calculated figuring 25 miles per gallon at $1.75 per gallon. The trip will cover some 15,000 miles.