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The Start of Our Spring Chicago RoadTrip, The Hotel We Stayed In + 4 Tips for last minute travel

Fam April was a busy month for us haha! (Who am I kidding....most months are "busy for us" May has been no different! Hahah) Sandwiched between a weekend were we got to help out some of our friends on a film shoot and Easter weekend, was a very exciting work trip to Chicago!

Our trip to Chicago wasn't exactly planned for a super long time, rather thanks to ECHO we were invited out to a factory tour, a meet and greet with the CEO and a fun little get together with fellow User Advisory Group Members. Such a fun opportunity that we definitely couldn't say no to! Plus this would be our second time quickly visiting Chi-Town, so of course we decided to add a couple extra days to drive out and a day to just relax and see the sights!

Today we are sharing just a little teaser into our Chicago Roadtrip and a few tips we've learned when dealing with last minute travel. Buckle up and break out all your favorite road trip snacks as we start to share all the sights we saw, the hotels we stayed in, the places where we dined and of course some of the fun we had at ECHO USA Headquarters! (But more on those things in the posts to come:-)

We started our little roadtrip around 6am that Friday (all meetings and tours were happening on Sunday and Monday) so we again, decided to give ourselves a bit of extra time!

Of course on an almost 13 hour car ride we had quite a few rest stops...

Maybe a couple of photo ops....and the usual....

Coffee breaks....

To keep us awake to work! Hahaha....

Thank God for wifi in the vehicle and a brother who drove the whole way himself! Calls and meetings were had on the go!

Speaking of work, lets take a brief intermission to share 4 Tips we have learned for making last minute travel a breeze!

1) Have a go bag always on the ready! This may sound like an odd one...but we have found having a little bag of overnight toiletries, toothbrush etc. super helpful in expediting packing for those quick and/or unexpected last minute travel! We started this habit a few years ago and have found it super useful! Even for a quick overnight a little go bag is just a life and time saver!

2) Put together a loose itinerary. Things are subject to change but its nice to have a quick game plan so you can hit the ground running!

This trip I was pretty much creating as we drove! (As seen in the above picture) During the couple weeks prior to this trip, I had started to look into some fun things but would always get a bit sidetracked with work and life! So there we were driving west as I googled away between edits and emails!

When creating an itinerary there are a few questions I always try to ask myself and whomever I'm traveling with!

A) How many days will the trip be?

B) Does this trip already include prior commitments and engagements?

C) Where will we be staying? -this helps decide what you can see and places to eat;-) D) Are you willing to have a budget for experiences? If so what is said budget?

E) What kinds of food are we all in the mood for? (I know....always back to the food!)

3) Be Flexible. If you can - always build in extra time for yourself - especially if you have time constraints! Travel can have some wild twists and turns, traffic, missed flights you name it! So be prepared as best you least mentally!

This again was primarily a very quick work trip and while we decided to add the extra day, yet, we were mentally ready to literally leave last minute and do nothing as a worst case scenario...thankfully that didn't have to be a thing.

4) Check the Weather of your destination for during your trip! We have found ourselves recently traveling most during the spring and autumn months...and or to places with sudden weather changes! This trip was no different...haha we arrived to a rain snow mix, while another day it was in the mid 50's and sunny! Hahaha sooo this required a little bit of everything making its way into our suitcases.

Its amazing driving through so many states and each had such different weather!

As we were nearing the city I had been searching for restaurants in close proximity to our hotel. We decided that since it was so chilly, wet and snowy we were game to order in, or even go to the hotel restaurants.