After a fantastic Thanksgiving week in Frisco, TX, David and I made our way quickly to Bay Shore, New York.

We knew we didn’t want to make it a really long drive so we decided to stop about every 6 hours of driving – in fact, this has become our road trip norm. Anytime we need to drive somewhere new we break it up into 6-hour max driving sessions. For example, to get from Frisco to Bay Shore, you drive about 24-26 hours (traffic adds more time, obviously). So we took 5 days to drive there and stopped to rest 4 times along the way.

We’ve mentioned Airbnb a lot but here’s another thing we tend to do: when we know we’re only going to spend one night in a town while driving from place to place, we’ll use our Chase Sapphire Rewards to get a free night in an inexpensive hotel/motel room. Since all we need is a bed, shower, and sometimes breakfast, we find that this is a great option. We stayed in a hotel our first night of the drive in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The second leg of our journey to NY ended in Nashville, Tennessee. We had taken a couple hours to explore Memphis earlier in the afternoon (“Walkin’ in Memphis” was surely sung a few times) and settled into an Airbnb in Nashville – we decided to spend 2 nights there so that we could spend a day in the city. We walked about 10 miles all around downtown Nashville and back to our Airbnb. I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way but we did see pretty much all that we wanted to see that day without spending too much money. #budgettravel.

After another hotel night in Roanoke, Virginia, we stopped for a night in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This wasn’t exactly “on the way” to Bay Shore but I begged David to go to the Hershey’s Chocolate World, so we added this as a stop along the way! It was a very cold November day, but we walked from our hotel to the factory as soon as it opened, and took part in the activities they offer. Hot cocoa, a kiddie ride, make your own candy bar, chocolate tasting, and a kid’s chocolate mystery that we felt wayyyyy too old for. It was a really fun way to kick off day 5 of driving and we spent the next several hours sitting in traffic, headed to Bay Shore, NY.

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When I say “traffic” here, I do mean traffic. What should have only taken 4 hours, took somewhere between 6 and 7, AND we were eagerly awaiting adorable 7-year-old niece hugs, which made the drive seem way longer that it really was. As soon as we arrived, we were warmly and happily greeted by family, which was the best way to end our road trip.

Have you been to Hershey’s Chocolate World? Share your photos with us, or comment below!