Planning a BMW Road Trip This Winter? Consider These 5 Destinations

Winter vacations are creeping in popularity. Around 23% of families prefer vacationing in the winter rather than the summer months. The allure of a winter vacation is impossible to ignore — you might even beat many of the crowds you would run into in the usual summer months. It might also cost less to visit certain locations in their off-season.

Before you set out, make sure your car is in working order. You should have a list of things to check for — or get your vehicle inspected before you head out. Also, you may need to know how to jump a car just in case your battery fails on the road. Before jumping a car, you should ensure that the battery is really dead before you start it by checking the headlights. They may be dim or flickering, but if your car clicks, that means the battery is truly dead.

Still, as long as your BMW is set for the road, you can head out for any destination this winter. Traveling inside the USA can be fun, and these destinations prove that there’s a place for everyone to do everything.

1. The Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California

The Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect place to go if you want a scenic drive more than anything else. While going in the winter makes for lovely views, avoid driving through in most of January and February, as there’s more rain in the area. 

On this path, you can drive from San Francisco to San Diego and make stops in different locations along the way. You can visit anything from zoos to beaches, from camping out in a national forest to partaking in dozens of restaurants. There’s a little something for everyone on this fun trip.

2. Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The outdoor views here are second to none. The lake offers a beautiful atmosphere itself, but the surrounding area is a great place to hike or just spend time in nature. Because spending time in nature can relieve your stress, it’s the perfect place to unwind with your loved ones after a year of hard work. 

You can also partake in plenty of exciting activities in Lake Tahoe, such as skiing and sledding, if you aren’t content with just relaxation.

3. Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is a gorgeous place to take a vacation. Montana is full of beautiful sights, but Big Sky has plenty of attractions to keep you busy during your holiday — or if you plan on stopping at multiple places on your BMW trip, Big Sky, Montana, is a must-see. 

Some of their outdoor activities include dog sledding or a snowmobile tour. It’s great for active individuals who want a vacation that’ll keep them busy or only spend a couple of days in one place.

4. Atlanta, Georgia

If you don’t mind large cities, Atlanta may be the best place to visit. If you’re coming from afar, Atlanta, Georgia, is a great vacation destination if you plan on staying more than a few days. The city is so large, and you’ll find plenty of things to do without leaving. 

It’s a perfect hub for any family, whether it’s you and a partner, a family with kids or a person traveling solo. The city boasts an expansive aquarium that can delight adults and children of all ages. They also have an array of museums that can teach attendees about anything from football to Coca-Cola.

Atlanta isn’t the place to go if you only want to spend a day in one spot before moving on. You’re bound to find something to keep you occupied every day of the trip. Still, if you exhaust yourself in Atlanta, you can head to other nearby towns — like Helen, Georgia, which is home to a quaint German atmosphere and could make for a great day of shopping and sightseeing.

5. The Florida Keys

Florida is always warm, even in the middle of winter. In the Keys, you can admire the area’s natural beauty while touring the historical parts, too. Beach bums can experience the warm beaches of Florida during the months that would typically be too cold. 

There’s plenty to do for everyone, and you can hop from Key Largo to Key West, Marathon Key, Duck Key and other areas. The Key West encompasses over 100 miles into the ocean, and it’s the perfect destination for the adventure-loving family, especially if you want to stay in the area.

Enjoy Road Trips in Your BMW

An essential part of any road trip is deciding whether you want to hop from location to location or stay in one destination for your entire vacation. Different groups have different needs, so consider the composition of your traveling group before deciding on one or several of these places.

The key to an excellent road trip is making sure you have the right gear. With your BMW in tow, you should be all set to head out to the destination of your dreams. 

Budgeting for Your BMW Road Trip: 7 Pointers

Taking your BMW on the road with your loved ones is an exciting chance to see more of the world, but you have to take several expenses into account. 

How much do you need to care for your BMW? How much should you put toward food? Your situation will alter how much you can and should spend on specific categories, but you should keep a few things in mind when planning your big budget for your grand escape.

1. Know Your Car

Get an inspection before any long road trip. You want to ensure that your car operates efficiently and won’t be unreliable on the long journey. Make sure you get an oil change about every 10,000 miles, and every 30,000 warrants an inspection for your BMW. Even if you haven’t driven much since your last oil change or review, if you know this trip will be a longer one than usual, consider getting your car checked before you hit the road. Make sure to save room in your budget for your car needs before setting out.

Knowing your car inside and out can help you understand essential maintenance. You’ll recognize the signs of when your vehicle needs professional help versus a situation where you know exactly what to do. Try to memorize the specific quirks that your model of BMW has. 

The series of BMW you have can make things vastly different from other BMWs, from the number of doors to the number of cylinders. Learning to care for your specific series of BMW will help you understand what you need to budget along the way and save you money.

2. Avoid Busy Days

People travel during the holidays, meaning the roads will be thicker and full of people. Overall, people take around 15 billion trips during the holidays, meaning that you’ll likely run into traffic if you try to travel on or directly before or after a major holiday. 

Consider staying somewhere over the few days that encompass the holiday before you start to travel again. This stay could eat into your budget, so if you’re traveling around the holidays, expect to spend more on housing and, likely, gas. Ideally, choose a time to take a road trip that doesn’t fall on any major holidays, including the summer months when vacations are common.

3. Check Your Packing List

You don’t want to leave things behind on your trip. Remember that it’s okay to overpack, as long as it means that you’ll have everything you need for the journey. One quick way to completely blow your budget is to neglect your packing list — meaning that you’ll need to stop and buy additional items or gear required, which can add up fast. Save your money for things like experiences or souvenirs, not things you own at home.

4. Take Care When Driving

By changing the way you drive, you can save gas and be more environmentally friendly. If you don’t have an electric BMW, you can still minimize your fuel consumption and emissions by driving a bit more smartly. Not allowing your car to idle or stop on a dime can prove better for your car’s health and the environment. 

If you drive more carefully, you can also be prepared for any negative instances, such as avoiding something on the road or another car at a moment’s notice. Your safe driving can also reassure your passengers that you’ll carry them to every destination without worry.

5. Plan Your Activities

Budgeting for activities along the way can take a bite out of your wallet. Since people typically expect experiences to be the most splurge-worthy aspect of their travels, you should prepare to allot much of your budget for your exciting adventures. If you save in other areas, such as making and packing your food and equipment, you may find that it’s easier to contribute more money toward the things you want to do.

If you plan to stop at plenty of national parks, consider getting a national park pass that will save you time and money by paying a one-time fee for yearly access instead of costly entrance fees for each park. Similarly, you can scour coupon websites for great deals in the area you’ll be visiting.

6. Choose Healthy and Affordable Food

Planning your meals can be a lifesaver when trying to conserve money. Consider how long you’ll be on your road trip and how you’ll keep fresh food fresh. You may opt to dehydrate fruits so that you can still get a dose of vitamins without worrying about refrigeration. 

While dehydrated fruit contains the same calories, they may lose some of the nutrients that fresh fruit holds during the process. Limit your processed foods, as they can drag you down and make you feel unhealthy, not giving you the stamina you need for your adventures. 

7. Keep an Emergency Fund Handy

Not every location you visit will take a card or digital payment methods. Make sure you have some cash on you to cover any unforeseen expenses you run into.

Even if you prefer not to carry some money, having some on hand can help you mitigate any adverse situation you may run into. You could find that your card is declined because you are in a new location and spend a hefty amount. Cash can help you survive until your card turns back on, especially at places that don’t accept your card in the first place.

Make a Plan to Stay on Track

Planning your budget ahead of time is key to staying within any budget. It may seem obvious to allot for experiences, but you should also plan out the food you’ll eat and everything you’ll see and do during your trip, including obtaining souvenirs for people back home, to truly make the most of your budget.

Which BMW’s We Would Buy if We Won the Powerball

It’s one of my favorite icebreaker questions — what would you do if you won the lottery? It can be a great way to judge what people feel is important in one of your early conversations.  Answers might range from paying off student loans and mortgages to buying yachts and private jets as a way to escape or live out their rockstar dreams.   

While my chances of winning the Powerball might be a lot higher if I played on a regular basis, it’s still fun to dream. Here is a quick list of the luxury BMWs that I would add to my collection if I drew those lucky numbers. 

1. 2000 BMW X5 Le Mans Concept ($1 Million)

Unlike a lot of the examples I’ve collected over the years, this gorgeous BMW is actually an SUV instead of a sedan, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.  This model was a one-off design that took the engine from a McLaren F1 and stuck it under the hood of an SUV.  There is only one in existence, and it’s the only X5 on the planet with a 12-cylinder engine under the hood.  It’s got a top speed of 186 miles per hour, thanks to the 700 HP engine.  It might not be the best daily driver but it is definitely one that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Getting my hands on this would be the achievement of a lifetime.

2. 2020 BMW 8-Series Convertible ($112,895)

Okay, maybe this isn’t the most expensive option on the list, but hear me out.  It looks like the regular 8-Series coupe, but it comes with a convertible soft top. Who doesn’t love a convertible? The top can fold or unfold automatically in less than 15 seconds, and you can raise or lower the roof while you’re driving, at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.  It’s simple enough to play Powerball, and if I win, I’m definitely splurging on a convertible. 

3. 2018 BMW M760i ($180,000)

If speed is the name of the game, this is one BMW that you’ll want to put on your list. It gets awful gas mileage, but the 6.6L V12 engine will have you accelerating from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 155mph. In this model, BMW opted for the carbon core that gives you all the strength of steel with a fraction of the weight.  Plus it’s got seat massagers. If I’ve won the lottery, I deserve seat massagers.  

4. 2010 BMW Manhart Racing V10 ($370,000)

You might be wondering why I’d be willing to spend nearly $400k on an 11-year-old car, but give me a moment to explain.  You can’t find many of these at auction anymore, but when they do hit the block they’re worth every penny.  This sedan comes equipped with a 542 hp V10 that can hit 60mph in 3.9 seconds. It’s really made for the track, with a top speed of 208 mph but it’s a must-have for my collection if I ever come into a large amount of money. Plus it is an older car which means that if something breaks, I’m not as hesitant to get under the hood and fix it myself.

5. 2012 BMW Zagato Coupe ($500,000)

Not all of the options on my list are there for practical reasons.  Some of them are just gorgeous examples of how beautiful automotive engineering can be — and the Zagato Coupe falls into that category. It’s got sleek lines, serious power, and the unique ‘double bubble’ roof that serves to both improve the car’s aerodynamics and act as an additional crash barrier for the driver and passengers.  Like a lot of my other Powerball picks, this coupe was a one-off team-up between BMW and Zagato but I can still dream about adding it to my collection.

6. BMW M8 Prototype E31 ($1 million or more?)

Now we’re starting to get into the realm of impossibility.  The M8 E31 Prototype is something of a Flying Dutchman among BMW fans. You can find pictures and a few video clips that show off this gorgeous car, but the prototype itself has vanished into the annals of BMW history.  There is exactly one prototype of this car, which was scrapped because of high production costs.  No one outside of BMW knows where that prototype might be, and they aren’t selling — at least not currently. 

7. BMW Nazca M12 & C2 (Priceless)

This is more wishful thinking than anything.  Designer Giorgetto Giugario designed two BMW’s back in 1991 — the Nazca M12 and C2.  They were gorgeous, but for some reason, they never went into full production. Right now, there is only a handful of C2s — and only one M12 on, though it currently isn’t for sale.  The C2s have sold for over $1 million, but the M12’s value is estimated at over $3 million.  Adding that to my collection would make it priceless, at least in my opinion. 

Did Any of These Make Your Lottery List?

Did any of these BMW models make your list of Powerball picks?  It’s always fun to speculate about what we might do if we ever managed to secure that elusive grand prize.  I might actually go buy a ticket to increase my odds a little.  Good luck, if you play!

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